Wanna Become a Thrifting Expert? Read These Tips Before Hitting the Racks

Build up your fall wardrobe with fab finds from your local Value Village

These are the Tips You Need to Become a Thrifting Expert | YMCFashion | YMCShopping | YummyMummyClub.ca

Does the thought of shopping at a thrift store seems like a daunting task to you? I mean, why would you want to immerse yourself amongst racks and racks of clothing to sift through when you can just pick up something really quickly at the local mall? Well, I'm here to tell you that thrifting doesn't have to be looked at in a negative way or feel overwhelming. I'm going to share my top thrifting tips that will help make you a thrifting expert!

I wasn't always a fan of thrift shopping. As a young girl, I was the one who always went without brand new shoes, clothing, and supplies. To be frank, I was ashamed and embarrassed about these things. Why was my family different? Why did we have to be the kids that had to shop at a thrift store? I would always hide my face when my family walked into the thrift store together. I didn't want anyone from our neighborhood to recognize my face - I didn't want the kids to make fun at me at school.

How times have changed.

Fast forward to today, and I still (now, by choice) take my two boys and myself to our local Value Village to “thrift.” However, these days, walking into the thrift store is different. I’m no longer ashamed and embarrassed. I’m proud. I'm proud to know that I learned an amazing skill from my couponing mother and I can pass that knowledge down to my kids. I feel excited knowing that at the end of my shopping trip, I save money. Boo ya! I'm always thrilled when I find an item that I’ve been wanting forever for a fraction of the price!

These are the Tips You Need to Become a Thrifting Expert | YMCFashion | YMCShopping | YummyMummyClub.ca

Thrifting has made a comeback over the years. Nowadays, trendsetters are looking to revive the 80's & 90's with "vintage" looks. You know, the acid wash jeans, the high-waisted mom jean, oversized sweaters, and yes, even jean overalls are making a comeback (paired with your classic black choker, of course!) Did you know you can find all of these items at your local Value Village store?

Whenever I’m at Value Village, I’m like a kid in a candy store. I have to constantly remind myself to take it down a few notches because it’s not always about saving money, it’s about spending your money wisely and finding that steal! Obviously, thrifting takes some work but with the tips I’m about to share, you’ll be ready to tackle those racks in no time.

Here's how to find the best fall fashion treasures at your local Value Village. I've also shared some of my most recent finds with you so you can see the treasures waiting to be discovered!

1. Have an idea of what you're looking for

Before you head out, keep an open mind (because you never know what you may come across!) but also keep a few items in mind that you want to look for. This will not only save you time and money but it will keep your shopping trip more focused. On my most recent Value Village trip, I was specifically there for fall/winter pieces. With the leaves falling off the trees and the weather getting cooler, this means it's time for warmer clothing for both work and home.

These are the Tips You Need to Become a Thrifting Expert | YMCFashion | YMCShopping | YummyMummyClub.ca

This Pink Floyd sweater is not only comfy and cozy, it was one of my best finds and cost me only $7!

2. Set a clear budget

Just like any other shopping trip, you MUST give yourself a budget. By doing this, you'll ensure you're not overspending. Yes, it's totally possible to overspend at a thrift store (wait until you see all the great finds waiting to be picked up!) Be sure to stick to what you can afford so you don't defeat the purpose of shopping second hand.

These are the Tips You Need to Become a Thrifting Expert | YMCFashion | YMCShopping | YummyMummyClub.ca

I found these jeans that cost me only $15. They fit me perfectly and will be on my weekly rotation this fall!

3. Try Before You Buy

I know, I know, we all want to find that hidden gem and when we do find it, it's amazing! But if that hidden gem doesn’t fit you or fit your personal style, then are you spending your money wisely? If you’ve ever been to a Value Village, you know their shelves and clothing racks are bursting with quality merchandise. With plenty of style decades to choose from, you'll notice that the sizes in the 80s and 90s may be different from today's sizes. Trying on your items before buying can help expand your choices. And not to worry, the Value Village fitting rooms are spacious and have lots of mirrors!

These are the Tips You Need to Become a Thrifting Expert | YMCFashion | YMCShopping | YummyMummyClub.ca

A poncho is a must-have for any Fall outfit. I found this one for $10 in the “sweater & jacket” section of the store.

4. Quality vs. Quantity

I’ll be the first to admit that I have mistakenly bought more at a thrift store because it was inexpensive. The low prices led me to believe that I needed those things, when in reality, they just sat in my closet never to be worn. If you want to make sure you're getting that super deal, ask the staff when the best time to shop that particular store would be (but know that there will always be a great deal with more than 10,000 items added daily to Value Village stores!)

These are the Tips You Need to Become a Thrifting Expert | YMCFashion | YMCShopping | YummyMummyClub.ca

I can’t decide which one of these item is my absolute favourite. This TNA sweater that I scored for $4 or the gray sneakers for $10! Either way, I’ve been wearing both almost every weekend since I bought them.

5. Be Patient

From one mama thrifter to another, I get how hard it is to look through all those racks with a limited amount of time. Stay cool, calm, and collected during your trip! Thrifting takes time but you can’t shop and save while you're stressed. Be patient looking through those racks and you'll find what you're looking for. Especially with all of the new items arriving every day, the selection is always fresh! If you don't find what you're looking for on a particular trip, check back in a few days.

Would you believe me if I said I bought this entire outfit for just under $40.00? It's true! The over shoulder trend is in full force and I’m just loving this off-white, knitted, button-up sweater that cost just $5.

BONUS TIP: Keep Your Kids Happy!

If you decide to bring your kiddos (or can’t leave them behind), Value Village has an abundance of toys that are easy to pick up for a quick use. I usually grab a toy from the toy section for them to play with while I push the cart around. Trust me, it will save you stress and some tears!

These are the Tips You Need to Become a Thrifting Expert | YMCFashion | YMCShopping | YummyMummyClub.ca

With my list of thrift shopping tips, I hope you find exactly what you're looking for to build up your fall wardrobe! Happy saving!

Heydy Lopez is Vancouver based Mom & Lifestyle Blogger. She is the creator of Raising Jay & Abel, where she openly shares her real life Teen Mom story, to shed light on what life is really like for her and her two children. Juggling between her Full Time Career as a Legal Assistant, Her blog, and her two children you can be sure to laugh, love and shed tears with her.

Connect with Heydy on Instagram (@raisingjayandbel), Facebook (raisingjayandabel), Twitter(@raisingJandA) and of course her Blog (raisingjayandabvel.com)