1. Know your style
This may seem like a no-brainer, but knowing what fits and looks great on your body and within your lifestyle will help narrow down the selection. It can be overwhelming going into a second hand store with thousands upon thousands of options for fashion. Understanding your style can be as simple as labeling it casual or as complex as stating your style is a combination of 60's silhouettes with a twist of punk. Flip through your camera or facebook and find pictures of yourself where you look great and seem your happiest. Look at the style you were rocking and voile, that's your ideal style. Find pieces that fall within that ideal (to you) style.
2. Clean out your closet
Try on current pieces from your closet to get a sense of items you need, pieces that fit well, and garments you absolutely must get rid of. This cleansing experiment will free up space while giving you an idea of items you can now add to your closet.
3. Create a solid foundation
There are several (10 to be exact) items that are a must-have in every gals closet. We outlined them in our Top Ten Items post: Check it out. Once you have these items you can literally add anything your heart desires to create a functional and fun wardrobe. If our Top Ten list doesn't jibe with you then figure out foundation items that work for your lifestyle, it may be jeans, chucks, and flannel. Fashion (and life) are all about making your own rules.
4. Take risk
Second hand fashion is all about the savings. Saving money and saving the planet, so with that said it's the ideal situation to take fashion risks. It's cheap and you're presented with unique items. Go for it. Seriously, you've got nothing to lose, worse case scenario you wear the item once and rethrift it if it wasn't a smash hit.
5. Explore unconventional venues
Of course stores such as Goodwill or Savers pops to mind when thinking of second hand stores, however consider the road less traveled to find amazing items. Ummm, how about a swap shop? Yeah, UpShift is essentially the only one of it's kind, but it's still an option (heller, we have wine). How about rummage sales, estates sales, craigslist, or even swapping with your sister. All valid second hand options and all very unconventional. We also are lucky here in Madison to not only have UpShift, but there's also this great place called Dig 'N Save; you bring hand sanitizer and a pocket full of change all so you can dig through bins and bins of clothes to pay $1 a pound. It's a crazy fashionistas dream, or a germ freak's nightmare. We think the former is really where it's at.