A beginner’s guide to thrifting


I was able to buy all of these for $18.50, seven items for under $20. Photo credit: Carly Plemons

It’s hard to balance a budget and the desire to shop as a college student. Something many fail to realize is that finding trending clothing styles at the right price is easier than it seems when you know where and how to shop.

Thrift shopping is the easiest way to hunt for things you just can’t find at the mall. However, the key factor here, in order to find something good, is you have to literally hunt for it.

Rows and racks of clothing aren’t organized by fashion trends like Forever 21 is, so a little digging may be in order to find what you’re looking for.

Rows of on-sale clothing at the Salvation Army. Photo credit: Carly Plemons

Here are a few tricks that might be helpful throughout this journey:

· Know when and where the deals are. A lot of stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army have special days throughout the month where certain price tags are on sale or even the whole store is 50 percent off. Goodwill, for example, has 50 percent off a colored tag every Sunday.

· Sometimes it’s a hit or miss when shopping. Don’t be discouraged if you end up leaving empty-handed from a store. There is always new stuff circling throughout the month.

· Have an open mind. A lot of times that old band T-shirt or pair of mom jeans can be cut and distressed with a little imagination and some scissors. Don’t be scared of something that is a fixer-upper. You never know how something will look on you until you try it on. Plus if you screw it up somehow you only spent a couple bucks on it.

· Have an idea of what you’re looking for. It can be overwhelming when you are looking through an incredibly unorganized store when there isn’t anything specific in your sights.

· Go to different stores. Every store has diverse merchandise and varying prices or sales; so go to a few different stores to see what you can find.

Carly Plemons can be reached at [email protected] or @plemnz on Twitter.