Slow Fashion: 5 Tips for Thrift Shopping

thrift shopping outfit ideas
I have loved thrift shopping for as long as I can remember. Some of my favourite pieces have been bought secondhand, and I have found so many amazing deals on great quality pieces and brands simply by going to a secondhand store. I buy for me and the kids and it’s safe to say that they’ve also benefitted from these thrift shopping ways. But today’s post is more for the grown-ups (see this great post over on Jen Pistor for some thrift shopping tips for kids) and even though it’s one of my favourite ways to shop, it’s definitely a good idea to keep a few things in mind when you’re on the hunt.

Some of my favourite pieces in my closet are thrift store finds!

After many years of thrift shopping under my belt, I thought I’d share a couple of tips and tricks that I have learned. Sustainable and slow fashion is becoming more and more popular as people look to more eco-friendly style options like and I thought what better time to talk about thrift shopping then now? In this post, I’m sharing 5 tips to help you make the most of thrift shopping and have the best experience (and most fun) from my 20+ years of thrift store treasure hunting (and yes, I started young lol). Happy thrifting! 
thrift shopping outfit ideas

Thrift Shopping Tip #1: Have fun with it!

Thrift shopping is totally a treasure hunt- I’m just going to call it what it is ;). Give yourself a little bit of extra time to go through the racks and make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Even though it’s not as simple as finding an item and grabbing your size like in a regular store, a little bit of patience can have a big pay off when you find a hidden treasure. Even if this isn’t your usual style of shopping, try and have fun with it, you never know what you might find! If you’re having trouble finding what you’re after but still want to purchase sustainably, you can always opt for alternatives like an upcycled clothing store or something similar near you.

Tip #2: Wear comfortable + simple clothing

To make trying on go by a little quicker, wear something simple like a tank top and leggings that are easy to try clothes on overtop of or are easy for you to take off. Since it can sometimes take a bit longer to find items to try on with thrift shopping, this is a great time saver for the change room.
thrift shopping outfit ideas

Tip #3: Be aware of your own limits

What I mean is if you’re not ready to go to the dry cleaner or interested in having to alter a piece/ getting a piece altered, it’s better to leave it for someone else. This is one lesson I’ve learned the hard way over the years when I’ve found something I love and convince myself I will fix that hole or seam, etc. when in reality I get it home and forget about it because it becomes something else on the to-do list. If this is something you don’t mind, then great, bring that beauty home and enjoy! There are definitely pieces that are worth a little bit of extra love and work, but just be prepared that you will have to make that happen. And in case you bring something home and change your mind, it’s a good idea to know the return policy of the thrift store you bought it at.

Tip #4: Quality Control

Double check for stains, rips, holes, etc. It can be heartbreaking to find a piece you love and discover that it’s damaged, but better before you buy than when you get home (esp if you’re not so handy with a needle and thread, see tip #3). Oxy Clean and a good wash can go a long way with stains, but if you opt to still buy something with a stain be prepared that it may not come out completely. I’ve gotten lucky with most items I’ve brought home and spot cleaned, but it’s definitely a bit of a gamble.
thrift shopping outfit ideas

Tip #5: Don’t buy it just because it’s a good deal

This is one I’ve learned the hard way over the years. Sometimes something isn’t quiiiiiite right, but it’s such a good price you’re tempted. I’ve convinced myself to bring so many pieces home that didn’t fit very well or I a little outside of my regular style but because the price was right and I liked the item enough I didn’t want to leave it behind. But here’s the truth: unless you really love it, it’s probably better to leave it for someone else (this is the hardest part of thrift shopping!). Because let’s be honest: how likely are you to actually wear something once you’ve brought it home if it doesn’t fit properly or you don’t have anything to wear it with?
I hope these tips inspire you to give thrift shopping a try! Are you already a thrift shopper? If so, what tips would you add?
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