Whenever I need to buy something, I always start at a thrift store (you can see which one is my favorite in my Love the Local List post).
While it's extremely important that we support amazing ethical companies that are challenging the industry of fast fashion and over-consumption, shopping second-hand is usually easier on my wallet and keeps cast-offs out of landfills for longer.
It's not exactly easy, though. Second-hand stores are organized differently than typical clothing shops, and there are a lot of things to look for. So I've chosen to share a few tips I've learned that make it a little easier for me.
1 // Come Prepared
Thrift stores can be a little overwhelming. The prices are amazing, and often the racks are separated by size and type only, so it's a lot to sift through.
So my first rule before heading out (and this goes for any type of shopping, really) is to know what I'm looking for. If you're employing a capsule wardrobe, this practice is a no-brainer, since the main practice of a capsule is to eliminate items that don't fit with your style and only add pieces that fill the gaps you already have in your wardrobe.
Either way, you can work out which specific items you'd really like to fill your wardrobe out (a pair of black skinnies, a chambray button-up, etc.), and that list is valuable in keeping your focus in a whirlwind of amazing deals.
Get your list, find the pieces you can, and don't deviate too much. That way you won't end up with a bunch of things you didn't mean to buy. If you can't find it second-hand, you can always buy it new.
2 // Clothing Swaps
One of my favorite ways to freshen my wardrobe without spending money is to attend a clothing swap. A group of friends gets together, everyone brings their gently used clothes they don't wear anymore, and you swap!
You'd be surprised what you can get at a swap, and whatever is left over can be donated to charity.
No swaps in your area? Host one!
3 // Second-hand Apps
Sometimes you just can't find something locally. That's where the internet comes in.
They make it so easy to sell, prepping labels for you with a weight range so you don't have to weigh your packages before sending. Also, I spent exactly no dollars on shipping materials - I just used the free boxes at the post office.
On the buying side, the sorting options are top notch, allowing you to narrow your searches by brand, type, size, color, and even hashtag. And if you don't have a smartphone, then 1) You probably have a better attention span than me and 2) You can just use their website. Some other great apps to check out are Depop and OfferUp.
One final tip: keep it light, keep it fun. Thrifting is an opportunity to get creative, so if you do see something spectacular that you want to experiment with, why not?