Thursday, December 22, 2016

How to properly Thrift a Sweater

Thrifting can be really rewarding. Anyone who has read this blog long enough has a body of evidence to prove that. This week's reward? Two almost new (or incredibly maintained) Lacoste long sleeve sweaters. These sweaters are online right now for $135a piece. I snagged mine for less than $7. Merry Christmas to me!

I've thrifted the vast majority of my sweaters, from these Lacoste beauties to tunic style knits.

That's why I was surprised when I found out how many of my fellow thrifters simply refused to purchase thrifted sweaters (fearing unseen creepy crawlies). I have heard the horror stories.

So here are my tips to proper sweater thrifting, so that the only story you tell is a victory story:

1. Think about what you want before you get there: This is just a good shopping tip in general. Don't ever go shopping with your hard earned money without a plan. That's a perfect opportunity to overspend
2. But don't think too much: It sounds contradictory to what I just  said above but going in with too exact of an idea of what you want is the best way to be perfectly disappointed. Have a looser idea, say "I'm looking for an oversized sweater" as opposed to "I am looking for an oversized magenta and navy argyle sweater." Be flexible.
3. Don't be grossed out: while a lot of new and gently used pieces end up at the thrift; the majority of pieces are well loved and well worn. If this (or the following things) gross you out, go to Forever 21 or Primark instead.
4. Be observant: This is just a good tip in general if you're thrifting. Look for general wear and tear. Look for pulling, pilling, or other signs of use. Especially look to see if there might be any life forms in there. It sounds gross, but every thrift store is not like my favorite thrift where they treat EVERYTHING to prevent any life forms in your clothes. Check it out and if a sweater looks sketchy, that's because it probably is.
5. Sniff out trouble: Sweaters have this weird ability to absorb and hold onto odors, like cigarette smoke, mothballs, last week's fish tacos, or things like that. Nothing a good washing won't take care of, but if you're grossed out by that, steer clear of the sweaters.
6. Get touchy-feely: Touch the sweater. That's right, now that you've looked (and maybe even smelled the thing) you can and should touch it. Check for quality. Check for softness. Check to make sure it won't be the itchiest thing you ever bought.
7. Once you find one you love, try it on: Because duh
8. Once you purchase, WASH!: Because also duh! You want to wash EVERYTHING you buy from the thrift before you wear it. It's just a clean thing to do.
Here's to hoping to come along some fancy knits of your own! Happy thrifting.