By: Galilea Oregon and Gigi Hume
“But … it was 99 cents.”
These wise words from Macklemore are often times the justification for when a seemingly harmless trip to the thrift store turns into 5 sweaters, 7 shirts, 2 pairs of shoes, and 6 pairs of jeans. But it’s fine because unlike regular stores, thrift stores or secondhand stores offer used clothes, books, and various decor all at discounted prices. Not only this, but thrift stores often times give back the profits they make to charity and towards benefitting the community.
Sometimes for a first-time thrift shopper, it can be daunting entering the realm of thrifting. Fear not, amateur thrifters, below are some guidelines that will help you have a successful no-stress shopping experience.
- Keep an open mind. A thrift store is a haven for the good, bad, and the ugly, but it’s in those where you find the truly unique pieces. Don’t close your mind up to the possibilities, try and visualize how you can put the piece to use and what alterations can be made to make it great.
- Take your time. Within all the mounds of clothes and knick-knacks, it may take some time to find a unique piece. It’s important to be patient because once you find that special item, it will be worth it.
- Keep an eye out for sales. Thrift stores often times have tons of sales going on, based of a “tag system” like all items with a pink tag are 50% off. With these, it is even easier to load up on items on a budget, getting more for your money.
- Have an idea of what you’re looking for. Going into a thrift store can be unpredictable and you might leave the store with things you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing outside of your house. Go in with a physical or mental list of what you need or want to prevent from making purchases that will be not be useful or you don’t really like.
- Go with friends! When you go with a friend or two, you can help each other out by finding cute items that suit each of your individual styles while covering more ground to find even more things. Plus it’s always fun to hang out with friends and pose with all the the products you unearth.
Our fashion-forward models above each exhibit personal style by mixing up their thrift store finds with those from department stores. James took a thrifted blue jacket and made it his own by adding pins to it, and Zoey took her thrifted shirt and jacket combo and added some edge with jeans and unpictured Doc Martens. Both of them show how to mix and match different findings to make a look that exude their individual interests and personality on a budget, and you can, too. As our very own Galilea Oregon says, “There’s something about previously owned clothes that gives a nostalgic feel, like every garment has a story of its own.”
Go create that story.
Assistance League of Tustin
445 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92780
OC Goodwill Boutique
502 E 1st St, Tustin, CA 92780
Goodwill Store & Donation Center
849 S Tustin St, Orange, CA 92866
The Main Place Thrift Store
1631 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92780