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Passing the Fit Check aka How to Thrift

Because thrifting is a right of passage for art students.

By Entertainment

Illustration by Bei Lin.

Thrifting is an art in itself, which begs the question, how does one thrift? Most will shrug and simply follow their gut — and there’s nothing wrong with that! But you may find disappointment in this method. Maybe your new shirt doesn’t match the shoes you want to wear, or you think you’ll wear something more often than it actually sees the light of day. If you’re seeking to elevate your thrifting game, here’s a quick guide!

First and foremost, set your intention! Are you methodically planning your outfits, or do you prefer to find the gold while digging, so to speak? Understanding what you want to come from your thrifting outing can help you bring home your new favorite pieces.

Enter your new best friend: Pinterest! Pinterest is the perfect website for looking up new styles and seeing what catches your eye. Creating mood boards can be very helpful in planning your style and outfits, whether you are the careful or go-with-the-flow type.

Tips For If You’re Thrifting With Intention

See what clothes and accessories you already have! I recommend two ways of finding inspiration in the back of your closet:

  1. Find the outfits you wear the most.
    1. Which pieces in those outfits do you love, but aren’t the star of the fit? What goes unnoticed that you want to emphasize? Single out the underdog, and think about what would really make it shine.
  2. Find the outfits you wear the least.
    1. What pieces in those outfits take the cake? What brings the pieces together and leads the pack? Single out the best piece, and think about what would best support it.

Once you have the items of clothing you want to either complement or use as support, take it to the drawing board! Even if you’re not a visual artist, conceptualizing your outfits with sketches has many benefits, like seeing color combinations and pattern mixing. I highly recommend using color in your sketches, so that you know what will work well together, and more importantly, which colors you’re looking for in your thrifting hunt.

Tips For the Intrepid Miners

  1. Figure out what works best for you, and what you like the most! Looking through your closet to find common colors, patterns, themes, and designs can help you understand your fashion strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Find your best fashion colors and color combinations. What colors compliment your skin tone? Which ones match your hair and eye color? What colors do you just simply love? These little details are very helpful in exaggerating your best features and minimizing your least favorite.
  3. Think outside the box! It never hurts to try something new — the best part about thrifting is the affordability. If you buy a piece and it doesn’t work, that’s OK! Just remember to donate or gift your clothes.  Throwing them away is a no-go for sustainability baddies.

At the end of the day, thrifting is a journey, and like all adventures, your best friends often come by surprise! Having a plan is very useful in narrowing down your many options, but diving blind has its benefits too. Either way, preparation is key and can help you save yourself from boring outfits and an overstuffed closet!

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