Reminders on How to Make the Most Out of Thrift Store Shopping
For most of us, our fashion and style are a way to express ourselves and make an impression on others. However, you don’t have to blow off your college fund or your entire savings to be a walking Instagram post. All the hundreds of likes and positive comments you’ll get is not worth the pain of seeing a 0 balance on your bank account or a 5-digit debt on your credit card statement. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to let go of your fashion sense. There’s an ideal way for you to look Twitter OOTD-worthy without spending too much, and that’s through thrift store shopping.
A few people probably cringe upon hearing “thrift store” as it typically means second-hand, used, hand-me-downs, recycled, or whatever you want to call it. However, once you become more open to this option and get rid of the negative mindset on old clothes, then you can look forward to the positive experience of the big world of vintage shopping. And keep in mind that even Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton herself is a proud believer of recycling outfits over and over—especially if it works. She definitely turns heads every time she wears that now-famous fire engine red skirt suit by Luisa Spagnoli, which she has worn to high-profile public appearances thrice now.
So if the Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t have qualms about wearing her outfits repeatedly even when she has the means to buy new ones, then certainly we should have no reservations going for thrift store shops, even though someone already wore it before us (and even wore it better than us). The trick is to make the most out of it, so here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Do your research!
We’re lucky to be living in Canada which is teeming with thrift stores left and right. Before you head out on your mission of finding vintage clothes, it’s helpful to do research so you can plan ahead. Some vintage stores specialize in a line or brand of clothing, while some are more general. For example, Vancouver’s well-known F as in Frank store is famous for vintage all right, but vintage athletic wear, so definitely not the store to hop into when you’re looking for a prom dress that can rival the pink number that Jennifer Lopez wore to a recent movie premiere. There are also stores like Saskatoon’s Better Off Duds or Winnipeg’s Vintage Glory that carry pre-loved wear that are more retro (from ’60s to the ’60s), so they’re perfect when you want to pull off a nostalgic look.
It will feel weird to be shopping for swimsuits during winter, but it’s one sure-fire way to save money. Shopping off-season means you get better deals and discounts, and it’s an effective way to shop at your own pace. Just imagine, if you find yourself in need of a winter coat because yours got a big stain that even the dry cleaners couldn’t get out smack dab in the middle of winter, you will likely be in panic mode and go for a winter coat that you like but not exactly within your budget. You need it now so there’s no need to be choosy. Shopping off-season is a good way to avoid that, and who knows, you might find something in-season that’s a treasure as well.
If online shopping is your thing, then you’d be glad to know that vintage shopping is also quite popular online. There are several sites like the Calgary-based The Upside that carries authenticated luxury goods from over 250 designers and Montreal’s Myluxurycloset.com which offers Gucci, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel brands. Yes, even Kendall Jenner will be pleased with these shops. If you like shopping both at a physical location and online, Consign Toronto has both a brick and mortar store and an online one to fulfill your needs for high-end fashion.
Find items to donate.
Some thrift stores give you discount coupons if you hand over items for donation. However, be sure to carefully pick out these things as you wouldn’t want to give a pair of high-end shoes with one sole about to fall out or a designer skirt with the zipper missing. Be considerate to others and remember whatever you hand over should be good and ready for use. If the thrift store doesn’t have a policy of giving discount coupons for donors, don’t lose hope. Open a conversation with the staff and be friendly with them, and even if they don’t give you a discount, they might help you find really amazing pieces that can break the Internet.
So there you have it: hot tips for hot fashion that’s within your budget. Now what are you waiting for? Get your wallet ready and get started!
Canadian Living. “The 10 best Canadian websites websites for shopping vintage clothing.” https://www.canadianliving.com/style/fashion/mediagallery/the-10-best-canadian-websites-for-shopping-vintage-clothing.
Flare. “The Best Thrift Shops Across Canada to Score Second-Hand Gems.” https://www.flare.com/localist/the-best-thrift-shops-in-canada/.
Leverette, Mary Marlowe. “15 Bad Cleaning Habits You Need to Break.” The Spruce. https://www.thespruce.com/thrift-store-shopping-tips-1313673.