11.11.2010

Thrifty Thursday: What Not to Wear Thrifting


Hey...that doesn't sound like it has anything to do with that outfit you said you'd recreate two weeks ago?

Yeah, I know. I'm sorry to say that the challenges take up more time than I currently have available, so I've decided to discontinue the segment for right now. Just chalk it up to epic fail, I suppose.

But, I shall not leave you empty-handed! My plan is to keep Thursdays as thrifty as they've always been, giving you tips (both from me and other thrifters), passing along freebies I come across, DIY projects and the like. Sounds fun...right? [insert puppy dog eyes and an uncertain smile]

Today I'm going to talk with you about what not to wear when thrifting. It may seem like a totally bogus thing, but after years of doing this, I can assure you that the wrong shoes, even the heaviness of your purse, deeply affect how long you can stay in the game. So let's talk about some "dos" and "don'ts".
  • Don't wear heels of any kind. You're going to be on your feet for hours, which has some serious repercussions on your back.  
  • Do wear shoes that give you good support, like the ones you'd wear running/working out. I often wear flip flops and still haven't learned my lesson. After a while even those make you back wishing it had never made the trip.
  • Don't bring a big heavy purse full of things you won't really need while shopping. I'm convinced that years of that — plus the years I spent toting college textbooks in a messenger bag — have caused the shoulder aches I now have. Hours of that kind of weight hanging on a small area of muscle really wear it out, and soon you'll be heading home early.
  • Do leave your purse in the car, if possible. I try to just put my card and my ID (or my cash if I'm not using a card) in my pocket, along with my phone, and then enjoy hours of shoulder-friendly shopping. If you're lucky, some stores have shopping carts, in which case this point is moot (or "moo" as Joey Tribiani likes to say), but a lot just have hand baskets. So having something less to carry is gonna keep you feelin' fresh!
  • Don't wear clothes you aren't comfortable moving, bending, lifting, etc. in. Again, comfort is key while trying to build up your thrifting endurance, and you'd be surprised (especially once you get to the wares section) how much you're bending down to look at things on low shelves.
  • Do wear an outfit you'd work out in, such as leggings, T-shirts, tanks, hoodies, etc. I usually wear a tank, my black hoodie I've had forever, and some black athletic pants. And it's not just for mobility. Sometimes these stores have only two fitting rooms, sometimes none. This means there are plenty of times I've camped out in front of a mirror hanging in the store and tried on clothes over the ones I walked in with. So, if they're a thinner material and form-fitting, like most exercise clothes are, it'll give you a more accurate idea of how what you're trying on fits when you're not wearing something underneath.
  • Do bring an pair of socks (if you're not already wearing some) if you're weirded out about trying on used shoes.
  • Do bring a tape measure if you are one of those people who try on clothes after they've bought them. (Although keep in mind that sometimes you can't return clothes if they don't fit! Make sure and ask the cashier before you buy them.) That way you can measure the clothing against your own measurements to see if it would fit. If you don't know how to take your own measurements, this is a great tutorial.
  • Lastly, do bring some hand sanitizer, but keep it in your car. You're handling used items, and sometimes dusty ones in the housewares section, and sometimes your hands need a refresher before hitting the next store. And then there are the germs...
Did I miss anything? If you have some tried-and-true thrifting tips, I (and everyone else) would love to hear them! Please share in the comment section below!


{Image courtesy of The Frisky}

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