7 Easy Tips to Master the Art of Thrifting

Updated: Jun 16

I believe thrifting as a whole is the easiest avenue to not only fighting much of the deterioration of the Earth due to capitalism, but also a way to bring more accessibility and creativity to fashion and personal style. It is what can convince girls to build and curate their own personal style versus shopping the "trends," which is what has us chained to the "need" for fast fashion. The more we cultivate own personal style, the less many of us would feel the need to support and rely on fast fashion companies to make us feel validated in our fashion choices. The art of thrifting requires some time, but it doesn't have to be difficult! Using the creative ideas of our predecessors, building an idea of our own sense of style, and using the knowledge and resources of thrifters around us, makes it easy to master the art of thrifting.

1. Shop Your Wardrobe: Restyle What You Already Have

Many people think that "new" is what's in and often times that is not the case. Fashion recycles so often. Use your favorite items or classic pieces to make new outfits. Try on a shirt backwards. Switch up all the accessories. Cut or tailor something that doesn't quite fit anymore or that needs a new look. There are so many ways to use what you already have in new ways. Try new things. Reimagine your own closet.

Thrift infographic: Giving 1 item second life, reduces its CO2 impact by 79 percent

2. Shop Your Friends/Family Closets

This was especially easy when I lived with my family. Pieces from your parents are always cool. Often times they can tell their own stories. Ask your family/friends for their donation piles. Reuse pieces that they've outgrown or have worn many times. My friends and I swap clothes all the time, especially night life outfits. Borrow that dress. Ask for that jumpsuit. Trading and sharing clothes with the people closest to you usually eliminates the uneasy feeling some get with wearing clothes from strangers. These are the people you know. The people closest to you. You know their hygiene. You know their style. Share some pieces and see how you can make them your own. Some of my favorite pieces are shirts from my younger brothers and the vintage vests and dresses I have gotten from my mom and dad.

3. Develop your own sense of style.

Don't think about what's "trendy." What colors make you feel the most free? What textures does your skin like? How do you like your clothes to fit? Eliminating the idea of "what's in" makes it easier to wear what you like and what is comfortable to you. It also makes it much easier to shop! You already know what looks good on your body, what general sizes you like to wear.

What do YOU like? What colors, styles, aesthetics, make you feel the most confident and at home? You don't always have to shop the trends to feel good in the style choices you make.

4. Research and try out different places.

Thrifting always brings about Goodwill and there are so many thrift and consignment stores that exist outside of that in almost every city. Look up church and private thrift stores. Look up popular consignment and vintage shops. I promise they are there. Flea markets are also a great place to find preloved clothes and very unique pieces. Some of my favorite secondhand stores that exist outside of Goodwill are Plato's Closet, Salvation Army, and Value Village (Savers). There are many locations and since these places aren't generally as popular as Goodwill, they tend to have a lot of gems.

5. Follow the girls who are doing it for you.

There are so many thrift blogs and pages that exist outside of the regular thrift find shops. Many people resell online and I have found some of my favorite items from these people. Search ebay, blogs, and Instagram pages that make it their job to find amazing clothes and resell them for much cheaper than traditional retail and even the low priced fast fashion companies. Plus, with the growing popularity of sustainable fashion and preloved clothing, there are many places to shop online for these items. Sites like Poshmark, Etsy, Depop, TheRealReal, and Curtsy make shopping sustainably as easy as shopping fast fashion.

6. Rework/ Upcycle What You Own To Create New Pieces

Need alterations? Find a seamstress! I know the craft seems dead, but there are still so many small shops that would love your business. Check em out! Many are able to help you recreate or rework something that you already own. I recently when to an alteration shop to turn a one piece jumpsuit I own into a cute and new two piece set that is so with the times. There are also many adjustments that are really easy to create yourself. Crop your oversized tshirts or shirts with stains at the bottom. Cut those jeans that are a little flooded into some cute shorts. There are also so many hacks for recreating new pieces using simple items like shoe strings and hair ties. Once you start becoming more creative with your clothes, its easy to start altering things yourself. Here are a lot of hacks to try on some clothes you may have thought about donating or getting rid of.

7. Let Go of Convenience

Fast fashion has led us to believe that to be stylish and confident in your wardrobe means you have to be constantly buying new, let me tell you that is not true! So many designers and seamstresses exist outside of the realm of fast fashion that can curate cool new outfits for you or are making clothes that are sustainable and not exploiting other humans. I will say, these garments tend to be more expensive, but when you're paying for quality and humanity can you really care? Find designers who are sourcing and making their own clothes and brands that have what you are looking for. Remember removing yourself from fast fashion does not mean you can never purchase anything new...It's just the practice of being more conscious of the longevity and the intention that is put into every garment that you wear.

I know that was a lot and if you are new to trying to build a more sustainable wardrobe, it can seem overwhelming. However, what I've learned through my journey is that it does not happen overnight. Start small. Start by thinking more consciously when you shop. Start by downsizing and rewearing what you already have. It is the small changes in your habits that yield great results. You can start recreating your world with just one baby step and that step is going to feel so grand when you actually do it.


I have borrowed and thrifted clothing for galas, weddings, networking events. Now that I've been doing it awhile it's much easier to find what I'm looking for sustainably or rework what I have. How do you shop sustainably? Who are some resellers and thrift enthusiasts you already know? Building community in this space is what is going to help all of us grow and make better decisions for ourselves and our planet.

Happy learning and growing!


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