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Come National Thrift Shop Day, on August 17, the world will be celebrating what fashion insiders have always known: Value Village is a bona fide style destination. Making the switch to sustainable shopping here comes with endless sartorial perks: the treasure trove of a pre-loved, high quality and well crafted finds, everyday staples and unexpected finds lets you express yourself without limits. Plus, nothing compares to the thrill of the hunt and scoring that one-of-a-kind piece that regularly elicits a wide-eyed “Where’s that from?” Here are our top tips to get you started on your very own thrifting adventure.

Thrift with an Open Mind

If you think about your most-compliment-drawing closet pieces, they’re often the ones that were discovered on a whim, likely because you weren’t looking for them. Thrift shopping is the same game. “If you go in with one specific item in your sights, you’re limiting yourself [because you won’t be open] to the endless fashionable items at your disposal that you may not have thought of to begin with,”  says Montreal-based CAFA stylist of the year, Cary Tauben. In other words, let that unicorn piece find you. Maybe you have your mind set on uncovering a menswear-inspired blazer, but your next Value Village trip might yield the dreamiest Kate Moss-esque slip dress right when you don’t expect it.

Refine Your Search

We’ll admit it: Scouring endless racks of clothing in search of that prize piece can be a daunting task when you’re a thrifting newbie. It’s why the search for a perfectly buttercream silk blouse or a don’t-make-it-like-they-used-to suede skirt should start with your sense of touch. By taking this seldom-used sensorial approach, you can quickly narrow down potential options and get to the changeroom in a snap.

Turn to a Tailor

The golden rule of thrifting? Don’t pass on a total gem just because it isn’t the perfect fit. Whether it’s a hem or an ’80s-era drop shoulder that desperately requires a modern lift, “Alter the item to make it work for you,” offers Tauben. Simple (read “inexpensive”) tweaks can completely transform a vintage find, and since you’re already scoring a major deal, allocating some of those savings towards a quick fix is no sweat.

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Credit: Value Village x Cary Tauben Collection