As I went throughout my closet the other day, I noticed that 80% of my wardrobe has been owned by someone else...did it make me proud? OF COURSE=)) Over the past years, I've accumulated timeless, practical, quality items from thrift and vintage shops, so I'd like to think that my tips for finding such great finds for even greater bargains may come in handy for frugal fashionistas.
On a day that I'm feeling thrifty, I first go online and read reviews to narrow down my search for the best shops or websites. I also look for who has discounts on which days and for what items. Many second-hand shops do provide half-off deals for college students, senior citizens, items with specific color-price tags, holidays, etc. Ask about these events during your shopping venture.
The condition of the clothing/accessory is extremely important- some items are newer than others. Feel free to unfold or remove any item from the hanger to carefully look for rips, snags, and stains(this is imperative for non-vintage items, which are typically sold as is). Remember, no matter how much or little you're paying for something, every purchase should be treated with consideration.
I encourage certain items such as dresses, skirts, and trousers to be tried on prior to making your purchase. Keep in mind, sizes and fitting of apparel have both evolved- personal tailored pieces were more common and popular in the past; some designers go by European sizes rather than U.S. sizes.
Every second-hand item(s) will not smell like a rose garden, so pay attention to cleaning labels and instructions. Generally, it's not an issue for me to wear something fresh from the rack, but on rare occasions I will clean something that may have a slight odor from being in storage. Yes, some clothes will have an odor based on where they were placed prior to them being put on racks; this is common. However, if the smell is very potent or just unpleasing: Don't buy it=(
Ask about the company's return policy before making a purchase. Most places only give store credit in place of cash/credit returns and do not allow exchanges toward final-sale items like jewelry and purses.
Having fun and exploring different eras of fashion are never tips: this simply comes natural!!!