I never went thrift shoppeingbefore I started my capsule wardrobe. Not only did it seem overwhelming (where to start?!) but it also just didn’t jive with the way I shopped – impulsively. Shopping was something I did when I needed something specific – crap I have an interview on Tuesday and my slacks are too short! – or when I was bored. It was rushed and the clean retailers were just more appealing. However, last summer I finally wandered into Buffalo Exchange, exactly two blocks from my office, and was pleasantly surprised.
Now, I’m still no thrift shopping expert, but some of my favorite finds have been second hand: black Madewell skinny jeans, a soft grey dress, a pretty silk scarf. Other items are ones I would hesitate to pay full price for, but second hand, they were accessible, like my Citizens of Humanity jeans and Dooney & Bourke purse, both found for less than $30. I still don’t thrift shop often, though I wish I did it more, and I don’t know all the best tricks, but I do know the benefits of it. If you’re still unsure, allow me to convince you.
5 Reasons You Should Start Thrift Shopping
1. To save money.
One of the most obvious benefits of shopping second hand is finding brand name or other high quality items for less money than you’d pay full price.
2. To add variety to your wardrobe.
Shopping at the same old retailers over and over means a pretty consistent wardrobe. That’s not bad, but mixing in new and different brands gives your closet more variety and flexibility. Thrift shopping gives you the opportunity to find those fun and interesting pieces.
3. To decrease clothing waste sent to landfills.
If thrift store items aren’t purchased, they might be donated, but eventually they’ll wind up in a landfill. Why not give that item a second life in your closet?
4. To decrease demand for apparel production.
Vote with your dollar, right? By choosing second hand over new, that is one less item that is consumed at a traditional retailer. Over time, if more people purchased more items second hand, this would decrease the demand for production of new goods. Fewer new goods produced means less strain on the environment, and a decrease of our consumer culture.
5. You might surprise yourself.
If you go in with an open mind, and try on anything that sparks interest, you may discover pieces you never would have imagined wearing. Search through all the sizes, try on new and different shapes and fabrics. You may surprise yourself, and find your next favorite item – something you never would have discovered at Target.
What have been your best thrift shopping scores?