Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Thrifting 101: The Art of Thrift Shopping

It’s been 8 years since I started thrift shopping.

I was only 16 then and with no money to spend for new clothes to school. We don’t wear uniform in my university and I only have 150Php ($4) budget everyday for food and transportation. I don’t have many clothes because I just came from a private catholic school that requires me to wear highly conservative uniform. My family wasn’t rich and my parents have always taught me to value frugality.

Fashion has always been an interest of mine but with my current financial situation, I am forced to look for other interests. Later did I realize that fashion need not always equate to money. It is all about how you style your clothes and how you carry them. The price tag isn’t supposed to be an issue. And then, I found the beauty of thrift shopping.

Baguio City, as known to some people, is said to be the Ukay-ukay (thrift store) capital of the country. There are so many different buildings and places you can go thrift shopping at. There is the Bayanihan building located at the side of Burnham Park. There is also another building in Session Road, there are stalls in the Public Market, and there is the night market with rows and rows of thrift vendors. It is a haven for thrift enthusiasts! This also happens to be the place where I learned the art of thrift shopping.

I lived in Baguio City for 1.5 years. I studied in UP Baguio before I decided to transfer in UP Diliman. I wanted to study there before because I wanted a change of environment. I wanted to try being independent and I wanted the cool and refreshing atmosphere there. I decided to transfer to Diliman because I didn’t like my program and I wanted something different - again.

Living in the thrift store capital of the country, I had to take advantage of it. And ever since then, I have loved going thrift shopping. I don’t go thrifting as much today as I used to because I am now more capable of purchasing new clothes but I still go there once in a while. And every time I do, it never ceases to make me feel satisfied.

Tips for Thrift Shopping
  • Fit the Clothes – I know some people are hesitant about this but this is a must. I actually think that whenever you are buying clothes, used or unused, you should develop the habit of fitting them before purchasing. Some clothes look great when in a bigger size and some look great if you get the right size and you will never know which one will look great bigger or smaller if you don’t try them on.
  •  Take your Time – since there are racks and racks of different clothes, you may be missing out on some things if you go thrifting in a hurry. Take your time and scour through the different racks. Go through each hanger because there are some you will find that are hidden really well between hangers (you don’t want to miss those, do you?).
  • Try the Kids and Men’s Section – it is also a great idea to search in the kids and men’s section. You will find things there that will look great on you, too, like oversized polos or tanks and fitted vests or denim jackets.
  • Haggle – this is a must! Learn how to haggle with the vendor (unless the items are already sold dirt cheap like 3 for 50Php).
  • Inspect it happened to me many times before and those moments I regret not inspecting the clothes thoroughly. Look for loose threads, loose seams, and holes on the clothes. Even if the item is only 50Php ($1.25?), you still don’t want that wasted by buying clothes that are falling apart already, do you?
  • Bring an Eco Bag – this isn’t really a tip but I recommend it anyway because thrift stores don’t have paper bag and I don’t like using plastic. I am a self-proclaimed environmentalist.

Top: Jellybean | Skirt: Forever 21 | Stay-ups: SM Dept. Store | Mary Jane's: Just G.
Boater Hat: Peaches and Cream

How to Clean Thrifted Clothes
One of the major issues people have with thrifted items is that they are really sullied. It is true, actually. I am always surprised to see how black the water turns after washing the clothes. However, there is actually a method on how to properly clean thrifted clothes:

You will need:
  • hot water
  • salt
  • freshly squeezed calamansi juice or lemon juice
  • detergent

What you need to do:
  • boil some water
  • once you are done with boiling, transfer it to a container and mix it with some tap water so you don’t scald your skin
  • pour some detergent, salt, and pour some freshly squeezed calamansi juice to the water
  • soak the clothes there for 30 minutes to one hour
  • manually laundry your clothes
And that is how you clean thrifted clothes! After soaking you will see the water turn really dark. That means the dirt and bacteria have already been washed away from the clothes. You won’t get the same results if you laundry the clothes in a washing machine.

Benefits of Thrifting
Thrifting also entails consumers to some benefits like:
  • saving money
  • recycling clothes and helping preserve the environment
  •  reducing carbon footprint
  • develop your creativity with styling clothes

Thrifting will always be a part of me. Some people may have issues with but I don’t. It teaches me how to be frugal and how to value my money. Best of all, since I am a self-proclaimed environmentalist, it helps preserve the environment! 


  1. Thanks for your tips! I like the top and the skirt!:) xo

  2. Hi...lovely blog...would you like to follow each other on both gfc and bloglovin...?
    let me know...


  3. uaa never though thrift shopping would be so fun to try.
    however, it's not really easy to find thrift store here :(
    anyway, if I found one, I'll definitely would try some of your advices!
    thanks a lot.
    can't wait for your next post, dear.
    stay pretty ♥

  4. i love thrifting, these are some great tips xo

  5. great tips and your outfit is really cute! love your hat too!


  6. I love thrifting!! I haven't been in awhile but I plan on going this weekend.

    xo erica

  7. I love thrift shopping too :D
    Would you like to follow each other? I already followed yours

    Love from Indonesia,
    William C.L.


  8. Love the post! and yes, thrift shopping is one of my passions. Do come up with some posts and ideas for the season too like the summer apparel.

  9. Thrifting makes my heart happy. I love finding something unique that I absolutely love, that no one else has. :) These tips are great and I'll definitely be washing them your way from now on!

    xo Ashley

  10. Love this skirt!!! It is super beautiful :)


  11. Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. Following you now on bloglovin and GFC, hope you can follow back =)



  12. hi jenn! :) you were from Baguio! grabe i really want to go there for the ukay ukay. malayo from me so hindi ako nakakapunta ever. kaingit ^^

    Try the Kids and Men’s Section - i do this too even with the branded ones cause they have pieces that fits me, and their nice, and much much cheaper :D

  13. Adore your skirt so much!

    I do love thrift shopping as well although hindi talaga ako marunong tumawad. Hahaha! But I still think 150php is not a bad price for a top or 250 for a dress. though i think pwede pa naman sana bumaba. xD


  14. Love the dress! You can also avail your favorite dresses for cheap with the help of the sammydress coupons code and discount offers.