After my decision to shop second-hand (or rather: ‘vintage’) a couple of years ago and I went to a second-hand store for the first time I was immediately overwhelmed by the tons of clothes: how was I ever going to score the best second-hand find? There was so much on offer and I had no idea where to start looking. Sometimes shops arrange items on colour, on size or type of clothing (i.e. jeans, coats, dresses) and sometimes none of those but just a big pile of stuff you have to search through (vintage clothing sales for example). The first few times, when I had no strategy yet, I left without any clothes and I kept thinking: this isn’t my thing. I like order and every size and colour available. Now there’s almost nothing I’d like to do more than rummage through thrift stores and score the best second-hand finds. In this article you’ll read my top tips and you’ll see some of my (and Anneloes’s) best second-hand finds. Will you let us know if any of this helped you thrift shopping or if you have the ultimate tip?
Know your taste to get the best second-hand find
I always thought it would be so cool to wear vintage. But vintage also often looks pretty different from nowaday clothes. Because I wanted to wear vintage so bad, I have just bought shirts and blouses without even thinking about if I would feel good or ‘at home’ or even beautiful in these things. I ended up buying quite a few things I’ve never actually worn, but I do know now that I am not actually a vintage-wearing-person. I do like frilly flower frocks, some flowery blouses, scarves and vintage bags but other then that, I better just buy second-hand. What is your personal taste and what makes you feel good?
What are you looking for
When you are confronted with tons of clothes it is very convenient to know what you are looking for. That way you don’t have to go through every rack of clothes and not take so much into the changing rooms. I usually have 1 or 2 things in my head that I am still looking for and at other times I have a list in my phone with items for a new season. I know I am not going to find everything in a thrift store (I will never buy underwear or swim wear there) but if I have a few weeks (or even months) time to look for something my changes for a second-hand find have gotten a lot bigger.
Choose your favourite
Remember where you found the best items in your closet. Or where do you always see the most potentially interesting clothes? Try to find out how often they add new stock and maybe find out of which days they tend to add this new stock. It’s also important to see how much competition you have, but competition is also a good sign often. It probably means they regularly have good stuff to sell.
Go often to score the best second-hand finds
1 of the most important reasons I have so many great second-hand finds is, I think, that I go thrifting at my favourite stores as often as I can (usually at least once every fortnight). I know exactly where to look and how many times they get new stock (very often!). The thrift stores I visit often happen to be just around the corner of where I live and that helps a lot. It’s also one of my favourite relaxing things to do when I need a break, so that helps as well.
Take another thrift store addict with you
Two people almost always find more good stuff then just one person looking. If you are going together and join forces, also pick up the stuff you think would suit your addict friend as well. And fitting is extra fun when you get to show eachother your second-hand finds before you buy them.
Bonus tip for the best secondhand find!
Always remember that vintage clothes sizes are 1 or 2 sizes smaller than they are now. So if you are a size M, you would probabaly need a vintage size L.
What are we wearing in the pics:
Janet is wearing a ripped jeans (we share this pair) we found at Het Goed thrift store in Assen and a top from GoudGoed thrift store in Groningen
Anneloes is wearing a jumpsuit from GoudGoed thrift store in Groningen standing on the bridge
Janet is wearing linnen shorts by GoudGoed (yes, you guessed it – our favourite store to get the best second-hand finds in Groningen) and a top from Mamamini in Groningen when she smells the flowers.