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Building a Sustainable Wardrobe on a Budget: 5 Tips for Thrift Shopping

Finding clothes that feel good - for your body, your budget, and your values can be really hard at times, and it’s something our team has been talking about as we all ease back into leaving the house (and back into our jeans). 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some tried and true tips from our community on building a budget-friendly wardrobe that’s made for change. Changing bodies, changing lifestyles, and changing priorities.

This week we spoke with Unbelts Team Member (and sewing extraordinaire) Natalie about her thrifting quick tips.

Embrace the experience

Sifting through the racks can take time, but the payoff is oh-so-sweet when you find that perfect thrifted piece at an amazing price. Natalie typically grabs her besties and makes thrifting into a social hang. That way she’s guaranteed to have fun no matter how successful her slow fashion hunt is.

Have a plan...sort of

It’s helpful to know what gaps you’re looking to fill in your current wardrobe (e.g. long pants to wear to work), but if you are looking for something super specific (zebra print dress 🦓) you might overlook other great circular fashion finds and leave disappointed.

Know your measurements

It helps to know not only your size, but also your key measurements. Natalie likes to check out the men’s section too (genderless fashion for the win!), and knowing her waist size makes it easy to figure out what size pants to look for.

Be realistic about how much work is needed

If the fit is close, but not perfect you can use a belt to snug up your pants or the waist of a dress (pssst. we *just might* have the perfect comfy stretch belt for that).

Being able to do some basic alterations is also super helpful - Natalie often tailors her thrift finds to fit her body perfectly.But if she knows she would need to change multiple things in order to make a garment work for her, she leaves it on the rack. Somebody else might love the piece exactly how it is!

Choose your store strategically

Boutique resale shops that carry higher-end brands will typically cost more money, but they can be great for finding high quality items that are ready to wear as is. Big shops like Value Village or Goodwill will have more second-hand options at lower prices - especially if you are able to sew and make small alterations yourself.

Need to add a stretch belt into your wardrobe? Shop our elastic belts in a wide array of colours here.

Already incorporated an Unbelt into your second-hand outfits? We want to know! Share your photos on Instagram, tag @Unbelts, and add #MyBelts.