Moms and Dads

Thrifting 101: A Guide On Things You Need To Know

Thrifting is a sustainable and fun way to find designer or vintage clothes but, the payouts can be a bit risky. Here are things to know about it!

We’re always looking for more ways to be sustainable which leads to the new shopping phenomenon of thrifting. Defined as “repurposing pre-loved clothes,” a lot of Gen Zs and millennials use some of our old clothes with a more contemporary flair to spice up their OOTDs. Although we’ve known this practice for awhile since it’s usually a trip to the ukay-ukay store, its popularity as a term comes from how some people manage to find vintage designer pieces in a pile while styling them in a classy way. But before you get into thrifting, here are some things to know.

Thrifting 101: A Guide On Things You Need To Know

1. Thrifting isn’t meant for all body types.

Unfortunately, people usually throw out these clothes because it’s “too small” for them. For those who are curvy or on the heavier side, thrifting may not be as beneficial and fun because these clothes usually are extra small to medium in size. Even for shoes, the average Filipino woman’s foot size is a size 6 to 8! But if it’s a good brand, it may be worth a bit of nip-and-tuck to readjust the piece to fit our bodies.

2. You need a good eye for the genuine article.

Nothing fills us with more joy while thrifting when we spot designer names like Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Dolce and Gabbana for shoes and Coach for bags because we know the impact those have. But before throwing money at it, stop for a moment and check: what made the owner throw those gorgeous pieces in the first place? Make sure to scrutinize those designer pieces because some of us may get harsh criticisms for investing in what we believed were genuine pieces.

3. Get ready to disinfect!

We have no idea where those clothes have been stored or who the previous owners are! Much of our savings from thrifting go into the effort of washing, scrubbing, ironing, rinsing, and repeating those bespoke pieces which can feel overwhelming. But what some moms do to lessen the effort is invest in UV driers so they can disinfect the pieces. Or for leather, they spray with diluted disinfectants before burning the germs in the sun.

4. Check your mom’s (or dad’s) closet first!

Retail therapy is a true thing but we’re not living up to thrifting’s philosophy if our mom’s closet has a piece exactly like it or at least similar to it because we end up wasting money and adding more clutter. Our own mothers had an eye for fashion and beauty, investing in some iconic pieces. Sure we may not be the same body size but if she’s willing to part with it forever, Mom won’t mind if we do some minor alterations to fit us more.

5. Thrifting may not be as cheap as it sounds.

What makes it a bit risky is that some stores cut off the tag from the pre-loved piece to have more control over the price, attaching their own brand to it. This can make some pre-loved clothes hit prices like P1,000 and up, making us wonder why they’re charging as much as a new piece when it’s pre-loved. It’s a lot of trial and error but finding that one shop that has a high batting average in selling good pre-loved pieces is a journey that eventually pays off.

6. Thrifting requires some basic manufacturing knowledge or fashion 101.

Being familiar with brands is one thing but it also pays off to know your materials. Although it’s a proven line of thinking that old pieces have better materials invested in them, we also have to remember that there’s a reason why they stopped producing them in that way. While it’s usually the increasing cost of materials that causes that pivot, it can also be the material’s durability.

7. There are some styles that went out for a reason!

Shoulder pads are a style that went out of style because some people looked bulkier when they styled a blazer because of their already broad shoulders. Another one is elaborate floral prints — some of us may know how to style it but there are others who would prefer not to share a look with their lola‘s sofa. When choosing clothes to thrift, make sure that these pieces are timeless and flexible ones that can fit in your wardrobe for the next five years.

8. When thrifting online, always take note of the shipping fee!

There are some Instagram shops that offer irresistible pieces worth thrifting. While they appear cheap as a piece, the shipping fee is what will eat through the savings. Although there are some chic pieces in places like Koronadal in South Cotabato or Davao City proper in Davao, it’s the shipping fee that may jack up the price higher than usual especially if we’re living in Metro Manila!

9. Online thrifting is usually auction-style.

Speed is the key to making the most out of online thrifting and the sellers usually state prices in three different categories: mine, steal, grab. Mine is usually the starting price with steal and grab being interchangeable on the higher price. While some thrift shops allow proposing your own price, it’s not easy when some people are willing to pay a lot more than we’re willing to spend.

10. Always prepare both hard cash and online wallets.

The most frustrating part for many shoppers is having only either one or the other. E-wallets like GCash and Maya still need internet to work which means it’s stressful when the thrift shop is in a “dead” spot. On the other hand, it’s also frustrating when we have hard cash and there’s no nearby shop to break it into smaller change because many people use e-wallets while shopping nowadays. Keeping both at least means we’re prepared for anything and everything.

How to thrift philippines

Thrifting offers a gambling-like of fun but with clothes.

Thrifting offers the same thrill gambling does except it’s with clothes. It’s an activity that requires us to be extra mindful of when and how to cut our losses and of the little details. Some thrift clothes go for cheap because there’s damage that’s invisible to most eyes. There are also some pieces that look so genuine even to the trained eye. But when jump over those usual hurdles, the fashion piece goes down like a treat. Happy thrifting, moms and dads!

More shopping guides?

LIST: 5 Shops With Clothes For Some Mother-Son Twinning Moments
10 Reasons Why Ukay-Ukay is Becoming Big Among Millennial Parents
The Real-Life Fairy Godmother: Inday Shopper

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