My love affair with ukay–ukay started around eight or nine years ago. I was at my first job and the pay wasn’t exactly good enough for me to afford the wardrobe I was dreaming of at the time (you know, the typical high street fashion brands). I splurged from time to time when I could afford it, but more often than not I had to find cheaper options. (It’s a very first world problem, I’m sorry.) After getting exhausted by trips to Divisoria, I discovered thrift shopping.
I won’t say I’m an expert at it but seeing that one of my goals is to own a thrifted-only wardrobe (except for underwear, of course!) and I’ve been doing it for many years now (I even sold my finds once upon a time), I can claim to have learned a lot of things when it comes to thrift shopping. So if you’re looking to score great finds on your next ukay visit, heed these tips.
Wear an ukay-ukay-friendly outfit
It all starts with prepping. No, not really. But you do need to wear clothes you’d be comfortable walking and standing in for a long time because most thrift shops don’t have great ventilation.
Keep an open mind
Some say you should have a plan when you go thrifting, but because you can’t really tell what you may (or may not) find at an ukay, planning what to get just doesn’t seem sound. Instead of specific pieces, stick to a theme. Want a bohemian-inspired outfit? Look for pieces that evoke that vibe. Or maybe think of a specific color. Look for a black blouse or a green skirt. This way, you also won’t be limited to just a single idea. Thrift shops can be filled with hidden gems, so it’s always good to keep your eyes and mind open.
Don’t think about brands
Yes, there’s a chance you might score a designer brand (or a high-street brand, at least) at a thrift shop, but don’t go there with the goal of scoring pieces whose tags bear recognizable names. That takes the fun out of finding something that truly captures your attention.
Eyeballing is not a good thing
Some of us can already tell whether a piece of clothing would fit right while others simply can’t. To be on the safe side, try on the clothes. Just make sure you bring a bottle of rubbing alcohol with you because you’re definitely going to feel itchy whether or not you have sensitive skin. But trying clothes on saves you from regretting a purchase. Remember: Something that looks good on a hanger may not exactly look good on you.
Don’t feel obligated to buy
There are plenty of things to choose from and they’re cheap! Surely, there’s no way you can go home without something, right? Well, you don’t really need to feel guilty for not buying anything. It could be that you’re just not in the mood to find pieces you’ll actually love wearing. Or maybe the batch of clothes you were choosing from really just didn’t have anything that suits your style. It’s okay to come out of a thrift shop empty-handed! Save yourself from buyer’s remorse and just go back some other time.
Like thrifting, too? Share your ukay-ukay shopping tips below!