Those of you who swear by thrift shopping: how do you do it? How much time do you spend, what's your strategy, what tips can you share?
In many clothing-related AskMes (this
being the most recent), I've seen several answers enthusiastically recommending thrift shopping. I like thrift shops and have found some cool stuff in them over the years, but I don't find the sort of treasure others talk about - certainly not anything to build a wardrobe around. Even for the pretty decent stuff, I have to dig through racks and racks of clothes that are neither my style nor my size.
So I've assumed that finding like-new, high-quality clothes in thrift shops is a result of either luck or being a savvy and dedicated thrift shopper. I've also assumed that it'd probably take too much time and effort for me, but I don't know how much it actually takes.
If you buy most or all of your clothes in thrift shops, or if you have a knack for finding really good stuff in thrift shops, I'd like to hear your process. How often do you go shopping, and how much time do you spend at the store? Do you find out when shops put new items out, and go that day? Do you plan around times of the year when people are more likely to donate clothes (e.g. spring cleaning, start/end of school)? Do you look for specific articles of clothing, do you have a list of things you've always got an eye out for, or do you just look around and see what strikes your fancy? Are your thrift shop purchases relatively basic wardrobe staples, or more quirky/unusual things? How often do you strike gold, and how often do you strike out? What else am I not thinking of?
Basically, if there's anything you do differently from someone like me who just pokes around every now and then, I'd really like to hear it.