If you’re a savvy thrifter or even a beginner looking to find unique pieces in the racks of used clothes, thrifting might seem impossible right now. Luckily, there are lots of options for finding secondhand and vintage items. Sometimes you might need to be a little clever or shake-up your expectations, but the clothes are out there waiting to be part of your next great outfit! You just need to know where to look and how to get the most out of your thrifting trip (even if it’s virtual!).

Shop Your Closet (or Your Friend’s)

It might sound ridiculous, but sometimes you can scratch your thrifting itch by taking a look through your own closet. Start by removing all of your favorite pieces, the ones you wear all the time. What’s left? If you saw any of them in a thrift store, would you pick them up? Treat those items like new finds and incorporate them into your outfits!

If you have a thrifty friend in your quarantine circle that is also excited to get back out there and look for new items, suggest thrifting each other’s closets. Pull items that you’re willing to part with and swap! Who knows, they might have exactly the item your wardrobe has been waiting for.

Know What You’re Looking For

It’s not as easy to peruse an entire thrift store (online or in-person) as it was pre-Pandemic, so going in with a game plan is more important than ever. It will save you time, let you focus, and help you stay organized. Are you looking for something specific like a back to school outfit or just hoping to find a cute pair of shoes? Make a list of “thrift goals” before you get started! Knowing what your goals are will help you decide the best way to thrift, too.

Thrift Online

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That Friday feeling. 🎉 (📸: @aleesposhmark)

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Thank goodness for online thrifting options! There are lots of websites out there full of vintage and pre-owned clothes looking for new homes. For brand hunters, Thredup has a catalog of popular clothing that you can sort through like you would any online store. Hardcore thrifters looking for vintage finds might be mourning the cancellation of major flea market events this year, but The Arcade and The Rose Bowl Flea Market have both created online options for their usual vendors. If you’re looking for a more casual online thrifting experience, social apps like Poshmark and Depop are great for finding gems in other people’s closets.

When you’re thrifting online, know what keywords you’re looking for. Unlike a physical thrift store, depending on the site and how many sellers there are, you might have millions of options, so browsing the entire selection might be impossible. What are your favorite kinds of pieces, colors, styles, and brands? Hunt for those in your size.

Update Your Thrifting Process

Alongside following the health and safety guidelines put in place by your favorite stores, it’s worth it to update your personal thrifting process, too. Of course, you need to wear your mask, but think about how you might also want to wear gloves for digging through used clothes. Keep any items you bring with you (bags, wallets, jackets, etc.) to a minimum, and keep those things separate from any of your thrift finds until you’re able to bring them home and wash them with a laundry sanitizer (good practice for thrifting at any time!).