Thrifting Queen: Prepare Like a Pro

Arguably one of my favorite activities is thrifting. The nice thing about the Tampa Bay area is that there are countless thrift stores with gems ready to be discovered. Unfortunately, those gems are often hidden deep within the mountains of duds that litter Goodwill.

How do you go about making the most of a thrift store trip? The first step to a successful thrift store haul happens before you even make it to the store. Preparation is everything!


A girl posing between racks in a thrift store in a tan shirt and jean shorts.

I find the the best clothes to wear are a tank top or cami of a solid color and a pair of shorts or jeans. The less you wear, the better for two reasons. First, if you’re anything like me, shopping will make you sweaty. Is that TMI? Probably, but you should know the reality of thrifting. Wearing light clothing will allow you to search without restriction of movement (or sweat). The second reason is most thrift stores have only one or two fitting rooms, if any. If you’re on a time crunch or the store is crowded, you can try things on in the aisles. No, don’t strip in the middle of the store. But a solid colored cami will allow you to slide clothes on with minimal bunching.

Girl posing between racks in a thrift store smiling in a tan shirt and jean shorts

Want another TMI tip? Wear bright colored underwear. Ever been in a dressing room with dim lighting and couldn’t tell if that was your underwear showing or a smudge on the mirror? That’s what I thought. Bright colored underwear will tell you immediately whether you’re wearing cloth or tissue paper. You can thank me later!


Shoes can be a toss up. I suggest comfortable shoes since you’ll be standing and walking for most of the time. If you opt for flip flops or sandals, just remember to bring a pair of socks so you can try on thrifted shoes without catching a foot disease.



I highly recommend getting a mini backpack or small crossbody bag for this kind of journey. You want your hands as free as possible to rifle through items. Go big enough to hold a phone, wallet, etc. but not so big that it inhibits movement.


I cannot stress this enough. If you are trying to spend a few hours thrifting and aim to hit multiple stores, map them out. Like I said, the Tampa Bay area has tons of thrift stores. If I didn’t map them out, I would be running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to find the next store to go to. Mapping the stores also allows you to make the most of your time by deciding a route ahead of time that gets you to the most stores without having to double back. I suggest using the Google Maps app. It gives you the option of making a list of locations which helps with planning and travel.  

Bonus Bits

  • Bring a pair of headphones so you have something to listen to while you shop. I usually suggest wireless since chords could get tangled in the hangers. Check out my Thirft Shop playlist here. I’m always adding new tracks, so be sure to keep an ear out for updates!
  • Wear your hair back if possible, either in some kind of ponytail, braid, or with a headband. This will prevent your hair getting messy, stuck, sweaty, or all of the above as you search and try on clothing.
  • If you feel more comfortable with it, you can wear makeup. That being said, I highly suggest going au natural for this since you’re going to be stuffing your face through the head holes of blouses and dresses for the next few hours. Probably don’t want to smear your makeup on yourself or the clothes, both of which I’ve done.
  • Thrifting can take longer than you think depending on how large the store is. It’s best to plan for at least an and hour and a half to two hours with a bigger store, especially if it’s unorganized. One of my favorite things to do is set aside an entire day and hit up multiple stores to get the most finds.


I’m so excited to introduce you all to the world of thrifting through my Thrifting Queen series. Look out for the next post where we discuss what to do once you get inside the store! Don’t worry, it’s not as stressful as it sounds.


What was your favorite thrifting tip that you learned? Comment below!

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