Guide to Get Thrifty

Thrift shopping

I found some of my most satisfying shopping experiences are browsing through dozens of used clothes, and showing up at a fashion week wearing less than a dollar worth of sweater turns out to be one of the things I’m proud about.

To that readers, I’ll introduce you to the joy of thrift shopping…

Thrift shopping can be so convenient yet so inconvenient. From a few years of going back and forth the thrift shop markets, i’ll break down these 8 tips to get the most of your thrift shopping experience. For those who might be having just a slightest will to get started, this is for you…

1. DRESS FOR THE ‘OCCASION’
Most of the times, you can’t expect comfortable air-conditioned and nicely-scented thrift shops. It’s most likely to be the exact opposite of it. So, wear something extremely comfortable and you should survive. Also, don’t forget to bring a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated because thrift stores can feel like a sauna at times. But, oh all the calories you could burn by walking, digging piles of clothes and sweating. Just think of this as a plus side. I always do.

2. BRING CASH
As far as i know, thrift stores don’t provide you to shop with cards. So i suggest to bring your cash and just the exact amount you want to spend. At the thrift store, you don’t know for sure what you’ll going to get at what price. I usually find it helpful to plan my shopping based on an amount of money instead how many items i want to get. But just a little heads up, you can get more than three times as much items as you would normally get at the same budget. You’re welcome.

3. PLAN AHEAD
Seeing an overflowing amount of clothes with unbelievably low  price can be so overwhelming. So it’s best to already have in mind what would you like to buy, and plan yourself around it. But…

4. KEEP YOU EYES OPEN
One of the perks of thrift shopping is, there will be unexpected amount of unique items that you might not find in any other stores. Most of the times, items like these will be hiding at the bottom of the pile, and it’s your luck if you find one. Even though you might not have any idea on how to wear it yet, it might be a great investment for your closet. For all the fashion stylists of the future, it’s your chance to sharpen your originality and be creative!

5. IT’S GOOD TO BE SUSPICIOUS
In terms of thrift shopping, never, EVER trust a piece at the first sight. You must check the condition of every items really closely. The fabric, the stitches, the seam, everything. You’ll also want to check for some sneaky little holes or mysterious stains. If it was damaged, you have to make sure that you can fix it or re-purpose it before you decide to purchase it. If not, no matter how tempting the piece really seems, just get over it. There’s no point of buying things that will only end up in the darkest corner of your closet.

6. DON’T THINK TOO MUCH
Yep that’s right! If you find something you like, and then leave it, next time you come back it will most likely be gone… The competition in thrift shops can be intense like that. So as long as you’re still on the budget, grab everything fast!

7. BARGAIN
I don’t really know how it works in other places, but we’re allowed to bargain like crazy where i usually shop. It’s because their suppliers sell the clothes per sack. It means that the clothes original worth are almost nothing. Bargaining does require some skill, but nothing you can master after two to three times shopping. And aside from making the whole shopping experiences much more fun, being friendly with the shop keepers usually helps too.

8. HANDLE WITH CARE
The thing is dear, that one blazer you’ve happily brought home, you never really know where it’s been. You also don’t know how the previous owner treated it. So for the sake of your health, you might as well be cautious. If it’s possible, i usually wash those thrift clothes with hot boiling water, and some extra antiseptic before i continue washing them regularly. And trust me, you don’t want to skip this step.

And here are some of my favorite places to shop :

1. Pasar Senen, Jakarta
2. Pasar Gedebage, Bandung

That’s all from me! Happy thrift shopping, and may you find the hidden vintage Dior blazer/perfect chunky sweater/leather jacket you’ve always wanted for less than a dollar.

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11 thoughts on “Guide to Get Thrifty

    • Well yes, the currency indeed makes it impossible but funny enough, i’d trade all my thrift shop finds in order to be able to visit London even just for once :p Visiting will be a great idea! Especially if you fancy sun. Much more sun than you can handle :)

      cheers!

    • Yes! Don’t you just feel accomplished when you find something really good in thrift shop? It’s because it feels like we did all the work! No one selected some certain pieces and labels them “latest trends” or displaying it to gives us ideas on how to put them in an outfit like when we’re shopping on the branded stores

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