Get In Loser, We’re Going Thrifting

A step by step guide to thrifting


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Elizabeth Kim, Writer

The cheap prices, unique clothing, and vintage finds has caused thrifting to become a huge trend among teens and young adults. Although it may take a lot of time and effort looking through each clothing rack, or scavenging every inch of the store trying to find something you would even consider wearing, the success of finding a unique piece that nobody else owns makes the whole process worth it. Entering a thrift store for the first time might feel intimidating, so here’s a thrifting guide that will make you a pro in no time. 


Why Thrift?


You might be wondering, why should I even thrift? Well, I probably won’t be the last to tell you the numerous benefits of thrifting, not only for yourself, but for the whole planet. If you’ve never been thrifting, there’s no reason to not try, in fact it’ll do more good than harm.


Environmental Benefits

Thrifting helps the environment and promotes a more sustainable lifestyle. By buying second hand clothing, the amount of manufactured clothing is reduced. This results in less energy being used to make cheap clothing, and less gas being produced by oils that pollute and contaminate the atmosphere.


An End To Fast Fashion


 Not only does thrifting improve the environment, but it also helps put an end to the fast fashion industry. Fast fashion is rapidly produced cheap clothing made by mass marketed clothing brands to keep up with the latest trends and styles. These brands have caused more waste to be produced, increased the amount of landfills, and use sweatshops around the world where workers are paid the bare minimum to work long hours in horrible conditions. With more people purchasing clothing from thrift stores or more sustainable clothing brands, fast fashion brands like Forever 21 or H&M are starting to go out of business, slowly making fast fashion a thing of the past.


Save That Money


Besides being beneficial for the environment, thrifting is also very cost effective. Unless you go to a vintage store, the items are very reasonably priced and you are able to buy more with less money. I mean…who wouldn’t want to save some cash?

Unique clothing

Probably the main reason I thrift is because I am able to find unique pieces that I know nobody else has. There’s something special about scavenging through the whole thrift store to find a piece that is one of a kind and completely different from anything you would be able to buy in a store. 










Types of places to go thrifting


Before you even enter a second hand store, it is important to know what type of item you want to purchase and how much money you’re willing to spend. There are several different types of thrift stores that all have different specialities and price ranges, so choosing the right one for you will increase your thrifting success. 


Traditional thrift store

The classic thrift store like goodwill or savers carries the widest variety of items, typically at the lowest prices. Regular thrift stores specialize in not only clothing items, but also shoes, furniture, and toys. Although the prices are cheaper, it may be much harder to find an item you might actually want to buy. It may require much more time and patience, but if you’re willing to put in the extra effort, it is just as possible to find unique pieces.





Vintage shop


Although vintage shops are still considered thrift stores, going to a vintage shop is a completely different experience than going to a traditional thrift store. Vintage shops are curated and carry hand selected pieces that are tailored to a specific style. Since the items are pre selected, it’s much easier to find vintage items, but at a much higher price. Vintage shops also typically are decorated a certain way and maintain a specific aesthetic, making the shopping experience more enjoyable.


Consignment store

Consignment stores are similar to vintage shops in the aspect that both curate the clothing they sell in the store. The main difference between the two is that consignment stores allow people to buy, sell, or trade items to the store, making the prices typically higher. Beacon’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange are two of my favorite consignment stores in New York City that never disappoint.




Lastly, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of physically looking through racks and racks of clothing, online thrifting is always an option. Poshmark and Depop are two very popular apps where users can sell or buy used clothing. Unlike going to an actual store, you are able to search up a specific brand, item, size, or price range and see all the results right on your screen. You might even be able to lower the price of an item by bargaining with the seller  to get the best deal possible. Although these advantages may seem very appealing don’t forget to take into consideration the price of shipping.


Ready To Thrift?


Thrifting is not only a hobby, but a skill that you get better at over time. These are some tips I’ve gathered from my experiences of thrifting to help you be successful the first time around.


Bring Earbuds


DO NOT leave your earbuds at home, they are essential. Not only does it make the experience so much more enjoyable, but it also puts you in a certain mood of creativity and inspiration. Thrifting can sometimes be a little boring if you aren’t finding anything that is sparking your interest, so by listening to your favorite songs it helps you become more motivated and makes thrifting a lot more fun.


Look In Both Genders


 Although it might depend on your style and what you’re looking for, don’t restrict yourself to looking in one gender. I always find the best graphic tees, hoodies, or sweatshirts from the mens section. And you never know, an item could’ve been misplaced in the wrong area, so it’s worth a try looking in both genders.


Look Though Everything


And I mean EVERYTHING. Yes, this may be time consuming and not the most exciting task, but you never know what you’re going to find or where they might be hiding. 


Choose The Location Wisely 


The location of a thrift store plays such a huge role in what you might find. Areas with a higher income and a wealthier community will more likely carry some more expensive or brand name pieces. The selection of items to choose from will be typically better, meaning you won’t have to search as hard to find something you may like.


Time And Day Matter


Try to go on the weekdays in the morning. Although this is basically impossible for those who have work or school during these hours, weekday mornings are when thrift stores are the least busy, meaning you have a larger selection to choose from and the first picks of the day.


Go Frequently


Thrift stores regularly add new items continuously due to all the donations or offers they recieve. If you didn’t have success one day, try again in a week or so. The products in the store will be updated and it would be a whole new experience.


Best Thrift Stores According To Students From DHS


Junior Juliana Raia- Savers 

“They are very consistent with pricing, and it feels like an actual thrift store instead of a vintage store that labels themselves as a thrift store. Every time I’ve been there I always find a good brand or style of jeans I’m looking for.” 


Senior Ryan Smith- Goodwill Westport

“Rich people donate a lot of good clothes at the Goodwill in Westport.”


Senior Sophie Howard- Darien Community Association Thrift Shop

“It’s much cheaper than Goodwill and it always has interesting things. Because they lack a corporate structure there are just things like, a hoop skirt for three bucks or an 80s prom dress. I love all the women there as well, they’re super sweet!”


Senior Natalie Palacios- Goodwill

“I mainly go to goodwill because I’m lazy and don’t want to drive, but I’m still able to find some good pieces.”


Now that you know all the benefits and tips and tricks of thrifting, why wouldn’t you want to go? Grab your wallet, earbuds, and maybe a friend and head to your nearest thrift store to join the wonderful thrifting community.