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Home / Fashion Tips

12 tips every woman needs when thrift shopping

 Mitumba Shopping [Photo: Collins Oduor/Colins Oduor]

Thrift shopping is a huge culture in Kenya and with good reason. Mitumba clothes as we call them, are not only cheaper, but are often more unique, of good quality and offer you a wide range of selection. With so many markets around where you can go thrifting, sometimes it is easy to get overwhelmed by the process. Hawkers do not make it easy either as they try to entice you to buy from them under all means.  To make sure you get the most out of your thrifting experience, make sure you have a plan set out on how to go about it. Here are some tips that will definitely come in handy the next time you are out thrifting. 1. Check Your Closet  Before you leave for shopping, check your closet and note the items that you hardly ever wear. To remind yourself once in the market, you can take a photo of each item and when thrifting, you can get pieces you can match them with.  2. Take Note of Trends Check major brands such as Zara and Forever 21 and see what they are currently selling. This will give you an idea on what trends are currently on top.  3. Pack Pack some snacks and water to get you through the day. Also carry items such as tissue, stain removers and hand sanitizers in case of any emergencies and to test stain spots.  4. Budget You should always have a limit to the amount of money that you are willing to spend while out thrifting. This will guide you on what is necessary to buy and what isn't.  5. Shopping Bag Carry an eco-friendly bag to put all your shopping in. Remember there are no paper bags any more so you have to pack your own goodies. 6. Donate Before heading out to thrift, take stock of your closet and note what you no longer need. Donate these items to the needy for some good thrifting karma. 7. Fittings It is in your very best interest to try out outfits before committing financially to them lest you get home and regret. Wear something simple and fitting that will make it easy to wear and test out clothes on top of without you necessarily having to remove them. Not forgetting, there are no changing rooms so you better come prepared to try out clothes in the street.  8. Discipline Train yourself to ask a few questions before deciding to make that purchase. Do you own a similar piece in your closet? Is it something you can really wear or do you just wish you could wear it? Will you need to wait for a special occasion to wear it? These questions should help you filter out what you do not need. 9. Check All Angles Keenly inspect the item before buying. Check for stains, snags, tears and signs of over wear. You want to buy an item that is still in top-notch condition. 10. Turn Inside-Out Check the inside of the garment you are about to buy for hidden flaws. Check for lining tears, stains, loose threads and any other concerns. 11. Hardware Inspect any hardware on the garment such as zippers, hook and eyes and buttons before you get too excited and buy. See if any will need replacing and use that as a bargaining power. 12. Cleanliness How clean is the piece you want to buy? Check the pockets for any waste and do a sniff test. If the garment has any musty smells pass it on. Some odors cannot be fixed even after washing.

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