HOW TO BUY SECOND HAND SWEATERS

Pumpkins, apples, and of course sweaters, are the sure fire markers of the changing season.  None of us can deny our relentless desire to get that perfect insta-shot in a chunky knit and pumpkin latte. Don't act like you ain't thinking about it.

Don't worry, I'm thinking about it too. I mean, it is all about the spirit of the season, right?

Anyway, Sweaters can be extremely expensive, and if you are like me, you might want a bit of variety. I would love Madewell's entire sweater collection, but I'd probably end up having to make a tent out of them to survive the upcoming winter season. I like sleeping in my bed, thank you!

What if you could have all the variety you wanted for under $50?

Well, my beautiful friend, you CAN have all the variety you want for under $50! If you shop patiently and efficiently, you can leave your local thrift store with many, many sweaters.

First things first: make sure you are ready for this. Check out 5 things to prepare for thrift store shopping, and set aside a trip dedicated to sweaters, because I am telling you, that sweater aisle is endless and you don't want to let your guard down and come home with a sweater full of holes. Even if it is two dollars, it is a waste.

WEAR

When buying second hand sweaters, you must be diligent to make sure it is in good condition.  Knits have a tendency to become misshapen over time and show some serious structural problems the good thing is a sweater that is too worn out is pretty obvious.

  • Odd Shape: thisprobably means it was shrunken or stretched. This can happen with improper care of a garment. (tumble drying or hanging, where it should have been laid flat, machine wash instead of hand wash, etc). Sometimes you may find a sweater that appears cropped...try it on. It may just be shrunk and will look terrible on.
  • Pills: Are those roly things that appear on the surface of a sweater. It doesn't always mean the quality of the garment isn't the greatest, but can more indicate a lot of washing or abrasion on the fabric. Make sure to check each piece under the arm for signs of wear.
  • Fading: No explanation needed. Don't buy faded sweaters, bro. FABRIC
  • Fibers: The fiber content of a sweater will tell you a lot about how your garment will wear.
  • Natural fibers: mohair, wool, and cotton will last way longer if it is taken care of. You will be able to find some great vintage pieces that are still in excellent shape. I get lucky and  find sweaters with tags on them all the time.
  • Synthetics:  Pay close attention to the quality of the fiber. There are some great synthtics and blends that you can rely on, but sometimes, you are not getting anything that would last. Acrylic is really popular for sweaters as it mimics wool but I would stay away from 100% Acrylic because it has a tendency to pill. You can test it quickly by rubbing the garment together this should give you an idea of whether or not it will easily wear. I bought the sweater below last year, but I don't get a whole lot of wear out of it because it started peeling after the first wear (it had tags on it when I got it) It was a combination of the synthetic fiber and how then of a sweater it is.
  • Blends: Blends can be great but I would test anything with acrylic as mentioned above (rub test, in case you don't wanna scroll back up!). HOW TO GET THE BEST DEALS ON SECOND HAND SWEATERSRemember, the key is variety and you can really add a good amount of sweaters to your collection by shopping on half off day! Most thrift stores price vintage sweaters between $2 and $5 so that means they can cost you between $1 and $2.50 on half off day. Newer sweaters and sweaters with tags can be anywhere from $4- $25 but getting them at half price will be ideal.Another option is to go on any day and carefully look through all the sweaters. Most thrift stores have a specific color tag that will be 50% -75% off you have to be willing to look for them! Some thrift stores will have a week where a specific color is half off  shop the day that color switches for more items that are half off.  You will have lot's of luck finding the best deal because it will not be picked over yet.In addition, utilizing patience will ensure that you check for defects like holes. You do not want to waste a single penny on something you will not wear!I hope this post inspires you to get out there, hit the thrift and find some awesome sweaters!Oh and get a pumpkin latte too. Because, duh.

Check at my latest thrift haul! It features a few sweaters as well.