6 Tips to Help You Master the Art of Thrift Shopping

6 Tips to Help You Master the Art of Thrift Shopping


To say that living in New York is expensive is a grave understatement; rent and the cost of food alone can leave a person near broke at the end of the month. Still, most New Yorkers consider style and originality in fashion to be very important.


How do you keep up with cutting edge fashion trends and street styles without going broke? The answer: thrift shopping. New York may be full of designer and brand names stores, but it is also home to hundreds of opportunities to create a unique look on a budget. Thrift shopping saves you money, and you can find stylish designs that no one else is wearing.


Walking into a previously-loved clothing store can be quite overwhelming and oftentimes discouraging. However, there is an art to thrifting, and following some of these tips can help you be a thrift shopping pro in no time.


1. Shop with an open mind. Second-hand stores are full of funky and exotic clothing, so do not be afraid to try something on. You may find something you did not expect to look good end up being the perfect fit. Bottom line, if something interests you do not hesitate to try it on!

Thrift box


2. You will have to dig. The amount of clothing on the racks is often enough to make you give up, but do not become discouraged. Woven within those many  dresses, and pants are some amazing styles that can only be found if you take the time to look thoroughly.


3. Go with a set amount of money in mind. This is an important tip for anyone who is shopping on a budget. When thrifting you can find a multitude of great clothing articles, but they can add up. This also helps you to choose what you buy carefully and keeps you from buying something you may not really wear that often.


4. Go for something unique. One of the greatest things about thrifting is the amount of unique clothing you can find. Take advantage of the fact that no one else will be wearing what you find, and go for something bold to make your style all your own.


5. Watch out for stains and rips. One of the main reasons people give their clothes to thrift stores is because there is something wrong with the piece. Always remember to check for those stains and rips you might not see at first glance. That being said, clothing that is ripped and stained are perfect for some DIY grunge fashion.


Thrifting with Friend

Thrifting with a friend can make the experience more fun and less overwhelming.


6. Go with an experienced thrifter. This may sound silly, but going with someone who knows how to thrift can an integral part of the thrifting experience. They know what to look for and will be there to encourage you to try on the things you never thought to. Just having someone to shop can make the experience that much more enjoyable.



These rules and tips can be applied to thrift stores anywhere, but New York City has dozens of thrift and consignment stores, many of them located very close to one another. A few of my favorites located around Union Square/East Village include: No Relation, Buffalo Exchange, and Goodwill. Happy thrifting!



What are some of your best thrifted finds? Comment below or send me a pic of your thrift store finds to @whatsthesich on Twitter!

Carolyn Ambrosich

Carolyn Ambrosich attends Fordham University in New York City, where she is majoring in psychology and is a member of the rugby team. She was born in Texas, but raised in Colorado and Maryland. Carolyn suffers from wanderlust and is always looking for adventure. She loves cats, meeting new people, music, and relaxing with friends. Follow her on Twitter @whatsthesich

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