Can You Dig It?
By Laura Lee Jones / Red Dirt Couture
It was late summer right before I began gearing up for my senior year of high school when a girl from my youth group at church called me up and invited me to go to Six Flags with her. We weren’t great friends, more like acquaintances, so I was a little worried that we wouldn’t have a good time. Being the roller coaster enthusiast that I am, and unable to say no to what appeared to be an attempt at new friendship, I happily agreed to go. I inquired if she liked roller coasters, too, and she replied, “Yes! I love roller coasters!” I was certain that our mutual love for coasters would make for a pleasant afternoon.
Much to my surprise, she revealed once we parked and purchased our tickets that she didn’t like roller coasters that went backwards…..or that you had to stand up on….or that went upside down….or the kind that had hills.
She did not like roller coasters. She liked kiddie rides.
This is the main reason I don’t usually agree to go thrift store shopping with people.
I have discovered that most people don’t really like down and dirty thrift store shopping. They enjoy carefully curated vintagey shops and upscale thrift stores. There is a difference. While I like those kind of stores, too, what really gets my heart pumping is a messy, disorganized, cheap thrift store. Those are the places where treasures have to be dug out to be discovered.
Thrifting is definitely the most eco-friendly, and usually most frugal way to shop for “new” clothes. It can be a fun and exciting experience, and you can score some great clothes if you go in with the right mindset!
Here are a few tips and tricks to prepare you for some serious thrift store shopping.
• Set a budget before out go so that you don’t end up spending more than should.
• Bring cash because a lot of thrift stores don’t take credit cards.
• Bring friends who can help you keep perspective on a good find… sometimes we think something looks cool only because we’re in a hip thrift shop.
• Bring a reusable bag. Most thrift stores still hand out plastic bags at the counter.
• Leave the kids at home because thrifting can be a long process and kiddos get bored.
• Wear shorts or leggings and a t-shirt so that you can try on clothes even if there isn’t a dressing room available.
Be willing to look, for a long time, through a lot of stuff. Thrift stores have great finds, but great finds mean diligent hunting.
• Think creatively because everything can be altered, layered, or turned into and entirely different piece of fabulous clothing.
• Keep personal style in mind since it’s easy to forget what you’ll actually wear and get excited about something that seems cool on the rack, but isn’t when you get it home.
• Look for brand names as these are items that are usually high quality and made to last.
• Get it tailored if it doesn’t fit just right. Tailoring can be very inexpensive for basic fitting, and you’ll still be spending a fraction of what you would on a new item of clothing that may still have to get tailored.
• Reconstruct your new clothes into something even newer. Hellllooooo Pinterest! Turn a vintage collared shirt into something snazzier, or a pair of jeans into a skirt. If you bought something that just doesn’t work, make it into something else.