Sun Under: A Guide To Gathering

I hope SunUnder inspires you to reconsider supporting fast fashion.
If you're new to shopping secondhand, we're here to help. Here are the the top 5 things to consider when venturing into a thrift store...

1. Gathering Goods Takes Time: How often you go is more important than where you go. Keep a running list of things you need. Stop in every once in a while and you'll eventually find what you're looking for. Just don't expect to find it on the first try every time. (This rule applies to your wardrobe and your home goods...examples: high powered juicers, iron skillets, and everything in between can be found in good condition) Be patient. 

 2. Ignore Brands & Sizes: What's the biggest mistake I see my friends making while thrifting? are you ready for it? They get too hung up on brands and sizing! It's fun finding vintage Dior or even a brand you recognize: but brand loyalty makes you blind to the beautiful pieces that you're passing up. Don't turn your nose up at something just because you don't recognize the brand, and don't buy something just because you do. 

Thrifting can be overwhelming because of the sheer mass of items. Start with your size, but don't be afraid to look through any isle.  Every brands sizing runs different, so if it looks like it'll fit: just try it on. Look through the mens isle, and browse all the sizes. Some pieces look better oversized and some well fitted. My favorite finds are usually in unexpected places. 

3. Seek High Quality Instead:  Look for high quality fabrics and materials like 100% cotton or linen. I don't buy those fabrics exclusively, but it does sway my purchasing decisions. Concerning brands, consider that fast fashion pieces from places like Forever 21 or H&M aren't built to last. They'll likely only serve you in the short term...so if you need it for a long season of time, reconsider. 

*don't forget to inspect carefully before purchasing, does it have any deal breaker rips, tears, stains or smells? The worst of these is cigarette smoke, which you can't wash out. some flaws (like a loose button) are worth fixing if the garment is right for you.

4. Be Picky: Just because its cheap, doesn't mean you need it. The affordability is an added bonus, but sometimes it can tempt you to over shop. Imagine yourself decluttering clothes 1 year from now, and think about what you'll actually wear day to day. If you wouldn't buy it at a full price, you might not need it at all. 

on that note: just because it's vintage, doesn't mean you need it. You can find vintage in ANY thrift store. pass it up if its not wearable or in good condition.

Remember: patterns, neon colors, and fad trends go in and out of style. when purchasing: consider items that feel timeless and effortless. ask yourself, will I wear this a year from now? do I have something in my wardrobe that I would choose over this item? (but if you like to take risks and experiment with your wardrobe - thrift stores are a great alternative to fast fashion, because you know these clothes won't be wasting any new resources.)

 5. Give Back: If you haven't worn a garment in over a year, its probably time give it new life. timeless pieces are worth holding on to, but other trends come and go. let go of pieces while they're still in style and good condition.  they'll be given new life instead sitting in the back of your closet. Try passing them on to someone you know will wear them before donating to to a thrift store with a good mission. & if your beloved garment needs some fixing, remember that mending it can extend the life even further. (bonus: your donation is tax deductible and often comes with a 20% off coupon)


for everything else, I hope you find it on SunUnder.


Madelin Grace


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