A few days ago I treated myself to a leisurely day of thrifting, the results of which I will post as soon as my clothes are washed and dried. I realized as I was shopping that although I really longed for a relaxed day full of bargain hunting, I am simply too skilled and efficient at thrifting due to my 11 years of experience in thrift stores. Here's how I do it:
1. Only peruse the items in your size
The Goodwill closest to my home has their clothing grouped by small, medium, and large. This makes sorting through clothes and spotting something promising, but discovering that it is twice your body circumference, a thing of the past.
2. Pull out patterns and materials that catch your eye
Skimming through racks by running your hand and eye over the bit of material showing can be as effective as pulling out each piece. Personally, I almost always stick to cotton so I can skip anything shiny or meshy. Learning to recognize the potential of clothing by a glimpse of its hem is a learned skill, so don't be too discouraged if you try this and end up with an empty cart.
3. If you don't LOVE it, don't bother
The beauty of thrifting is that there's "always more where that came from". If I'm trying on my haul at the end of a trip and I have to think about it for more than 10 seconds, it's out. Also, as my mom taught me, I ask myself- "Do I love this shirt $7 worth?". Think about what else you could do with that $7 (ahem, Chipotle) and you may realize that you don't want it so much after all.
4. Gauge by percentages
If you guess the price of the item to be more than 30% of the original price, you can do better. I don't thrift to get brand names at 50% off. This isn't TJ Maxx. I want a bargain!
NOTE: Even if we're making a quick trip of it, don't forget to take a final look at your purchases before checking out for holes, stains, and sturdiness. Case in point- I recently bought a pair of shoes that I loved but didn't examine well enough, and the sole broke apart from the shoe while I was out yesterday. Lesson learned.
My most recent thrift finds Coming Soon!