The Ultimate Guide to Thrifting

The title explains itself right?? I love thrift shopping, it's like the ultimate treasure hunt! Remembering back when I first started...

The title explains itself right?? I love thrift shopping, it's like the ultimate treasure hunt! Remembering back when I first started, I didn't have a clue on what to do. So for all my beginner thrifters out there, why not put something together to help you get started?

I rounded up a group of thrift-savvy people to help me put together this guide and I'm super excited for them to share their thrift tricks and tools of the trade with all of you. So let's meet our panel shall we?

In no particular order:
Joshua Cliatt (Cli-ay), 20 years old from Atlanta, GA IG: Sunbeam

 Alexis Hawkins, 19 years old, Duarte, Ca IG: sixelaafirecee

Tyveisha Hall, 20 years old Alabama IG: Tyesewcreative

Tatyana, 20 years old, IG: vougueshit & fashionphuckery

Now that we have our panel in order, let's get to the guide:

1. What is "thrifting?"
JC: Thrifting to me is like a illustrator sketching a masterpiece to glorify their talent. And that's why thrifting is to me it is my art, picking clothes that fit my personality; from neutral color shirts, to loud off the wall color pants, to crazy abstract patterns for buttons, to old vintage hats. I put those pieces together which creates me, whether I want to look comfortable-cozy but yet fashionable, or hippy, or gothic or grundge, to high-fashion. Thrifting is shopping for a bargain but showing society, "yes, this is who I am, I take risks, I'm a daredevil, you may think I'm tacky or trashy or just plain wtf, but I don't care what you think, I'm stylish and fabulous to me!"

AH: Thrifting is a treasure hunt, it’s a twist on the concept of one man’s trash is another mans treasure.

TYThrifting to me is shopping on a low budget for high quality and vintage clothing.

T: Thrifting is more than just going into your local thrift store and picking out what you think will be cute. Thrifting is an art. Thrifting is purchasing a piece of fashion history, being exposed to parts of fashion that may never be duplicated verbatim again. 

2. What is the difference between a thrift store, consignment store, and resale shop?
JC: .The differences between consignment stores, resale stores, and thrift shops is basically one out of three (thrift shops) are a non-profit organizations that just take clothing or home furniture donations and the money received goes to the stores charity. Now consignment stores are stores that buy from the owner and pay the owner a 60-90 percentage of the sell if sold and only accent Items on a consignment basis. Resale stores on the other hand are shops that but from the individual owner. 

AHA thrift store is a store that has clothing that has been donated by the public. A consignment shop is where people with higher priced or more valuable items go to sell their items through the help of an establishment and they get a percentage of what the piece sells for. A resale shop is a place where people take their clothing in hopes of selling it and getting a percentage of the price that establishment prices it at.

3. Would you rather go to a chain store like Good Will or Salvation Army, or local thrift shops?
TH: Personally I have received better deals from the Good Will than at the thrift store for instance, I have bought several shoes that was brand new from the Good Will that was donated to them by Target and Target has a great selecting of shoes! 

T I would rather go to my local consignment shop (Buffalo Exchange) over the Goodwills here because the clothing tend to be more stylish, up to date and the workers are actually hip to fashion. While the Goodwills here are a little bland and hard to find the funky stuff.

4. What are some tips for beginning thrifters?
AHGrab any and everything that catches your eye! No matter size or how crazy the print is. You may think oh NOO this is too crazy or no this wont fit, but to your surprise you may just like how vibrant the print is, or you may dig how loose or tight fitting the garment is. It’s all about being creative and finding one of a kind pieces.

THMake sure you have a creative mindset, patience and an idea of what you want before entering the store if not you'll leave out saying "EWWW I'll never wear anything the thrift store" and then your first experience of thrifting will be ruin.Examine all items carefully for stains. Its important to wash everything before wearing it, you never know who tried the items on before you bought it.

5. Anything we should look for in particular?
T: It all depends on your personal taste and figure. I love blazers, and cool colors and prints so that's the first thing I always run to.. And accessories! Consignment shops have the best accessories !

JC:  Yes and no, when you are going out thrifting you can sometimes have in mind what to get. But thrifting isn't like department store shopping like Forever21, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, or H & M. You have to just search and let the clothes speak to you. 

6. Ok, someone has tried thirfting numerous times and has always come up short. What advice can you give to a discouraged shopper?
TH: Try going to a different town to thrift because maybe its the location. I know from experience that bigger cities have a better variety of clothing, shoes and accessories.

JC:  My advice to that discourage shopper would be to be disappointed but don't give up. I've went to plenty of thrift shops and found nothing. But I'm still thrifting to this day, you just have to use the old dusty Internet, search on google and find other thrift shops in your area or close to you. And if that thrift shop is far, it's so worth it for the drive, cause you don't know if you're going to find that dope ass bomb-diggity outfit you always wanted to create! 

7. Are there any items that are a no-no when it comes to shopping at a thrift store? Some things that you just do not buy?
AHNot for me, buy any and everything that I like. Even bathing suits and maybe a bra, I take that back, I wouldn’t buy underwear from a thrift store that’s just unsanitary.

T:  Jean skirts, overly worn shoes, and undergarments.

8.What do you love most about thrifting?
JC:  I love the smell of thrifting, the oldness each piece of clothing has, the history of who's back wore that jean jacket or who's ass fat squeezed themselves in those acid-wash jeans.

AH: I love the hunt; it’s so thrilling and rewarding to know that I can come up on such fun unique and stylish pieces within a small budget. Its basically the best shopping alternative for a fashionista on a budget.

THI love when I leave the store that whatever I bought nobody else is going to have. You can reconstruct your new clothes into something that fits your style.

T: The contact change, the exclusivity and the prices !

Any final words?
TThrifting is what you make of it. Don't just do it for the trend, do it for the love of fashion.

JC:  Thrifting is the best, I hate department stores cause it stifles creativity ! Thrifting empowers the human to be and think on levels far beyond the minds of normals

THThrifting is a fun and inexpensive thing to do. Always make sure you scoring deals when making a purchase from the thrift store because some thrift stores will over price items. Search for brand names because thats where the deals are at and we all know high quality items last longer. To make sure you're not buying to much pointless stuff ask yourself, "Do I have similar pieces already?" "Is this something I'll actually wear or can I wear this immediately?".

There you have it folks, the ultimate guide to thrifting. I'd like to thank my wonderful panel for helping me put together this post. I had a lot of fun seeking their input. Be sure to check out all of the instagram pages and follow. I'd love to see how your thrifting adventure go! Email your stories at and don't forget photos. Who knows, you could be featured on Stylistic Aesthetics!

Until next time, HAPPY HUNTING!!

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  1. I friggin' love 'thrifting' so I was all over this post.
    I find the smell of larger chain thrift stores nauseating so I tend to visit the gem stores in smaller areas as they have some brilliant pieces. I'm glad I live in quite an old village anyway so there are lots of those around

    Thanks for sharing


  2. I love the blog. I am definitely feeling a lot more excited about embarking on my thrifting journey. Thanks so much.

  3. Thrifting has been something that I really want to get more into but I had no idea where to begin, what constituted as thrifting etc, but low and behold here goes a guide and from the perspective of more than one person! I dig this, it's dope and it's really helpful. Thanks alot Danielle :)

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