Ancitipate Your Fashion Needs: My thrifting golden rule

Thrifitng is a huge part of my life, so much so that I’ve even turned it into a business. I started thrifting in high school and often came home with vintage scarfs and shawls, much to my mother’s dismay. After I graduated college, I combed the thrift store to find wear-to-work pieces. Today I thrift just about everything, from home items to vintage dresses to jewelry. After over almost two decades of thrifting, I have discovered the golden rule of thrifting–to anticipate your fashion needs!

As a 90s nostalgia blogger, I thought this was an important topic to cover because many of us who love the 90s also want the clothes from the 90s hanging in our closet. However, thrifting can often be an overwhelming endeavor. Luckily, you have yours truly, a “professional” (whatever that means) thrifter by your side to help.

Know what you need from your wardrobe

Thrifting success boils down to this: Anticipate your needs.

The majority of those who get frustrated with thrifting are ones who head to the thrift store looking for something specific. This, my friends, will drive you crazy. Typically thrift stores aren’t organized by size, and even if they are, chances are items aren’t in the right place. This is just the nature of the beast.

To prevent thrifting headaches, be on the lookout for things you will need in the future. These items are pulled from broad categories of clothing like party dresses, wear to work, clutches, boots for winter.  This way you can buy styles you like and wear them further on down the line. Since the upfront investment is often minimal, you’re not really wasting money especially if you’re going to wear it a month or two from now.

How to figure out what your needs are

I know what some may be thinking, “How do I figure out what I need from my wardrobe?!” Great question. Here’s some quick ideas on how to get started.

Know what’s in your closet already

Let’s be real here, fast fashion and overconsumption lead the pack in factors contributing to climate collapse. While thrifting is a more ethical way to shop because the product already exists, it’s also important to not get into the mindset of accumulating for accumulations’ sake. So, with that being said, it’s important to assess what’s already in your closet.

Some people make lists of what they have. Others find Pinterest boards and photos helpful. However you visualize best, figure out what’s already there.

Think about what’s missing from your wardrobe

Once you know what you have, consider what you don’t have and want. Sure, some things you don’t actually want. Like, I don’t actually want that extra long tank top from Old Navy so I can layer to my y2K heart’s desire, but alas, I do need it. I digress, figure out what you want and need from your wardrobe. Again, lists could be helpful or a Pinterest board on your wardrobe goals. Make it easy to pull up while you’re out so you can remember easily.

Know your sizing and how clothes fit

One of the biggest hurdles many face while thrifting is just not knowing if something’s going to look good. Unlike traditional stores or online retailers, there’s usually not another size of an item at the thrift store. So, it pays to know what looks good on you.

Keep in mind that because of vanity sizing, most sizes today do not align with their 90s counterparts. In other words, a modern size large is likely to be a 90s size small or medium. This may mess with your mind at first, but as much as you can, don’t take it personally. The fashion industry is, well, fucked up.

Happy thrifting!

I hope you enjoyed these tips. Now get out there and thrift!

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