One of the biggest dangers of thrifting is a feeding frenzy, in which you are the shark and threadcrumbs are the chum. Here’s what happens. You go in the store and take a nibble at scarf here, a taste of a shirt there, and then BAM! You love EVERYTHING. Suddenly your cart is piled high with all sorts of AMAZING items you just CAN’T live without!! You wonder why no one else is realizing how many gems there are to be had, but are secretly glad because it means more for you! You just can’t believe how lucky you have been while thrifting!!!
And then you get home and wonder how you ended up with a moonrock necklace, a broken watch, a pair of knit tube socks, some bowling shoes, and one hundred less dollars in your pocket.
Alas, feeding frenzies are all too common in the threadcrumbs realm, and if this has happened to you, you know it can put a real damper on your thrifting enthusiasm. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid the feeding frenzy and come out of a thrift store looking like that Macklemore song.
Behold, the 5 rules of threadcrumbing:
This rule is a biggie, and the best place to start. There are millions of threadcrumbs to be had, but you will be most satisfied sticking to the items you will actually use. Always wear flats? Probably don’t need a pair of vintage pumps. Always wear neutrals? That neon seventies jumpsuit will probably end up buried in your closet. Before you shop, hop on a sight like Pinterest and see what trends stand out to you. Look in your closet and take note of the items you feel the best in. Understanding your personal style will allow you to enjoy all of the fun threadcrumbs out in the world, but end up with the ones best suited for you.
Any threadcrumb expert will tell you that setting a budget is one of the best tools you can have in your thrifting arsenal. Having a set amount you are willing to spend forces you to really step back and ask, “Are these items worth it?” Take cash so that you really stick to it. Starting your trip with a concrete budget forces you to really look at each item individually and decide if it is worthy of joining your wardrobe. Whether its ten dollars or a thousand, set a price and stick to it.
Try it on, try it on, try it on. In the world of threadcrumbs sizes are SO relative. A 6 in the fifties is not a 6 in the eighties is not a 6 today. There is no real way to determine if something fits you well unless you put it on your body and look in a mirror (bonus points if you have a friend with you for feedback!). Shop the entire store, smalls to larges, and let the try-on make the cut. The fitting room is where dark horses rise and favorites fall by the wayside.
Alright, I’m going to be honest with you. There’s a lot of crap in thrift stores. I love them, but there’s no way around it. Some stuff is just straight garbage. You do not need last season’s Forever21 tank top. You are not going to fix the unicorn coffee mug with no handle. Leave them be. Instead, seek out items made with quality fabrics from brands intended to last more than one season. Older clothes are usually better made and withstand time better than more modern clothes. Remember, you are thrifting for a bargain on quality items, not to purchase the clearance rack from Target.
If you fall for an item and can’t imagine leaving the store without it, ignore all other rules and snatch it up! Buy it, wear it, rock it. ‘Nuff said.