Courtesy of Aarica Nichole


Thrifting Tips From 5 Secondhand Shopping Experts

Finding a one-of-kind piece for a good price just got easier.

Originally Published: 

Refreshing your wardrobe doesn't have to require new clothing. In fact, there's no better feeling than discovering a one-of-a-kind piece at an unbeatable price. Ahead, we spoke to some of our favorite secondhand shopping experts for their best thrifting tips. Tap through to learn more.

Courtesy of Vienna Skye
Vienna Skye, Media Consultant, NYC

"I've been thrifting since I was a kid. Whenever I visited my Mum's family in England, I would go to the charity shops there, as well as Camden Market in London to find vintage items."

Most recent thrifted item: The perfect dress for my 22nd birthday. I went to Unique in Jersey with my friend Emma so that we could film a TikTok thrift vlog.

Best thrifted item: A black-and-white fur coat with different faces all over it. Rihanna has the same one and it resells for over $1,000. I found mine for $5.

Still on the hunt for: The perfect pair of jeans.

Courtesy of Vienna Skye

Top Thrifting Tips From Vienna Skye

Look in every section — kids', men's, women's, and most importantly, the sleepwear section. I always find the cutest lingerie to wear as tops or dresses.

Thrifting alone is better, unless you and your friend have completely different styles. More often than not, you'll both end up seeing the same items and will have to decide who gets to purchase it.

With the right styling, you can make any outfit look expensive. Almost all of the outfits I've worn to fashion week were completely thrifted.

Courtesy of Vienna Skye
Courtesy of Symphony Clarke
Symphony Clarke, aka The Thrift Guru, Atlanta

"I've been thrifting for about six years. It's given me the power to express my love of fashion and repurposing, while saving money and looking good doing it all."

Most recent thrifted items: Vintage Wheaties cereal boxes from the '90s, flannels, mom jeans, and oversized graphic T-shirts.

Best thrifted items: 1992 Wayne's World T-shirt and a large Louis Vuitton suitcase.

Still on the hunt for: You don't tell the thrift store what you want, the thrift store tells you what you're going to get. If I find some amazing pieces then that's great, and if I leave empty-handed, I know that there are plenty of thrift stores left to go around.

Courtesy of Symphony Clarke

Top Thrifting Tips From The Thrift Guru

Don't get overwhelmed. You don't have to explore a shop in one sitting because you will grow tired and uninterested. Take on one section at a time.

It's better to leave a thrift store with one item that you love than with plenty that you kind of like. With time, you'll realize which things are meant for you and which you can just leave on the shelf.

You have to be open-minded. It's not about what you want, but rather what you find that speaks to you.

Courtesy of Symphony Clarke
Courtesy of Aarica Nichole
Aarica, Owner & Curator of Aarica Nichole Vintage, Dallas

"I've been thrifting since I was a teenager. My first experience was with my mom on Saturday mornings, when we would go around to garage sales in different neighborhoods."

Most recent thrifted item: A collection of gorgeous Gunne Sax dresses from the '60s and '70s, which I've been manifesting since I opened my Etsy shop in 2018.

Best thrifted item: My collection of pug T-shirts! I'm a full-time pug mom so anything that reminds me of my dog is a forever keepsake for sure.

Still on the hunt for: A gold vanity table.

Courtesy of Aarica Nichole

Top Thrifting Tips From Aarica

Don't go into a store with something super specific in mind. It's always better for me to go with inspiration or a certain category that I want to shop through.

Look for brands or styles of clothing you already have. That's how I first started transitioning my closet towards a more sustainable wardrobe.

Know when your stores restock by talking to employees and checking websites, so you can get your hands on new merchandise as soon as it hits the sales floor.

Courtesy of Aarica Nichole
Courtesy of Sarah Dunk
Sarah Dunk, YouTuber & Owner of Thrifted This, Toronto

"I have been thrifting — once a week at least — for about four years. I was introduced to thrift stores back in middle school when everyone was chasing after the oh-so-memorable 'Tumblr aesthetic.'"

Most recent thrifted items: An Art Deco mirrored painting for my bedroom, and a beautiful pink glass dish with small roses molded into the bottom.

Best thrifted item: Over the last couple of years on my thrift trips to different cities, I find a vintage T-shirt that's sort of like a souvenir. These are pieces that bring me so much joy and I will never get rid of them!

Still on the hunt for: A clean pair of Jordans. The shoe section is definitely where I struggle the most but I have warmed up to it.

Courtesy of Sarah Dunk

Top Thrifting Tips From Sarah Dunk

Don't skip out on any sections because you never know where your perfect piece will be hiding.

Pay attention to materials over big-name brands. I get the most excited about a good cotton tank, a worn-in pair of denim with little to no stretch, or a silk cardigan. They're also great to flip or alter.

Thrift outside of major cities. These stores are generally less popular and offer lower prices. When I'm craving a good thrift find, I plan a day trip out of Toronto, as the stores here have become extremely busy in recent years.

Courtesy of Sarah Dunk
Courtesy of Leigh Ray
Leigh, Vintage Fashion Influencer & Blogger, NYC

"I started slowly getting used to the idea of secondhand clothing when my best friend from college used to drag me to thrift shops in Chelsea. Around the same time, a close co-worker and designer would take me to flea markets and vintage shops in the East Village and Lower East Side."

Most recent thrifted item: A vintage purple leather cropped jacket from Housing Works Thrift Shops.

Best thrifted item: Some awesome scarves and a cool '70s vintage maxi shirt dress from a thrift shop in Philly that had a room dedicated to vintage.

Still on the hunt for: High-waisted trousers and jumpsuits of any kind.

Courtesy of Leigh Ray

Thrifting Tips From Leigh

Have a list of things you want to buy. Thrifting, as well as vintage shopping, can be overwhelming. Ask yourself: What am I missing in my wardrobe right now?

Don't jump around from rack to rack because you might miss something. If you don't have enough time, gravitate towards the colors or garments you're interested in.

Try everything on. With vintage pieces, sizes on tags aren't the same as modern sizes. With thrifted items, you'd be surprised how well something fits and suits you.

Courtesy of Leigh Ray

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