I tagged along with my parents to thrift stores as a child and by the time I turned fifteen, I became an enthusiast. After almost fifteen years of thrifting, I have mastered the craft and I am here to spare you the despairs of thrift shopping. Thrifting is more than pure luck; it takes real skills. Don’t get me wrong, the time I thrifted a vintage Givenchy gold plated necklace for $12 was all due to Lady Luck, but the times I looked my best for extremely less is all owed to my trained eye and thrift tips to live by. Jamie
Thrited t-shirt
Thrifted pencil skirt
Lulu’s heels
For starters, stalk your style and plan your trips around which items you are currently looking for. You can most definitely find your fashion inspiration from browsing the Internet (i.e., Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.) and from browsing your own closet to see what items could possibly be missing from your wardrobe. Armed with this knowledge, make a list, check it twice, and take it with you whilst thrifting. Staying true to this list can stop you from buying unnecessary items, which brings me to the next thrift tip: don’t buy something just because it’s inexpensive. I have been guilty of purchasing excessive amounts of thrifted clothes for the sole reason that they were really cheap. This lead me to donate the clothes back to the thrift store it came from and resulted in a waste of time and money. How do you stop yourself from this blunder, you may ask?
Boyfriend 3a
boyfriend 2a
Boyfriend 1a
Thrifted blouse
Thrifted boyfriend jeans
Thrifted belt
Forever 21 heels
First, I highly recommend that you do throw anything you are remotely attracted to into your cart for later examination. While you’re doing so, separate them into different piles – your Yes pile and your Maybe pile. This may seem pretty self-explanatory, but your Yes pile should consist of the items you came to shop for and your Maybe pile may consist of items that are out of your price range or pieces you feel may not work with your current style. Before checking out, rummage through your Maybe pile and if you can picture yourself wearing the garment with more than one piece you already have at home or if it can be worn to more than one occasion, buy it. If not, put the item back. The purpose of thrifting is to be frugal, but when you get rack happy the dollars add up. Everyone calls me a cheapskate, but that’s not entirely true. I know how to stretch my dollar, sure, but it’s also that I’m smart. Smart shoppers don’t just look for sales or limit their shopping to only secondhand stores; they ensure they are getting the biggest bang for their buck. As a full- time Marketing student on a student budget, aka broke but creative, I do just that by clipping coupons for local thrift shops in my area. In addition, I use my student discount at thrift shops that offer them. One last piece of advice I have is to never shop without asking a thrift store if they offer student discounts, or any discounts for that matter. It may seem a little extreme, but trust me, it’s worth the extra savings. Having a coupon or receiving a discount might mean an incentive to buy more stuff, but again, don’t fall into that trap! Thrift shoppers are smart and we mean business. Our senses are heightened and we can smell a savings from a mile away. We can feel the quality of a $2 blouse and see the potential in a rather unsightly dress. But, it’s easy to get overwhelmed between the racks. Stalking your style will be a surefire way to get what you’re looking for at thrift shops.
Thrifted jumpsuit and aviators
The Internet is the best place to search for your fashion inspiration and the easiest way to bring your thrifted wardrobe dreams to life. Just remember to stay on track and avoid buying unnecessary items that will end up costing you more time and more money. And of course, stay cheap. Embrace it! But, be smart about it. Remember these tips the next time you’re thrifting and you’ll be able to outsmart fashion.

WRITER BIOGRAPHY: Jamie has been thrift shopping since her early teens; as a freelance writer and style blogger, she invites her audience to thrift their way into the ever-changing world of fashion at Currently, Jamie studies Marketing full-time and lives in sunny California. 

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