Contrary to the “fashionista” stereotype often portrayed on television and movie screens everywhere, you don’t have to spend much to look chic.

Whether it’s a 10-year old dress that is still in great condition, or a vintage Balenciaga, there are treasures waiting to be found at second hand clothing shops. All you have to do is invest a little bit of time to look and peruse through the mountains of selections of clothing.

To help you out, here are some tips on how to purchase second hand clothing:

1. Make a call beforehand

Make a call to the stores that you are keen on visiting and ask if they have new stock.

That way you can plan accordingly to time your visit where you have a wide range of selections to choose from.

2. Make a list but don’t tether yourself to that list

While it is advisable to head to the store with a mental or even a physical list of items that you are looking for, you don’t have to box yourself in with that list. At times, the best buys are the items you never knew you wanted or needed.

3. Make Your Way Around the Store

Make your way across every inch of the store, picking up every item that catches your fancy. Don’t think, just grab. Afterwards, when you’ve finally surveyed every aisle, then you can go through your selections and pick the ones that fit your style and taste.

4. Wear comfortable clothes when shopping

Wear a comfortable outfit that is easy to remove and put back on. This is to save you time and effort when trying on your potential purchases at the dressing room.

This means no button-down shirts or lace-up shoes, which will only make it that much harder to change quickly. Also, stick to wearing separates instead of a dress. That way, you can try on pieces with clothes you already own and know fit you, instead of having to go find some skirt you don’t actually like just so you can try on the top you’re interested in.

5. Watch out for fake labels

Don’t be swayed by fake designer labels. Purchase something because you like it and not because it has a fancy designer label on it. The whole fake labels thing isn’t really an issue when you are shopping at most thrift stores, but you need to be wary of this when shopping at vintage and consignment shops.

The thing is, it is easy for someone to take an old dress, put on a fake designer label in it, and then charge 10 times what it’s actually worth. It’s up to you to carefully examine the details and trimmings, and determine if what you are getting is the real deal or nothing but a fake. If you have doubts about a piece’s authenticity, best to trust your instinct.

Managing your finances in today’s landscape can be a tricky task. But fortunately, we have some tips that just might be of help.

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