Hanger Management

Thrifting tips and tricks for the average shopper

Grace Logan

Thrift shopping has risen in popularity. I, like many others, quickly began participating in this “trend” in order to find a more economical alternative to purchasing from name brands. My obsession with bargain hunting has begun to border on unhealthy. With this in mind I was hoping to give some advice to those who are thinking about shopping second-hand. 



Where to Thrift: 

When thrifting, it is extremely important that you know the location you are hoping to visit. Consider the surrounding homes and their annual income. If you happen to be looking for designer items, try visiting a more high income area. There is a greater chance of finding name-brands, but this trick isn’t always effective. From personal experience I have been able to find lovely items without having to travel out of my local area. 

If you are looking to find an item that has an even greater discount, sale days are also important to note. Some local thrift stores, such as My Best Friend’s Closet, have certain tag colors on sale for a whole month. During the transition between summer and winter, most stores will also discount items to make room for new stock. Though this clothing isn’t appropriate for the upcoming temperatures, I have found some of my favorite pieces buying between the seasons.


Examine your Closet: 

If you have an extremely tiny closet, like myself, but still want to experience the excitement and confidence of having new clothes to wear, try using the “one in one out” method. It is fairly self-explanatory; for every new item you buy, donate one item from your closet. 

Something I constantly struggle with is finding outfits that are trendy, but also unique to me. If you also have trouble with this, don’t hesitate to browse online and find outfits you love. Pinterest is the perfect place to start your journey, especially if you’re looking to find a specific aesthetic. 

Before leaving, take note of what items you would like to add to your wardrobe. This is a way to avoid overspending and can minimize the time spent browsing aisles if you are in a rush. 

Shopping Bag: 

I would recommend taking reusable shopping bags to avoid relying on single-use plastic bags. Plastic bags are non-biodegradable, manufactured through crude oil and natural gas and require large amounts of fossil fuels to ship. Using a reusable bag can reduce the waste of non-renewable resources and the amount of pollution. I’m sure the majority of the student body has seen plastic bags gracefully floating through the wind. Though I make lighthearted remarks, waste like plastic bags can be extremely dangerous to the environment.

At the Store: 

Too Many Items? 

I’m sure the majority of shoppers already do this however, something I often do when I have too many items picked out is separating them into three distinct piles – “No,” “Maybe” and “Yes.”  


Take Your Time:

It is important to take your time in thrift stores. Spend time combing through each aisle and find something that brings you happiness. You may not find what you are looking for on a trip and that’s okay. You may find a diamond in the rough that will be perfect for your collection. 


E-commerce or “Pickers” on-site:

If you are looking for good quality items, I would recommend avoiding thrift stores

with e-commerce or “pickers” on-site. These stores are typically franchises. After receiving a large amount of donations, they have employees find quality items to sell online, then place the remaining clothing in the store. Not all franchises have “pickers” on-site, so it is important to research the store you plan on visiting beforehand. 


Thrifting Online: 

I would avoid shopping for clothes online all together. Clothing sizes aren’t always consistent. Unless you know your specific measurements, shopping online adds a considerable risk to purchasing clothing. You have no idea what the quality of your clothes will be and how they will fit. Payment security isn’t always insured and delivery can take a very long time as I’m sure we have all waited weeks for a package one time or another. Instead of buying through a large corporation, such as Amazon, go visit a local business.