Morgan LeCroy, hobbyist/curator of Dime Store Treasures on Instagram, a San Antonio gal who loves to help others see the beauty in thrifted goods that just need a new home and deserve a lot more love!
“If I can fall in love with secondhand shopping, so can you!”
The most common phrase I hear when telling people I’ve thrifted most of my wardrobe is, “woah I could never thrift clothes like that, it’s always so hard for me!” I love a good thrift, but I think what I love more is helping others see that they can fall in love with this way of shopping as well! I think this belief comes from a bigger belief for me. I love the idea that anything old can be made new! I love that thrifting allows people to find treasures that they can give a second or third life. Truly nothing excites me more! With that said, thrifting doesn’t just have to be for a select few. I think a world where most people shop secondhand would be a beautiful, creative, and super fun place to be! My hope is that these next few words of wisdom would be an easy guide on how to thrift when starting out! Let’s get into it, shall we!?
So, how and why should we thrift? What are the best steps for newbies who have no idea how to enter the thrifting world? What about for people who try to thrift but need practical tools to get better at this hobby? Here are my personal whys and how tos as a new thrifter entering the big world of secondhand! Spoiler alert… It’s much easier than you think, and it’s way too fun! So how did I start?
Educate yourself on why secondhand shopping matters
I think if I could tell my younger thrift self one thing I would’ve educated myself on my why! TBH, I really liked thrifting!! I was so bought in when it came to finding cool pieces, scoring vintage tops, and enjoyed spending my time building a unique wardrobe. I was having a blast, BUT I didn’t truly fall in love with this hobby until I had a good WHY. The more you dabble in the thrift world, the more you will slowly uncover. I started to follow more thrift influencers on instagram, eating up informative articles, and started having conversations with friends about secondhand shopping! There are many tools and resources to educate yourself on the world of secondhand and how unintentional consumerism can lead to a lot of issues we hope to stay away from! Once I started to educate myself I found a new love for this crazy hobby! I started to feel differently not only about the clothes I was wearing, but other things in my home as well. Sustainable and slow fashion opened the floodgates to a much bigger concept. The idea and practices of slow and ethical living forced me to stop and think about each of my purchases and the why and where behind them! Being a mindful shopper is the sexiest shopper IMO. ;)
So buy that book, watch that doc series, and/or just simply start asking harder questions about the clothes you buy. If you start to do this, I promise you will find yourself in a space that you will love and respect! You will probably influence several people along the way and slowly your life and what you buy will begin to look different in the absolute best way!
MAKE AN INSPO BOARD
Okay, so you’ve started the research on why shopping secondhand is best and you are totally bought in, but you don’t know what to do next! You might find yourself thrifting often and never finding anything you truly love. Thrift fatigue is real and you might be getting it from the amount of clothes you have to filter through. Honestly, you are not alone in any of this! The variety of clothes on all of these thrift racks is crazy, but if you have a good tool to use, it can go from being intimidating to a creative person's DREAM!
Something that has been instrumental in building my wardrobe with secondhand pieces has been crafting a Pinterest board of inspo pics. All you have to do is make a Pinterest board of outfits, styles, fabrics, and/or colors you’ve been loving lately. This will make it easy to refer back to your inspo when you go out thrifting! This will really eliminate that ‘thrift fatigue’ and you won’t have to look through every single piece. Now with this life hack, you will be able to glance at each rack and easily pick out those pieces you’ve already had in mind! With this tool, you are on your way to your best thrifting life!
BE CREATIVE AND LEAN INTO IT
As fun and helpful as it is to make a Pinterest board, the clothes you find will probably be a little bit different than the pics you saved! This is where leaning into your creativity and being open-minded is super important. On the best days, you will find that Free People dress or top that is currently being sold in stores, and it will feel like you won one million dollars. These are some of my fav moments while thrifting, but most of the time it looks a bit different! Your Pinterest board is like your rough draft, but you get to finalize the look and the style you want. Lean into your creative edge and come up with a similar look as your Pinterest style icon, but make it your own!
This is where it gets super fun and you really start crafting your personal style! This mindset will also help when you aren’t shopping secondhand. Personally, I've noticed that I'm not as swayed by trends or fast fashion because through my thrifting experiences and crafting my own outfits I've started to narrow down what I really like vs what everyone else is wearing! You will slowly notice a new growth and confidence in your wardrobe, and you will love it.
KEEP GOING BACK, AGAIN AND AGAIN
It will be the most helpful if you consistently go back to your thrift stores in the same week! This will cut your thrift time in half because you will only have to shop the newer pieces. If you’ve just visited a store, in most cases, the items you've already sifted through will still be there! This frees you up to only have to look at the items that have been recently added.
Additionally, don’t give up on a store if you go and don’t find anything you love! Give it a second or third chance. Goodwill is not like a boutique: a curated brand, for a specific style. Goodwill/thrift stores have a mod podge of clothing, furniture, homegoods, etc. that are ever evolving! You might go once and not find anything, but you could literally go the next day and score your fav piece! Once you realize the magic that a thrift store is, I promise I won’t have to convince you to keep going back, you just will!
TAKE IT SLOW
The best part of all of this is there will always be places to thrift and clothes to shop secondhand! So don’t put pressure on yourself to thrift your dream wardrobe right away. If you try and do it too quickly you might buy pieces you don’t actually love and never wear them anyway! Even if you go to the thrift and don’t find anything you love, don’t be discouraged and don’t feel pressure to buy something just because you made the effort to go. Changing or building on your wardrobe takes time, intentionality, and love! Once you feel like you are finally getting to a place where you are satisfied with the clothes in your closet, you will have a deeper appreciation for each piece and the style you’ve created for yourself.
These are simple and easy steps to enjoy the hobby of slow fashion! My hope is that this truly helps you and that eventually you will be able to pass this wisdom on to the people in your life that ask, “OMG, how are you so good at thrifting?” and you will get to say, “Let me show you, it’s super easy and you will love it!”