Thrifting 101

Author: Jayla Burton, Fall 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Intern

Thrift stores have always been around, but thrift shopping has recently begun to pick up popularity over these past couple of years. There are many ethical, financial, and environmental benefits to thrift, but the idea of doing so can seem daunting at first. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to make thrifting seem more reasonable for you!

Have a plan, but be ready to go with the flow

It’s important to have some idea of what you want before you begin shopping. Pinterest is a good website to use to figure out what pieces of clothing you’re looking to add to your wardrobe. Plenty of YouTubers post videos doing

hauls of what they find at their local thrift shops. These videos can be very helpful in trying to see what articles of clothing you could be looking for when it’s time for you to go thrift shopping yourself. There are also plenty of fashion accounts on social media sites such as Instagram with “Outfit Inspirations” that can get ideas from.

It’s great to come in with an idea of what you want, but don’t limit yourself either. If you normally shop in the women’s section, don’t be afraid to switch it up and shop in the men’s section as well. If you came in looking for a new denim jacket, don’t be discouraged if you can’t find the one you want. Look at all the other coats that are available, and maybe you’ll leave with something better than what you were originally looking for!

Remember that everything can be modified.

If you don’t find something in your size or find a piece of clothing with beautiful fabric, but it doesn’t seem as though it’ll fit you, don’t be afraid to modify it! You can cut fabrics or sew things together. Even if you have no idea how to use a sewing machine or don’t have access to one, there are still some alternatives. There are plenty of tips online for things like how to tailor a pair of jeans to fit your body more comfortably or cutting a top into a cute crop top to get the look you’re going for.

Fashion is meant to be catered to you, so don’t be afraid to switch things up and modify pieces the way you see fit!

Bring a friend!

It’s fun to thrift with a friend! Your friends might see something that you miss, or you might be able to find something that looks good on them. It’s great to go with a friend because it’s always best to have a second set of eyes scouting out things you would normally look over. They can give ideas on how to spruce things up and make it work for you and vice versa.

Go during the week

Everyone loves to go shopping on the weekends, so it’s harder to find nice items when the stores are packed. Try shopping on weekdays to avoid the crowds and have a better chance at finding what you’re looking for.

If you really want to get into it, you can consider asking the thrift store employees which day of the week they put out their new items and shop on those days. Thrift shopping is all about strategy, which is one of the best ways to go about it.

Don’t look in the same place.

If possible, try to go to a different thrift shop whenever you can. If you routinely go to the same store, it might be harder for you to find new things. Try to go to a different thrift store in another city or one outside of your neighborhood to switch it up every once in a while.

Thrift Online

If you don’t want to shop in the stores, especially in the world of COVID, online thrifting is also an option. Online second-hand shopping is also good if you’re looking for specific articles of clothing since you can just type what you need into a search bar.

Websites such as threadUP, Depop, and Etsy are some great online stores, just to name a few. You can even sell some of your clothing on these websites and make some extra money on the side as well!


It can be pretty discouraging to go thrift shopping and feel as though you can’t find anything you’re looking for. Thrifting has many benefits, but it can be pretty intimidating if it’s something you’re new to. These tips should help make your shopping experience much easier!