Everything You Need To Know About Buying Thrifted Denim

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When we go thrift shopping, we often aren't sure what to look for, especially when shopping for jeans. But with this guide to everything you need to know about buying thrifted denim, you'll be ready to head out to your nearest thrift store and start shopping!

Secondhand shopping is beneficial to the environment, communities, and our wallets. It's a way you can refresh your wardrobe with "new" pieces while also helping the local economy and fighting fast fashion.

Jeans can be hard to buy because there are so many styles to choose from. Not to mention, there are quite a few things to look out for to ensure you get a quality pair of denim jeans. Let's explore some tips for buying thrifted denim.

Check Your Closet First

Before you head out, the first thing you want to do is check your closet and count how many pairs of jeans you already have and what styles you own.

Sure, you might think that there’s no such thing as "too many jeans," but it's still a good idea to determine if you want more of a specific cut. You can also decide what you're willing to donate to make room for new pairs.

For example, you might have many skinny jeans but want to change your style into a more vintage aesthetic that calls for wider cuts.

Like grocery shopping, when you examine your personal inventory before shopping, you get a better idea of what to look for when you arrive at the store. This can help you avoid buying something you already have or everything but the one thing you set out to buy!

Wear Something Comfortable

Whenever you go thrift shopping, try to wear something comfortable that you can easily change in and out of.

Wearing leggings or even sweatpants can make the shopping process much easier because you'll be able to try on as many jeans as you'd like and not spend time trying to buckle your belt multiple times!

Plus, shopping is technically a workout, so why work out in anything but something comfortable to walk miles in? You might also consider wearing a simple t-shirt that you can put other clothes over in case you find a fashionable top to go with your new jeans!

Bring a Tape Measure

The last series of steps to take before driving to your nearest thrift shop is grabbing your tape measure, measuring your waist and hips, and bringing the tape measure with you to the store. This can be a great hack when figuring out which jeans might be a better fit.

Pre-measuring the jeans as you sift through the hundreds of options that thrift stores offer can help you save time in the store. This tool can also ensure that you're confident about the fit and size before putting an item in your cart.

Check the Men's Section

Many people find it challenging to find a nice pair of denim in the women's section alone and assume they'll have to look elsewhere to find them.

But wait! You might find success when checking the men's section for jeans. This can be especially helpful when looking for high-waisted fits or wide jeans to take your closet to the next level.

Search for Cotton-Based Materials

Have you ever tried on a pair of jeans from the 80s or 90s and found it still felt high in quality? If so, they might've been 90- to 100-percent cotton!

Cotton-based materials tend to last longer than synthetics and other environmentally harmful fabrics that fast fashion pieces typically contain.

Many materials made of artificial fabrics can easily lose their stretch after a certain amount of time. They can feel snug at first, but you may notice that they become baggy or droopy throughout the day. This is because washing and drying wear out the elastic fibers and reduce their flexibility over time.

For example, a pair of "jeggings" can be calling your name from the racks. Jeggings usually have a cotton-and-spandex blend since they’re combinations of leggings and jeans. While you can certainly buy them to match your style, you'll want to consider how long they'll last you and the safety of your skin.

If you're looking for a pair of jeans that will last a long time, maintain their shape, and be a better choice for your skin, search for cotton-based jeans!

Look for Bigger Sizes

It's always a good idea to purchase a slightly larger size when shopping for the right pair of jeans. Our bodies are constantly changing, whether we realize it or not. We might feel a little more bloated on certain days over others.

This is why you should look for jeans that aren't too snug. Be sure to focus on the jeans' shape, pocket placement, seams, and other details before you buy them.

Try Them On

When you've found a great pair that you've measured and analyzed, the next step is the most fun one. You can now try the jeans on! Whenever you go clothes shopping, it's always best to try them on items in the store to ensure that they do the following things for you:

  • Fit comfortably: Although our measurements may give you a good idea of what the fit will look like, you’ll never know for sure until you try a pair of jeans on. Maybe the waistband seems secure, but the bottom hem is too short or long. Trying on the thrifted jeans will help you become more confident in your purchase.
  • Match your style: Perhaps the jeans looked better on the racks, but not in the fitting room. Maybe the color is too light, or there are too many rips! The goal of trying on your clothes before buying them is to ensure you like them in the fitting room before you wear them at home.

Make It Fun!

Finally, remember that shopping can be fun for many people while being a chore for others. If you're shopping for yourself, take a friend with you and make it a day date! Thrifting can be lots of fun, especially when you find the perfect deal. If you're shopping for your business, you might benefit from checking out a used jeans wholesale distributor like Texx Team. We'll help you gather different styles of jeans to resell to your customers.

Now that you understand everything you need to know about buying thrifted denim, you can head to your local thrift shop and find those perfect jeans you've always wanted!