hard earned thrift shopping tips

Thrift shopping has been a constant in my life lately and though I've grown up making trips to the thrift store I've learned LOADS in the past year how to get the treasures.

 impromptu thrifting trip with my family In Royal Oak. My dad in the bottom right suffering in silence

impromptu thrifting trip with my family In Royal Oak. My dad in the bottom right suffering in silence

The hardest part is pushing through mountains of junk to get to the gems. It's a ton of chaos but don't think about that. I've gotten some existential angst about how much clothing and waste there is in the world, heavy issues. Keep it light though and think of how there are items waiting for you to discover. Also bonus points - you're recycling.

 what you aspire to find

what you aspire to find

I always find the less I am looking and more just taking a peek is when the major finds come through. I've found my coolest jackets thrift store shopping. One all-star find was a $8 faux Zara fur jacket I always get compliments on from a day I went looking for second-hand home goods.

Another was a red jacket I picked up in a pile of clothes at a Bali market for $7. I'll dig to the bottom to get that shit, usually riding a bender from an XL iced coffee.

 Jetrag in LA - this one's a little grundgy but everything's $1 and it's a fun scene

Jetrag in LA - this one's a little grundgy but everything's $1 and it's a fun scene

I also have an addiction selling items on Poshmark that I find on my hauls and have learned how to reduce buying items that sit in my closet for months. It's a process, sometimes you get hyped up on items you think are cool only to find others don't care orr understand.

To get you started and save you the headache, here's my first 5 tips for getting the good stuff:

1. Don't discriminate - try every style of sale

I'll search far and wide for a good deal, I'll do it for 10 minutes after a workout or I'll carve out 2 hours to do a full hunt. Questionable looking garage sales, Goodwill (almost once a week), $1 pile of junk sales, and flea markets.

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I find when you see a sale at the side of the road that looks intriguing and you think ahh I don't have time... why not stop in for 5 minutes? You can take a quick lap and more often than not, I find something and I'm high on it the rest of the day. Boom: natural endorphins.

Even messy looking garage sales are great because they're put together by people who want to get rid of stuff now. I've gotten dollar items and there's usually not too much to sift through making them great morning activities.

2. Have no expectations, keep an open mind.

Don't hunt, don't feel like you NEED anything. Mindset is key. Having fun and taking your time letting the gem come to you is my motto. Get playful and you'll discover you may one day be into the same style of tie dye you were into in grade school. 

 Vintage Shopping in Chicago in 2013 during the Mackelmore era

Vintage Shopping in Chicago in 2013 during the Mackelmore era

Or if you're looking for an outfit to wear for a party, why not stop into a few sales before for items no one else will have? You can jump out of your comfort zone with a few experimental $5 pieces.

3. Focus on a specific color scheme

If you focus only on a couple colors at once it helps you become less overwhelmed and it's easy to cruise through different sections quickly. I skip reds, blues, and often black in order to focus on greens and whites. But it depends on the day and mood. Go with what your intuition tells you! 

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Not looking at certain colors or groups of items saves you mental energy and at least 50% of your time. I used to feel info overload after an hour in a thrift store but now I cruise out of them in about 30min.

4. Dig! 

You find the good stuff if you're willing to work for it. It sounds simple but so many gems get lost in the dressing rooms or racks abandoned across the store.

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It's also about stamina, truly. I live and die by an iced venti coffee and rock n roll music. I'm in my own world when I'm thrifting and I jam out.

You can lose momentum quick if you look at too much. Best to focus on a couple of areas and give them your full attention like t-shirts and jeans one day, dresses and jackets another. But still if you want to go crazy and bounce around like me follow your instinct. Play into what gives you energy.

5. Only pick items you love

Sometimes you find a bunch of cool pieces and you're high on the rush from the process you buy 10 items and later find a few of them fit weird or don't go with anything you own.

 an clear almost - would have been a funny sweater for Halloween time. Did not purchase.

an clear almost - would have been a funny sweater for Halloween time. Did not purchase.

Always let go of a few almosts at the end of your haul - at least 3, and often half if you really want to feel great. I find this especially helpful if you resell items online because I've found it's hard to sell my least favorite pieces. Focus on getting a few HELL YEAH pieces and let the other ones be.

enjoy and let me know what you think xx