Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I grew up thrift store shopping. I didn't mind it as a kid, thought it was extremely embarrassing as a pre-teen and early teenager, and then finally embraced it in my late teens. A lot of people blow them off because they don't want to spend the time going through the racks, and I can understand that. However, I'd say about 40% of my clothes are second hand, and I'll bet you money that nobody even knows. Except that I tell everyone. On my blog. On the internetz.

You think American thrift stores are bad? Check out what they got going on in Mexico - the globos. The globos is the traveling market, that comes to your town on a specific day of the week. On that day people set up tables in the neighborhood streets and sell a variety of things: Produce, new clothes, crafts, music, herbal remedies, and a whole lot of used clothing.

Except, it's all piled on tables, in no particular organized fashion. You just dig through a pile of clothes. I used to think I couldn't handle it, being the type of person who loves organization, but through the advice of a friend - I got into it. I have learned to look at the fabrics. Gauzy? No thank you, I never wear gauzy. Bright orange? Whatever it is, I'm not going to wear it. It's actually a pretty fascinating skill when you can look at the hem of a jean and realize it's probably American Eagle, Old Navy, or the Gap. At that point, you pull out the jeans from the pile to see if you like the style, the size, and the length. By the way - no dressing rooms at the globos.

With all I've learned from thrifting and from globeando (which is actually a word a church friend said to me!), here are my Tips for Being an Awesome Thrifter Just Like Meghan.

Tips for Being an Awesome Thrifter Just Like Meghan.

#1 - Do not go with something specific in mind. You're going to be disappointed. Saying to yourself "I would really like to get a blue, yellow, and white blouse with buttons up the front" really just means you might as well stay home. Instead you just have to know what you would like to have, in a general statement, such as "I will look at jeans, blouses, and sweatshirts". This is, of course, only applicable if you talk to yourself before you go shopping, like I obviously do.

#2 - Know what works, and what doesn't. Guess what? If it doesn't usually work, it probably won't work this time, either. I've made this mistake before, thinking "hey... this is cute, and cheap, and nice looking, it might work" and then I waste my time trying it on and, just like the last shirt exactly like it, it doesn't work. I know for myself that I don't buy capris because they look hideous on me, polo shirts hate me, and there is only one style of Levi's that actually fit me. I do not try these things on, thinking that they'll work this time. Cap sleeves? In my dreams. It's not happening. Put it back on the rack, Meghan.

#3 - Look in different sizes. I know, I know, you think you're a size 8. Well, guess what? In Gap you're a 10, and in Old Navy you're a 6. And in junior's you're an Extra-Large. Seriously, it's a crazy sizing world out there, and you better brace yourself for trying on something with a number you don't like. 

#4 - You gotta really love it. If you are standing in the dressing room going, "it's okay, but I can't believe it's only $4, so I'm going to get it", then you need to quit thrift store shopping. This has happened to me too many times in the past, and I don't let it happen anymore. Spending $4 on a shirt you're not ever going to wear does not make it cheap.

#5 - Use your time wisely. I can spend an extreme amount of time in a good thrift store because I like to look at everything. But, using that skill learned at globos, I now usually scan the racks because I know what types of fabrics I'm looking for.

#6 - Take your mom with you so you can get the seniors' discount. I'm not kidding.


  1. I can't believe no one has commented on this fascinating aspect of your life :-). I mean, thrift shopping is an ART, people, and she has learned it from a PRO! RE Tip #6, Meghan. . . and I thought you wanted me along for advice :(

  2. wow, i'm so glad you decided to share your wealth of thrift shopping info with the world! i really need some help in that area, (remember the time we went together and i came home with exactly nothing?), so i greatly appreciate your tips. i feel like i should print them out and take them with me! you have inspired me to give thrift shopping (which i think is a fabulous concept) another try-so now you are officially inspirational. :)