Savings aside, there’s just something so exhilarating about thrift shopping. Finding that “fits like a glove” vintage dress which no one else at the party will have, or the exact blouse that sold out months ago at the mall, thrift shops hold countless opportunities to save money and score major style. Lately I've been finding really current pieces hiding amongst the racks of Savers. See the sweater in the pic above? This practically brand new Topshop sweater was only $6!

Finding the Right Place:

Since thrifting is about 80% luck of the draw, finding the right location is vital. A quick Google search can help you uncover some local spots, but don’t stop there. Savers and Goodwill can be great places to start but consider some smaller off-the-radar shops like nonprofit thrift shops run by churches or different charities. 

If you can, find a thrift shop that functions as a buy/sell clothing exchange. Buffalo Exchange is a great one. Since these stores aren’t donation-based their merchandise is typically of an overall better quality. It may be a little pricier but it’s still cheap and you can bring a load of clothes to sell for store credit to get the price down.

Most importantly, don’t judge a thrift shop too quickly. None of them look like much at first glance but some of the most rundown thrift shops house the greatest treasures. You just have to search. (Did I mention? Patience is KEY.) 

What to Look For:

The whole fun of thrifting is the fact that you can stumble across just about anything. However there are some particular items that thrift shopping is especially great for. Take denim, for instance. Denim seems to be one of those magical fabrics that only gets better with time. You really can’t replicate the cozy worn in vibe of a Levi’s denim jacket or the perfect naturally distressed pair of boyfriend jeans, although brands nowadays sure do try. Also, if you buy your jeans at the thrift shop you never have to wonder how they’ll fit once you take them home and wash them. What you see is what you get.

Leathers are also great pieces to thrift for. Most thrift shops are filled with vintage leather skirts, moto jackets, and purses galore. They won’t cost you a fortune and nice leathers should also wear well with time. Even if the leather you find isn’t in the greatest condition, a quick leather conditioner or shine will usually bring it right back to life in no time.

Expert Tips:

Do some research. Brush up on your knowledge of fabrics and begin to pay attention to the construction of certain garments. Not only can this help you to date vintage pieces back to a certain era, but it will also help you steer clear of knockoffs when buying designer goods secondhand. Here are some tell-tale signs of quality:

-Metal (usually YKK) zipper

-Clean but intricate stitching and straight seams

-Fabric (Is it 100%? What does it feel like to the touch? Is it thick?)

-Patterns aligned at seams

-Silk lining

-Details, details, details!

What's your favorite thrift shop find? Comment below or tweet me @avestyles! Photos by Rennai Hoefer