Fashion

A Complete Guide to Thrifting Clothes and Still Looking Good

January 3, 2016

Part One: Why Should I Thrift? 

You know what I love? Clothes? You know what I really love? Not spending money on clothes. Maybe you haven’t noticed recently, but full-priced clothing is expensive. And when you’re a broke post-grad who buys snacks in the vending machine with quarters you found in the couch, it’s pretty hard to justify spending $34.99 on a pre-ripped, see-through T-shirt. (I’m looking at you, Urban Outfitters.) I’d rather spend my money on oh, I don’t know, experiences? Like, I want to look cool, but I’d rather take road trips and drink cocktails with multiple ingredients.
That being said, my passion for consumerism knows no limits. I must have not only the road trips and cocktails, but also a killer wardrobe. I need it all, damn it, and I’m not embarrassed! How do I indulge my vanity on a budget? The answer, my friend, is thrifting, and I’m here to teach you how to do it. Consider me your spirit guide. I will gently and powerfully guide you through bargain bins full of 80s tracksuits and embroidered turtlenecks that smell like jolly ranchers to where the good stuff is, and help you curate a better wardrobe for a fraction of the price you’d spend elsewhere. Better yet, all you need is twenty bucks, hand sanitizer, a little patience, and a TON of espresso!
One of the most important qualities to be a smart shopper and a great thrifter is commitment. So real quick, before we dive into the nitty gritties of how and where, let’s review a few of the reasons about why this should be your new lifestyle.
Wait… Why Should I Be Thrift Shopping?
  1. Because capitalism sucks and advertising is destroying your soul.
    Need I say more? The prosperity of fashion and beauty companies literally rests on convincing you via advertising that you are fundamentally inadequate, and you would be sexier, more fun, and invited to more parties if you would just buy their clothes. Also, 90% of hip, affordable clothing is made by factory workers in third world countries who work in incredibly unsafe conditions to make those $5 crop tops we all love so much. Buying used is a really great way to be a conscious consumer and put your money where your mouth is.
  2. Because you’ll look really cool.
    Sorting through mass quantities of ugly, poorly made clothes has taught me more about what flatters my body and makes me feel good than any fashion magazine ever has. Don’t be a slave to trends! Also, never again must you endure that deeply uncomfortable moment when you walk into a room and someone is wearing the exact same Target dress that you are.
  3. But if you happen to be into Target dresses, guess what? Thrift stores have them too.
    And trust me, there is nothing more obnoxious than seeing something you paid full price for last year on a rack with a tag that says $3.
  4. Because thrift shopping is one of the easiest actions you can take towards a more ethical and environmentally conscious lifestyle.
    Reduce, reuse, recycle isn’t just for your empty wine bottles. When you buy secondhand, you’re making use of things that might have otherwise gone to a landfill and not to mention, many thrift stores are also involved in charity work (Goodwill is a notable exception; this is a for-profit company).
Nothing says modern girl like looking amazing and having the savvy to back it up. Stick with me – in the next post I’ll spill all my secrets on how to sort through your closet and make a wants and needs list, the ultimate outfit to wear thrifting, a handy checklist to help you figure out whether that sweater is hot or not, and more!

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