Thrifting has been all the rage for the past year or so. It seems like the coolest and most unique outfits are always recycled! This is actually great, considering that the apparel industry is to blame for 10% of global carbon emissions and 85% of textiles produced end up being thrown out, polluting the environment with microplastics. However, it can be hard to find those wardrobe staples in what can feel like a never-ending store. So, without further ado, here are a few tips to begin to find the stylish outfits waiting for you.
Go in the mornings
Thrift stores usually refill their racks every morning, so if you want to get the best selection of the day, go at opening (usually 10/11 am). There is still a good selection in the afternoon, but beware, there is usually a larger crowd.
Take up sewing
Not every piece of clothing you pick up is going to be perfect--learning a few stitches to alter your clothes can go a long way. Simply picking up some elastic bands and learning how to insert them into jeans for a better fit can make your experience much better overall.
Keep an open mind
A thrift store is the best place to start in trying to find a new style. There are endless options of clothes at a super cheap price, so if you see something different from what you would usually lean towards, don’t be afraid to try it.
When you are going through rack after rack and finding nothing that piques your interest, don’t give up. It is super overwhelming, especially when it is your first time at a thrift store. Start at one rack and go through it, quickly taking a look at each item. Not every piece of clothing will intrigue you, you probably won’t even take a second look at most of them. But that is the beauty of the thrift store. There is such a huge selection of clothing, it is almost guaranteed you will find something you like.
Restrict yourself to one section
Some of the best clothes I have found have been in the mens’ section, despite the fact that I identify as a woman. I have found that if you are looking for a more fitted look, the women's section has more options, but if you’re looking for a looser/baggier look, the men’s section has more options (not to say that this is always the case, just generalizations I have made). There’s no reason to only look at one section when there are plenty of possible clothing items you will love in the other section.
Worry about sizing
Sometimes it is nice to have an oversized shirt that is an XXL, even if you’re usually a medium. Specifically with pants and jeans, since thrift stores are a collection of many different brands of clothing, the sizing is different for every brand. Though the best bet for getting pants that fit is looking at pants that are around your size, don’t completely commit yourself to it. A “6” is different for every clothing brand.
Thrifting is a great way to get unique clothing for a fraction of the price, all while helping the environment. Long Island has a great selection of thrift stores, so if you’re interested in getting a feel for what thrifting is all about, head to the closest store.
Some of my favorite stores include:
- Island Thrift in Centereach, about 15-20 minutes from Port Jefferson
- Savers in Medford, about 25-35 minutes from Port Jefferson
- Island Thrift in Medford, about 30-40 minutes from Port Jefferson
- Savers in Holbrook, about 30-40 minutes from Port Jefferson