Life

The Art of Thrifting: There’s Never Been a Better Time to Bag a Bargain

Words by Lauren Joy

The young, hip and trendy, the frugal money-savers, the eccentrics… for some, thrift shopping is considered an art. Some endeavour to do it regularly or consider it a hobby. Scanning the sales and finding the gems that put the excitement in this kind of shopping takes skill, and a keen eye. And now is as good a time as any to start thrifting. With inflation at its highest since 2014, people are now looking for more cost-effective alternatives to their everyday items. Charity and thrift stores are here in their hundreds and, consequently, thrifting has become a fashionable new pastime for many.

With its increasing popularity and the many perks it has to offer, there’s no doubt we should all get on board with thrifting. Plus, in recent years, the phenomenon has taken the internet by storm, with a large increase in YouTube ‘thrift hauls,’ as well as blogs dedicated to helping us find those worthwhile buys, and thousands of pins on Pinterest aiming to help us save money. YouTube, in particular, has taken a huge liking to thrifting; many popular vloggers now publish thrift hauls and daily vlogs that provide an insight into their recent savvy buys. Such videos attract a wide audience, and have inspired a new generation of smart shoppers who can finding designer brands in a pinch, as well as original items to fuel their creative styles.

With a rise in student costs, and clothes getting ever pricier, young people can get more for their money through charity shopping. However, it isn’t just young people that are reaping the benefits; parents can easily find inexpensive clothes for their growing children, to cut costs, and, for older generations, thrifting provides a pastime that doubles as an enjoyable social experience.

A post shared by Kylie Minogue (@kylieminogue) on

Many major celebrities are also onboard with thrifting: Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts and Kylie Minogue were thrifting even before their careers took off – for them, it was a way of life. Minogue has said: “I used to like going to the thrift stores, but I’m talking about many, many, many moons ago before ‘vintage’ was cool.”

So, the question is, what’s the secret to finding those ‘diamonds in the rough’ that make thrift shopping so worthwhile? I’ve spent some time trawling the internet to bring you the best tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your thrifting experience.

  • Go to independent stores
    They’re less likely to have experts that check through items, this will increase your chances of finding something special.
  • Take tips from the YouTube pros
    Popular YouTuber Kandee Johnson suggests that we should ‘Go to wealthy areas to find designer things.’ Katie Orlowski, meanwhile, advises ‘not to limit yourself to one particular section of the store.’ So, look at different sizes – even check out the men’s section – to ensure you’re not missing out on anything, particularly if you’re into the ‘oversized’ look.
  • Find the sales
    Many thrift stores have regular sales which can make buying clothes even cheaper.
  • Be selective
    It’s so easy to get carried away, but if you do you will just end up with a huge wardrobe of clothes you don’t wear. You’ve been warned!

Lauren is a student at Exeter College.

Images via Instagram @miss_fay_ @tripdownml @kylieminogue

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