My favorite method of tourism is thrifting --
In every city, every country, the essence of the thrift store is the same: a jumble of unwanted things that have somehow made their way into a store, waiting to be discovered by someone who sees their potential. I'm not sure what's so irresistible about thrifting. Maybe it's the fact that, despite being discarded by their previous owners, each item holds sentimental value, memories, and stories; maybe it's the idea of the journey that each item has been on before it ended up in the thrift store; maybe it's the potential adventures that lie ahead for the person who decides to give it a new home; maybe it's the fact that everything is $5.
I was on vacation in San Diego last week, and I couldn't help but go to the Team Amvets thrift store I randomly found on Google Maps. While I was trying on the items I had picked as discreetly as I could in a musty corner of the store, I spotted some sports jerseys on a rack beside me. Even though I was mid-change (nothing important showing, of course), I saw a man walking near there and I knew I had to go and take a look before him. I scurried over found a jersey that hits all the criteria for what I've been searching for: navy blue, relaxed fit, v-neck. And $4.95! Even better, my mom pointed out that it was from the University of Illinois, where both my parents went for school; even though I'm not particularly into college sports, at least I was repping something.
You know when you first buy something and you can't wait to wear it? That's me with this jersey. Even though I haven't worn it yet (it's still in the wash because god knows what the things in the thrift store have seen), when I was challenged to style a thrifted piece four ways, I knew it was the one.
Swipe through to see all four outfits >>
To kick off your own thrifting journey, here are some of my favorite places to thrift.
Most of the thrift stores I've been to are near where I live and are nothing special, so here's a general list of types of places that are accessible to most people!
ANY THRIFT STORE
Any regular thrift store. Basically any Goodwill, Savers, or anything is a great place to thrift, and you can find a lot of good pieces if you really search for them. A bonus is that they are usually super cheap, compared to the more curated consignment stores out there. Plus, they're super accessible, and there's probably one within five miles of your home. I find these really fun to spend an afternoon at when I have free time, and although it's harder to find good pieces, it feels kind of like a treasure hunt (which I love!) You can also try going to thrift stores in more affluent areas to find more high-end pieces.
Curated stores. They're usually concentrated onto one street or neighborhood, like San Francisco's Haight Street. Usually pretty expensive but full of cute stuff, they have the same feel as regular shopping, but come with the perks of being sustainable and being able to find more unique pieces. I've found that these are best if you're trying to get into thrifting (or in my case, trying to get someone else into thrifting) since they're usually cleaner and more organized.
This is a personal favorite in the realm of online thrifting. Although it's tough to find good pieces sometimes, it gets easier once you get the hang of it. It's a great way to buy high quality, name-brand pieces without breaking the bank. It holds a special place in my heart because I got my prom dress (for only $53) here!
DEPOP, POSHMARK, VINTED, VESTIAIRE COLLECTIVE
These are all ways to buy secondhand clothing from other users. Each platform has its perks, specialties, and quirks (I will never understand the rare brandy melville community on Depop) that can fit any of your thrifting needs.
Although I haven't been to one personally since there are none near me, these are great for anyone who is willing to get dirty for some good, cheap clothing. This may not be for everyone but for those who are willing, you're guaranteed to get a great deal.
BONUS - ESTATE SALES
Check the estate sales around you to see if they are selling clothing! I've heard of people finding huge collections of the most dreamy, vintage, designer pieces at these. If there's one near you, it could definitely be valuable to check it out!