Be a Better Thrifter

Tips For Finding the Overlooked Stuff at the Thriftstore

When I was in elementary school I strove to be the friend to those who weren’t the most lovable. Maybe I did this a bit too adamantly because often times the kid would be a nose picker or just generally strange, however I met some good people out of it and am proud of my kid self.

Now that I’m older I still like to love the “unloveable” which plays into my thrifting. I try to discover things that others may have overlooked or didn’t immediately see the beauty in. That is one of the greatest things about thrifting: everyone has different tastes and interests and eyes.

I’m going to share with you a short list of things or sections of the store, rummage sale, whatever it may be that people sometimes overlook or save for last and then never actually get to.

SOCKS

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photo by Flickr user star athena

I’ve gotten my best, most expensive, most wooly socks from thrift stores! For like less than $1. I’ve got some smart wool socks with cute little daisies on them, plenty of nice thick but soft socks that I like to use for cross country skiing, and also lots of pairs of tights which are invaluable since they’ll get a run in them shortly after you put them on. Nobody thinks to look at the socks and there are often fairly new pairs as well.

OFFICE SUPPLIES

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Photo by Flickr user Ashley Linh Trann

It doesn’t even matter if you need office supplies. I’ve found Maybelline mascara in the packaging with TWO TUBES OF MASCARA for $4 and it’s the best mascara I’ve ever used. I’ve found Baby Lips chapstick in the packaging as well, $3. IN THE OFFICE SUPPLIES. Another good advantage of just snooping through that section is you sometimes find childhood memories, like that black or dark purple paper you used to use for gel pens. Often they stick a lot of miscellaneous or unknown items in this section.

BEDDING/LINENS

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Photo from Flickr User Lindley Ashline

There are a few possibilities here. Yes, this section is shopped in, but you could be shopping in it for a different reason than everyone else. I really like looking through it to find old, vintage linens such as doilies, hand-sewn and embroidered kitchen towels or handkerchiefs, afagans, cool aprons, old curtains, etc. It’s also good if you’re looking to try a sewing project to check out the sheets. That way you’re spending less money on fabric and can reuse something old. You can use it as a mock up or the real deal, up to you.

BRAS/UNDIE GRUNDIES/PAJAMAS

The idea of looking through used under garments might disgust you, but it doesn’t disgust me. Often times there will be new items in this section as well. I’ve had great luck with finding nearly new sports bras, such as Champion or Nike, in this section. If you feel comfortable with it, a lot of the old bras that get donated are more bralette like than anything. They often have very cool details in the fabric, or the lace is extra intricate and the straps detailed with lace too. If you like the bralette trend, check this section. Old garments interest me the most because there’s so much care to detail. Also the pajama section always contains lots of tank tops or silky pajama tops or slip dresses which can be fun to play with in your everyday wardrobe.

OPPOSITE SEX CLOTHING

If you identify as a lady, don’t be afraid to browse the men’s section. If you identify as a man, don’t be afraid to check out some of the women’s clothes. First of all, often times those who are sorting the clothes mix it up. Second, the men’s hat selection is ALWAYS better. I also have had pretty good luck looking through men’s jeans. Many of the European-sized brands get accidentally put in the men’s. Men’s t-shirts can also be good because they generally have better slogans. I think in the thrift store it’s really nice to have the freedom to shop or try out something a bit more masculine or feminine for once and not feel bummed about spending money on something that’s a bit of a risk.

also if there’s any bins for digging…. YOU BETTER DIG!

Best,
Natalie

 

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