Fashion isn't always about the price point of the things we wear. As we deem fashion as art, we take pride in knowing that we can whip up a good outfit even without the hefty price tag. Plus, who says nice clothes can only be found in boutiques and malls? Ukay-ukay or thrift shopping is always an option. Although mind you, it's not for the faint-hearted! To serve as your guide, we talk with experienced thrift shoppers on what they've learned over time when it comes to navigating the ukay-ukay. Read on!
1. Know what's trending.
Preview's Maura Rodriguez shares, "Always check the runway trends first or what's currently in store. I brush up on fashion trends to get an idea on what to look for before thrift-shopping. This is super helpful if your personal style isn't the typical 'vintage' or 'retro' aesthetic, and it will narrow down your choices to a specific type of style or item."
2. Shop with intent.
Maura adds, "If you want frayed denim jeans or a ruffled top or dress, and if you [already] have that in mind before shopping, it'll make the experience less overwhelming."
3. Don't be fooled by the tags.
Model Jessica Yang reminds us, "Don't get things you don't need just because they are way too cheap."
4. Be physically prepared.
"If you're allergic to dust, take meds to prevent any uncomfortable experiences while shopping," Maura says. To which, blogger Steffi Ziebert adds, "Use a face mask while shoppping, so you don't get allergies from the dust."
5. Remember the dates 15 and 30.
Maura explains, "These are also called 'payday dates' and usually ukays go on sale before the 15th and 30th. Like, 3-for-100 bargains!"
6. Hoard and then double check.
"If you like something, get it right away and then park yourself in a corner and start checking each piece meticulously for damages or stains," Maura warns.
7. With ukay-ukay, you need patience.
Steffi says, "Most of the time, there's bound to be even one item you'd like. It's not all about where or which ukay you go to." To which Jessica adds, "[Ukay-ukay] is basically treasure hunting. You need to be patient." Photographer Shaira Luna even shares her shopping technique: start with the rack with the lowest price tags!
8. Try on items you see that you like.
Steffi reminds us that "ukay items don't have the same sizes as usual retail stores, so it's better to try them on." If you're worried about hygiene, you may want to check out Shaira's nifty trick here.
9. "Always bring hand sanitizer."
Ukay-ukay clothes have gone through a lot. So after browsing through racks of clothes, "wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer," Steffi advises. Don't forget to thoroughly launder the clothes, too!
This story originally appeared on Preview.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.