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  • The Honest Root (Guest)

Tips for the Thrift-Shopping Shy

If you're like me, you might find thrift shopping a little intimidating and frustrating. Although it's a really important eco-friendly practice, that doesn't mean it comes easy for all of us. Thankfully, April from The Honest Root is here to share with us some tips for those that might be a little hesitant! I hope you enjoy her insights as much as I did!

Consignment and thrift shopping can seem a little daunting if it’s not something you’re used to doing. Sifting through all the racks of clothes and accessories does take time. However, it can also be so rewarding when done right! Below are my top 3 tips for finding that perfect pre-loved item, to help you step up your second-hand shopping game.

1. Give yourself lots of time, and have fun!

It’s unlikely that you’re going to find that perfect top or skirt in the first store you try, but that’s part of the fun! Give yourself lots of time to go to different shops, and be patient with the process. Learn what makes the process fun for you. I like to bring a friend whose feedback I trust, and sometimes like to have an almond milk latte in hand to keep me occupied if my friend wants to try something on and I have to wait for a few minutes. These two simple things make the thrift shopping process really fun for me!

I’ve found some of my more favourite bags, dresses, pants and shirts in consignment stores when I just take my time, and be willing to try new things - which brings me to the next tip!

2. Be open-minded.

You might not find exactly what you’re looking for on the first trip… but you might find something even more exciting! Recently I went consignment shopping with a good friend, looking for a white blouse and a black leather jacket. What I ended up finding was an oversized dress in perfect condition for just $19! The second I tried it on, I knew I had to have it because it fit perfectly, flattered my shape and had a really cool pattern. The dress isn’t like anything else I own, so trying it on was slightly outside my comfort zone. But with my friend’s encouragement I did try it on, and I’m SO glad I did! Even though I didn’t actually find the things I went in for, I came out with a piece I love and will wear for ages. And who knows, maybe I’ll find my leather jacket next time!

3. Know where to go.

After trying out a few shops, you’ll start to get a feel for the prices and quality and curation style of each store. Keep mental notes, or a list in your phone, of the stores with the best selection and best prices. And don’t let the name of the shop scare you. Just because it says “thrift” doesn’t mean the clothes are all ratty already. And just because something says “consignment” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a highly-curated, reasonably priced store. Here in Vancouver where I live, some of the best places to find new clothes are thrift shops, and some of the most disappointing places to look are consignment shops.

But try them all! You just never know what you’ll find. I’ve been pleasantly surprised on more than one occasion.

If you want more tips on sustainable living, check out April’s blog, The Honest Root!

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