I tried the online thrifting service Thredup and it changed the way I thought about shopping
We are currently living during the prime time for online shopping and subscription services, but few have successfully married the modern convenience of subscription services with the timeless joys of thrifting like the online service Thredup.
Whether you’re a person who loves thrifting for the chase of finding the perfect outfit, you court champagne tastes on a budget, or you want to reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing second-hand clothes (while also not supporting global slave labor), Thredup was developed to cater to the needs of those of us who want to experience some secondhand charm while online shopping.
So naturally, when I received an email about the service, I knew I had to check out the experience for myself. My first question was HOW do they even know what to pick out for you?! Well, that was quickly answered for me. Each shopper sends an email that lists their measurements, shoe size, dress size (if you identify as a woman/wear dresses), three to four of your favorite clothing brands, a prize range you’re willing to pay per thrift item ($1, $15, $100, whatever your range per item is) and then you pick from a selection of themed box options.
Because I did my trial during the holiday season, “holiday office party” was one of the options, and I decided to go for it.
Shortly after I sent my email with my style preferences off into the abyss, I received my very own Thredup box.
The packaging is cute enough to serve as a good omen for the clothing itself. I couldn’t wait to see what was waiting for me inside.
There was enough clothing to fill and cover my entire bed.
This isn’t hyberbole, we’re talking THE WHOLE BED WAS BURIED IN CLOTHES.
I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the patterns and textures and immediately wanted to try on everything at once. In a perfect world, shoppers would love and fit into every clothing item in the box. However, Thredup is realistic about the odds of that happening, so each shopper receives a mailing label to send back the clothes that don’t fit (either sizewise or style). The mailing label usually gives shoppers a one or two week window to try everything on and see how they feel, then once you’ve sent back the duds, you pay the total for everything you kept. It’s a system that really allowed me to spend a bit of time with each outfit combo before making a snap decision, which I loved.
Here are a few of my fave outfits I pieced together from Thredup.
This bodycon dress and jacket.
For my source brands I listed Doc Marten, Zara, H&M, Black Milk Clothing and Karl Lagerfield. I also made a note that I don’t like muted colors or neutrals, and instead prefer bright colors or black. So when I saw this stretchy bold print Topshop dress in the heap I was immediately in love (and overjoyed that it fit). The jacket shown here is also a keeper from H&M. Thredup doesn’t guarantee that the boxes will contain your source brands, since it’s all thrifted and depends on availability, so I really got lucky.
This Nastygal sweatshirt.
I have worn this sweatshirt at LEAST eight times in the past three weeks I’ve had it. I absolutely love the tie-dye marbled pattern, it’s comfy and great for layering, and friends have commented on how “me” it is.
This animal-print Zara dress.
When I was 13 one of my aunts gifted me a pair of leopard print pants, and my life was NEVER the same. Any dress in the neighborhood of Fran Drescher is my jam, so this Zara party dress was obviously a keeper.
This full leopard print outfit.
I tried to angle this photo so you could get a feel for the pants as well (black skinny jeans). This Zara cheetah print top was a love at first sight experience for me. It’s ideal for layering (which is great for winter), loose and comfortable but still flattering, and it went perfectly with these H&M pants.
This Mary Tyler Moore sweater jacket.
I live in New York which is currently a blustering land full of death wish-inducing winter winds, and I regularly travel using public transportation. So, any clothing that is both very warm AND stylish is automatically a win for me. My roommate said this sweater jacket made me look like I stepped out of an episode of Mary Tyler Moore (which I was totally into).
This scarf and tank top.
I’m not sure what intense modeling arm pose I was going for, but I REALLY committed here. In any case, this humongous Zara scarf was immediately added to my stash of favorite winter accessories. And the blouse-like H&M tank top I’m wearing underneath is another addition I can now wear throughout all of the seasons. My box didn’t include shoes (the inclusion of shoes varies), otherwise you can bet your bottom dollar I’d be showing them off!
I’ll always love the physical act of thrifting, there’s something satisfying about searching through the racks for treasures yourself.
You feel like you’ve really earned it.
Even so, I must say that my experience with Thredup was all around win. Whoever curated my box obviously read my email and nailed the styles I love and the sizing I need. I was able to try on the clothes in the comfort of my home, and fit the whole process into my busy schedule in a way that regular thrifting doesn’t allow. The whole model allows for shoppers to spend less money and still wear killer brands and designs, which is a rare combination indeed.
So, if you’re considering taking the leap and giving Thredup a go, I say go for it.
The worst thing that can happen is you’ll send everything back.