Pro-thrifter shares tips for finding secondhand hidden gems

Chelsea Henriquez calls thrift shops the “most magical place on earth.”  The pro-thrifter is now sharing her knowledge to make finding those must-haves pieces easier.

The fashion content creator believes you can find everything from clothing, shoes to home decor at your local thrift shop. While these stores can be a great way of saving money and the environment, they can be a bit overwhelming. Secondhand shops are usually huge, with lots of racks to sort through. Henriquez is the founder of Shop as of Late, an online shop that curates hidden gems with a previous life. 

“I’ve gotten so many girls that say that they wanted to thrift, and they’re not really sure how to start, or just a little bit overwhelming to them,” Henriquez tells In The Know. “So, I try to share tips, and we talk about it.” 

She created her store in response to the requests for help. It includes shoppable pieces and helpful blog posts.

“I wanted to bring thrifting to the masses, and I wanted to make it accessible to everyone, and so Shop as of Late was born,” she explains. “This is my online secondhand and vintage store. I just share all of the really unique and special pieces that I find that I think deserve a second life.”

Henriquez is here to give In The Know some tips on how to thrift. 

Make sure the piece fits into your wardrobe

“I like to at least picture it three ways that I would like to style that piece while at the thrift store,” Henriquez says. “That’s a great way to know that’s going to be a versatile piece and a great addition to my wardrobe. Or something that I might be able to pass on.” 

Visit different thrift stores

Henriquez suggests you don’t spend all your money in one place and should “cycle through” thrift shops instead.

“I personally don’t like to go to the same thrift stores back to back, one week after the next,” she says. “I feel like the second time, it’s not gonna be as fresh. There’s not going to be that many new things.” 

She creates maps of thrift store spots she wants to hit up so that she shops with purpose. 

Factor in cleaning expenses

Secondhand stores don’t usually clean any of the items before putting them on the rack. She recommends checking the clothing tag to make sure the item doesn’t require dry-cleaning or any other tedious cleaning process. 

“I try to stick to machine washable so that when I get home, I can just throw a load on get them washed, get them dried. And it’s a go,” she says.

Try before you buy

Henriquez makes sure to try things on while in the store to weed out what won’t fit. This will ensure that you’re picking pieces that actually work with your wardrobe. 

Phone a friend

Bringing a friend might ease your anxiety and, of course, make it more fun. You can also tag team the clothing racks to find the good stuff much quicker.

“If thrifting is a little too overwhelming for you, I suggest bring a friend,” Henriquez says. “Make a day out of it.” 

Be consistent

Thrifting isn’t always going to result in you walking away with a ton of interesting finds. The key is to frequent a few of your local shops to get the most out of the experience. 

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