Monday, 12 August 2013

Thrift Shopping Guide

Hi Y'all, here is another guest article that I did for Stylus Magazine.

As citizens of planet earth, we all have the duty of taking care of it as much as we can. However, reducing our carbon footprint and taking care of the planet doesn’t necessarily mean having to sacrifice style and fashion. The best resource to dressing fabulously unique is actually incredibly eco-friendly as well as gentle on your wallet. My secret weapon to dressing uniquely chic is by shopping at thrift stores.

thrifted outfit from Vancouver fashion blogger Posing in Vintage, Chic thrifted outfit

This entire look (aside from the leggings) was obtained from a local Value Village. Not only are thrift stores well stocked with one of a kind vintage and second-hand pieces, they also receive donations from local fast-fashion stores (the skirt and shoes were both ones carried by Urban Outfitters). However, when purchased at a thrift store, you are not only paying a fraction of the original price, you are also helping out local charities and the environment. Oh, how I love to do good.

It can be daunting to step into the thrifting world when you are more comfortable shopping at a store that carry multiples of the same style, making your shopping experience effortless. Thrift shopping is not so easy to start out but, like any other activity, you can get better with practice, especially armed with this thrift shopping guide.

Go Big.

Value Village Store Front
Image source: Access Winnipeg

Start with visiting a large chain thrift store in your area (Goodwill, Salvation Army or Value Village). Since more people are familiar with these big name stores, they are more likely to receive a breadth of donations. Once you have whet your appetite, feel free to venture out to smaller more niche ones. You may be pleasantly surprised by your discoveries. Don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of some of these stores, they are usually always well-organized.

The Organization

Wild life Thrift Store inside the store, racks inside wild life thrift store

On each rack you will see them clearly labeled with the type of garments (sweaters, blouses, pants, etc). The racks are then organized by size, within the size category, they are then organized by color. I recommend organizing your closet this way too for maximum dressing efficiency. The store is especially well-organized when you arrive when they first open. Once you know how they are organized, it actually makes shopping so much easier.

Change Clothes, and Go.

I recommend taking a cart with you on your first trip and load it up with whatever interesting piece you see. You never know what will surprise you once you try the garment on. Do be aware that usually the change rooms will have a limit on the number of pieces you can take with you to try on. Usually the limit is 5, but if they are not too busy, they may let you bring more in with you.
If at First You Don’t Succeed

Many stores will restock the racks throughout the day. Sometimes you may not find anything at all during your trips but that is part of the fun so please don’t get discouraged. You can always go back and repeat the shopping process. Return again soon, or try a different location.

One Last Thing

vintage dresser from a thrift store
image source:

Think of thrift stores like a small department store. Some will have furniture, books and even appliances. You can literally outfit your entire life with just previously owned goods. You can also start off with something small such as jewelry, purses or shoes if clothing seems slightly daunting. Just make that first step and venture out to your first thrift store shopping trip. I am positive you will be pleasantly surprised. Go often, don’t be afraid to try on something that is slightly out of your comfort zone. You too, can be thrift chic.

img source: Macklemore,

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