7 tips for thrift shopping

writer: emma ranne
picture: emma ranne

 Reformation vintage shop in LA

It was back in high school when I first got into thrift shopping. Back then it was more about it being an affordable way to explore and experiment with the world of fashion I had recently got into.

These days buying 2nd hand is of much more meaning to me than it just being more cost effective for the warderobe (which is a nice plus of course). There’s the sustainability aspect which would definitely be reason #1 for me to buy things 2nd hand. I also like the idea of the pieces being more unique and often the materials are a bit more durable too (I mean if the item has already lasted for a bunch of years it would last for a couple more).

Thrift shopping is a little like going on treasure hunt and you never know what you will find (if anything). Even though buying things 2nd hand is a lot about patience and consistency, I think there are definitely some tricks and tips that can make it a little easier to find than one item you’ve been looking for for months. I hope you can find a trick or two from the list down below to help you get a little closer to finding those perfectly fitting washed vintage Levi’s Jeans (which I still am after. It’s been years…)

The 7 keys to success in thrift shopping

  1. Do your research. Chek out with your local thrift shops when they have their re-stock days and, try to go when all the new treasures have just been layed out. One of my favourtie thrift shops here in Finland is UFF. They re-stock about every 1,5 months and I’ve made really good finds by going on the re-stock morning. The most recent re-stock for all UFF shops was on Monday 12.11. You can sign up for their news letter to stay up to date on what’s coming up and when the sales and re-stock are.

  2. When you go, go as hands free as possible so you can easily browse through the clothes. Wear something comfy that is easy for when you’re trying on the things. Don’t forget to bring your own tote bag to carry your new treasures home in.

  3. Have a clear vision for what it is that you are looking for (but don’t shut your eyes from the other possibilities you could come accross. It’s fun to explore and experiment with clothes!) I have a ‘‘wish list’’ in my phone notes which I like to look back to to keep on track of what I feel like I’m needing in my closet. I also tend to scroll through my pinterest board just before I go to have a clear vision of what I want.

  4. 2nd hand clothing often being quite a bit cheaper can trick you to buying things a little more impulsively.
    When you find something you like, ask yourself the following questions:
    - Does it actually fit? How likely are you actually going to be to get around to DIY the amendmends that the piece needs?
    - Have a critical look at the materials label and inspect the item for any faults.
    - Does the piece match your warderobe and style? Try to think of at least 3 outfits you could put together with the item.

  5. Be sure to check out the men’s/ boys’ section too. Hello hello hello oversized blazers, woolen sweaters, coats and shirts. It took me years to discover this.

  6. Thirft shopping is something that craves to be done regularly. Swing by every couple of weeks or so, so you’ll have a bigger chance of succeeding in your treasure hunt for that one certain piece you’ve been after.

  7. Bring a friend along for more fun and to be that someone that can tell you if you can actually pull off that one boldly colourful 80s coat or whether crosses the line of being a bit too extravaganza. Update your friends on your wishlist so you can keep eye out for each other too.

Let us know your best tips for thrift shopping and what your best buy has been! You can either comment down below or pop us a DM on Instagram <3