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Thrift shopping is not for the faint of heart. If you can handle finding mothballs in a trench coat, immune to musty stenches, and find amusement in discovering denim with bus transfers from 1995 in the pocket, you are well on your way!

A thrift shopping veteran will know exactly where to look when searching for trendy pieces in a large pile of clothing. It’s a talent, I swear.

If you don’t know where to begin (rookie status), I’ve created five tips that will hopefully make you feel less overwhelmed, help curate which pieces to splurge on and which to leave behind and give you an idea on how to put an outfit together that looks like you spent way more than you actually did. Don’t worry, it will be our little secret.

Location, location, location

Where you shop, matters! Those who donate their clothing will drop it off at their nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army. If you want to find brand name items like Chanel, Marc Jacobs or Burberry, go to the ritzy part of your city and to their nearest thrift store. You’ll more likely to hit the jackpot. PRO TIP: Go as early as possible since the store will stock up the night before, and there will be fresh items you can snag before those sneaky boutique owners do.

Keep your eyes on the prize

Thrift stores can be an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Piles of clothing, everywhere. Before you go shopping, have a general idea of what you want to purchase. For example, if you’re looking for a black dress and a white long sleeve thermal, keep those items in mind. It makes it easier on yourself when sifting through the countless racks of clothing. PRO TIP: Don’t simply go to one thrift store, hit up two to three in a day since it will increase your chances of finding what you need. Go ahead, make a day out of it.

Know your colour palette

I typically wear items that are either black, white, grey or blue. That is my style palette. When you walk down an aisle, keep your colour palette in mind. Typically the store will colour coordinate their clothing but if not, knowing your colour palette helps in narrowing down the selection. PRO TIP: Look at your closet before heading out, which colours do you reach for the most? Knowing your palette will aid in the selection process and you’ll likely pick items that compliment the rest of your wardrobe.

Check tags

Don’t spend your money on items of low quality, such as cheap material and terrible stitching. PRO TIP: Stay away from items from fast fashion retailers such as H&M, Forever 21, Urban Behaviour, etc. These items have a life expectancy of less than a year, if they were gently worn. You’re better off leaving the item behind.

Break out your DIY talents

If a piece of clothing is not in your size, work with what you got! This is where you can get a little crafty. PRO TIP: Jacket too big? Roll up the sleeves to make it look more fitted. T-shirt too big? Cut it and transform it into a flowy crop top. Pants or skirt too long? Nothing a little hemming can’t fix. You can snip and sew to your hearts desire, and if you mess up? You probably spent $3 on the item so go ahead and let your creativity run wild.

Read the original article on HuffPost Style.

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