I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to do a post about thrift store shopping. I’ve been thrifting since I was in high school. In fact, it’s one of my favorite activities to do with my mom. We love to spend hours sifting through the racks at our favorite thrift shops and catching up on life. It’s therapeutic in a sense.
I recently found this black EQUIPMENT blouse at the thrift shop by my house for $4.50. It retails for $214. The top is in perfect condition! These jeans are from the same thrift store and were $3. I wasn’t familiar with the brand, but when I tried them on, I loved the way they fit. They were too long when I bought them, so I actually cut the bottoms myself to create a frayed hem. Since they were only $3, I was fine with taking the risk and cutting them myself!
Whenever I tell people I bought something at a thrift shop, I always hear the same response, “I get so overwhelmed in those places! I just give up.” I totally get it. There are so many clothes in all different conditions. It can be hard to find what you’re looking for. But I’ve got some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years that will hopefully make it easier for you the next time you go shopping!
FIND YOUR FAVORITES
It’s taken some trial and error, but I’ve found my favorite go-to shops. I personally can’t stand the shops that are super chaotic, so I prefer to shop at the ones that are slightly more organized (i.e. by size, category, etc.). I also like to shop at the stores that give back. Sales from my favorite local store, Hope’s Door, benefit the programs at the center.
DON’T GO IN WITH EXPECTATIONS
Because you never know what to expect, I never go into a thrift shop with the idea I will find anything specific. I feel like that’s the best way for me to be pleasantly surprised when I DO find something great! For instance, I actually only found this EQUIPMENT top because I decided to stop by the thrift store on my way to run errands. I love to browse the section with my size and this top just happened to be there!
READ THE SIGNS
Most thrift stores have “specials” every weekend (or throughout the week) offering a discount off the already affordable prices. For example, anything with a green tag may be an additional 50% off one day or 99 cents.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ALTER
Some of my favorite items in my closet were thrift store finds that may have been too long or too big when I bought them. (I am a petite person.) But since the cost is so low, I have been able to alter a lot of pieces to fit me perfectly. So not only do I have a great item, they fit better than most of my store-bought clothing!
CLEAN IT UP
A lot of people I know (ahem, my husband) are weirded out by the fact that someone else has worn the shoes or clothing before. My biggest piece of advice: everything can be cleaned! Whenever I buy anything from the thrift shop, I immediately take it home and wash it. If I buy a pair of shoes, I spray them down with Lysol spray. Clothing goes in the wash as soon as possible. Even handbags get sprayed down with Lysol.
DON’T FORGET ESTATE SALES
I love hitting up estate sales. I use a site called Estate Sales Net to find the sales going on near me. I know the “high end” areas that I want to shop in and only go to sales in those areas. While prices aren’t negotiable at estate sales, they do usually get marked down as the sales gets close to an end. So if it begins on a Friday, but Sunday, you may find items marked down by 50% or 75%.
I hope these tips helped some of you who may be feeling overwhelmed by thrift store shopping! I am by no means an expert, but I have been doing it for quite awhile, so I’ve learned the tricks of the trade. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have!
SHOP THE LOOK
IMAGES BY THE RETRO PENGUIN