Thrift shopping is not only a sustainable way to shop — it’s also a great way to get cute clothes at an affordable price. If you’re interested in thrift shopping but don’t know where to start, here are some tips:

Make sure the piece of clothing is in good condition

Almost everything in thrift stores has been pre-owned, and because of this, they may show signs of wear — missing buttons, rips in clothes, broken zippers or sweat stains. Some of these may be easily repairable, but others may take longer or cost money to fix. The main point is to determine what signs of wear you are able to fix and whether it will be worth your time and money to mend it.

Know the general pricing of items

That cute shirt might cost $10, but it might be selling for lower elsewhere. Some thrift stores will try to charge you retail prices, so it’s important to find out how much clothes may retail for and see if you can get them cheaper elsewhere. A quick Google search can pull up both retail prices and prices from secondhand websites like Depop and eBay.

Know how well the piece will fit you

The sizes listed on each piece of clothing might be inaccurate, so it’s important to try each piece on to see how well it will fit you. If it doesn’t fit, but you still want it, consider tailoring it. Learning how to use a sewing machine will be helpful in saving money in the long run since you won’t need to continuously spend money at the tailor. There are plenty of guides on YouTube to learn from, and tailoring is a useful hobby — you can make unattractive pieces of clothing into something entirely new!

Is the piece comfortable?

This is key to buying clothes in general — do you like the material? That fuzzy sweater might be pretty and affordable, but will it be comfortable to wear, or will you be itching to take it off?

Look in all the sections

Don’t be afraid to look in both the men’s and women’s sections and different sizes — you might find designs or patterns you like more. Although the clothes might be too big or small depending on what section you’re looking in, you can alter the clothes by tailoring them to fit you better after.

Keep track of your spending

You might think to yourself that a few $5 shirts are cheap and worth the money, but it all adds up. Make sure you know how much you’re spending each week, or month, depending on how often you’re going.

Go often

This is the most important tip of all. Figure out when your thrift store updates their lineup and go often to see what new pieces they add. You never know — you might find just the right one!

There are many tips for thrift shopping, but these are just a few. You’ll be surprised at what you can find at the thrift store, and you can create your own unique style from thrifted clothes!