This post was prompted by Kiel because he wanted me to give him tips on how to thrift shop. So instead of directly answering him I might as well share it with all you guys since a lot of you are quite interested in thrifting, too. Just this afternoon I got a call from a friend asking me for directions about a recent thrift store I visited. It made me chuckle because she read about it on my Facebook.
Now, here's my own way when it comes to thrifting (and some loots I got in Iloilo):
1. BE VERY PATIENT. If you don't have patience and you hate shopping or the act of shopping, rummaging through piles of clothes and fitting it, then thrifting is not for you. I honestly love shopping and it's one of my hobby. I can spend the whole day thrifting if I'm in the mood. In Iloilo there's a lot of thrift store and one store can contain thousands of clothes. I can spend hours in one store looking at each piece. I do avoid new arrival opening days because I hate the crowd of ravenous thrift shoppers. You know, those pips who will gather a pile and end up buying two or three pieces only. And I hate it when I'm in a rack and then someone will push the hangers to my side making it hard to move the hangers I'm checking. Anyway, I'm not looking for Nike, Lacoste and mainstream brands like most of these shoppers so my likes are pretty safe even if I go the next day of new arrivals.
Comme des Garcons Shirt button down
2. GO THRIFTING OFTEN. It's not all the time that you can find designer brands or the things you like when you go thrifting. Don't be discouraged because it's not your lucky day. The trick there is to check the thrift store often. When I was still based in Iloilo I often go to my fave thrift stores almost everyday. There are things that you might have missed the first time you came there. They might have added new stuff which they do everyday. Eventually you will find something you like.
3. WEAR COMFY CLOTHING. If you're not comfortable then it will not be fun. So you better wear something that will make you cool even though you sweat and you get dirty. Also, something that will be easy for you to fit the clothes. Not some buckled, buttoned number which takes hours to peel. Or laced shoes that takes forever to remove and put on. A loose tee, some leggings which you don't need to remove if you fit and slip-on shoes makes perfect thrifting outfit. Do bring a large tote so you don't have to ask for plastic bags.
Jil Sander sweater
4. KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE. If you like designer labels then research about that brand so you know what you are looking for. I like branded stuff so I tend to look for thrift shops that sell stuff from Hong Kong and Japan. You will instantly notice it if the stocks are from those countries because they tend to have smaller sizes and have quirkier designs. Stocks from America tend to be bland generic stuff, mostly oversized and super used. The ones from Hong Kong always have serious designer labels and I usually get exclusive pieces from Joyce, one of HK's designer emporium.
Dries Van Noten pants
5. RELAX AND ENJOY. Take your time when you go thrifting. Don't do it when you are hungry. Don't do it if you're not in the mood. I often shop alone because I find it annoying when I get distracted or talked to. I only do group shopping with like-minded friends. When we enter the thriftstore we separate and do our own thing. We only break the silence if we find something great for one another. But most of the time I do it alone because I don't have to worry about spending too long shopping.
Y's Yohji Yamamoto top
6. HAVE FRIENDS THAT SHARE YOUR INTEREST. Well, if you have a friend who drags you to thrift stores all the time then you'll eventually find something great sooner or later, non? Then you will have someone to share your delight over some finds you got. It gets fun and exciting that way. I found some great friends through my blogposts about ukay.
Comme des Garcons Homme Plus tee
So there you go, some little thoughts about thrifting. There's a site in Multiply that you can join, I'm a member there. where you can share your ukay loots and discuss thrifting. It's called Sisterhood of Ukay and you can check it here.
Y-3 Yohji Yamamoto tee
You can also check out the blog of my friend Toxic, here, because he knows a lot of ukay places in Manila especially the Cubao area.
Also, do check out this site called Ukay-ukay Resource Center, here, for many store locations.