Fashion this, labels that, thrifting remains gold. Besides being cheap, thrifting has rare preloved items making most of them signature pieces. Thrifting is an art form, an acquired skill. How do you choose from a whole “Bel-Air”? Which Khothama has the best? And most importantly, should you incognito?
Thrifting should be fun! So we’ve compiled tips on how to do it like a pro because it can get frustrating. This guide will help you navigate the waves of thrifting with ease.
Know where to go
Before hitting the thrift journey, do your research. Not all spots have good things. Preparing beforehand gives you an edge, different spots have different specialties, some are great for shoes and some for clothes. Thrifting may feel like searching for needles in haystacks, knowing the needles you want and the particular haystack makes it easier.
This is a no-brainer. You cannot thrift on an empty stomach, you need all the strength your body can give. Sifting through the piles of clothes and shoes is exhausting and needs a certain level of stamina and endurance. You need to be full and hydrated.
Have something in Mind
For aesthetics and color pallets, have a mental picture of what you want to buy. Don’t waste time waiting for inspiration to hit when you’re racing against time and the next person. It helps to know what you want, that way even when scanning you can spot things of interest. Use your wardrobe as a reference.
Set a budget
Like any purchase, have a budget in mind. Thrifting comes with some impulsive buying that’s why you need a budget to control your spending. Remember the total of too many cheap items may be expensive in the end. To extend that budget, sell some pre-loved items before you go to thrift.
Make sure you have loose money
You cannot bargain without change. You’ll end up blowing your budget or losing discounts. Besides you know how change is in our country.
The art of pros requires patience and a relaxed mind. Pick through thrift items carefully and evaluate everything you find. Remember some things may have holes or a bit too worn out. Imagine buying something you’ll probably throw away. It’s easy to miss a tiny defect or a stain in the shopping thrill, so take your time going over your trophies before buying. This skill is a necessity for avoiding heartbreaks later when you get home.
Look for off-season items
These are likely cheaper. Buying summer things in winter or vice versa may be relatively cheaper because there is less demand for those items.
Think about alterations as you thrift
Some things may be amazing but seem rather too big for you but that shouldn’t be a problem. Tailors can work magic on some of those trophies. But alterations work well when there isn’t too much of a difference, structurally speaking. Pants and skirts are easy to shorten, blazers and suits may be a bit more complex.
Keep it within your style
Thrifting can be very tempting, you can easily get carried away and end up getting things you wouldn’t wear. Just because something is way too cheap doesn’t mean it fits your wardrobe. This relates to knowing what you want to buy before going to thrift places.
Tag a friend along
Preferably a thrifter. The Bel-Air owners are people, after all, they know regular faces, and having a friend who frequents may be a win. If not, tag a friend still, for control, for help with choices and moral support. Thrifting is an extreme sport, you’ll need the company.
Learn some Negotiation skills
The beauty of thrifting in our fine country is that we can negotiate for just about anything. Polish your skills on that and put your pride aside. The fun of thrifting is in scoring bargains, we talk about prices later. Learn to “khala” a little bit.
Don’t thrift everything
This goes without saying, some things shouldn’t be bought in a thrift store. Bras, underwears, boxers are on that list.
Don’t forget to carry a backpack/Totebag
They will give you plastic bags but those won’t be enough if you’re thrifting for bulky items. Carrying a bag will ease your load and make the runs less exhausting.
Keep some relationship with your favorite suppliers
This is key. That way you’ll get updates on new things and probably choose before anyone else. Business is a game of faces, be known in places you’ll probably frequent. They might even learn your patterns and reserve some good things for you.
- Wash/Dry clean the Bel Air items before wearing them. That strong scent from the Ben Ova can be a confidence dampener.
- Do your alterations for a perfect fit
- Don’t have a full-on Bel Air outfit, integrate a few items into your existing wardrobe