Thrift Happens: Vintage and Thrift Shopping Tips

By: Emma Braun

Thrift and vintage shopping is an art form. There’s something mesmerizingly cathartic about sifting through racks of t-shirts and oversized sweaters, and the moment a true gem is found makes the whole process worthwhile. To ensure that each trip to Goodwill never ends empty handed, here are some tips and tricks for perfecting the art of thrift shopping.

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1. Give yourself time.

As cliche as it sounds, thrift shopping is a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t expect to find the skirt of your dreams after spending one minute glazing over various racks. It takes time.

2. Give things a chance.

That floor-length dress spotted with giant sunflowers might look heinous hanging on the rack, but absolutely ravishing on. Never assume that something will be ugly or too out-there to buy. If it catches your eye, put it in your cart. Never let the size scare you off — everything fits differently, so go ahead and pull items that you like without even looking at the size. That’s what fitting rooms are for.

3. If possible, try before you buy.

Oversized items can be great to make any outfit casual and stylish. That being said, there is a difference between being oversized and swallowing you whole. It may seem unhygenic to try on without washing first, but ensuring that the item actually looks good on your body will prevent you from making an unnecessary purchase.

4. Be proud.

Never be ashamed to shop at thrift or vintage stores. If anything, brag about it. You found a pair of vintage Calvin Klein jeans at Goodwill? They only cost $5? Go you!

Photos by Caroline Brehmen, Studio Photo Editor. Models: Teddi Shaffer and Jake Keisler. Directed by Christina Casillo.

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