Thrift store shopping can be really fun, though I admit, at times exhausting. More often than not, I leave a thrift store without finding anything but when I do score, I score pretty big. I enjoy thrift store shopping for both home items as well as clothing because the best part is not knowing what you might find!
Here are two of my favorite thrift store clothing pieces, as well as some thrift store shopping tips!
In the past few years, I’ve been trying hard to evolve the way I shop for clothing. I love a good deal (who doesn’t) but I am also trying to be more conscious of how it effects the environment. Fast fashion (H&M, Forever21, Zara, etc) is great in that you can get the latest styles cheaply and immediately, but you trade it for lower quality, a larger environmental impact such as textile waste and pollution, and unclear origins of where you are getting your clothes and how it’s getting made. But I admit, it’s not always easy to find or afford eco-friendly and ethical clothing that you really like. It’s a process for me and I hope to get better at the consumer choices I make. One easy, small step is by shopping at thrift stores!
Yes, clothing thrift stores are pre-owned stuff. You might get a bit skeezed out about wearing clothes from strangers but I’ve never had a problem with washing everything before I wear it! Actually, you really should do that with your clothes regardless of where you get it. Some thrift stores are charity based – where the proceeds go towards supporting a great organization – and if nothing else, you are extending the life of an item rather than it getting tossed away.
The cute houndstooth dress I’m wearing above was a thrift store find when I was back in St. Louis. This dress was $11! I used my very basic sewing skills to shorten up the shoulder straps which was a bit long. I love that the dress is different but fun to wear! A summer thrift win.
Now this sleeve-less duster was also a thrift store find and I remember pulling it off the rack and thinking “This is weird. I think I like it”. I can’t remember exactly how much this was but it was definitely under $20. There wasn’t a brand name or tag on the duster, but I like to think that it was once owned by someone super trendy and their cool-ness will transfer over to me the more I wear it 😉 We’ll see.
Thrift store shopping can be frusting at times. Many times you have to rumage through a ton of not-so-great stuff to find a gem. But here are a few tips that I’ve learned that might help!
Figure Out the Schedule
Talking with the employees of the store will give you an inside scoop on when they tend to get most of their donations and when they put things on the floor. Also, shop at the change of seasons! That’s when people tend to clean out their closets.
Follow on Social
Sometimes stores will post some of their items online, which makes it even easier to hunt down good stuff. But you have to be quick if you want it! Also, it’s great to stay connected since some places will have promotions that they will advertise online.
Get a Little Crafty
Because thrift store finds are cheaper, it gives you more room to be creative! Turn a fun print dress into a skirt or spray paint that neon stool to a sleek black one. The possibilities are endless and it makes the items more unique.
Try New Locations
Thrift stores change depending on their location and the people who donate to them. So don’t be afraid to travel around, even if you’re on vacation! The Thrift Shopper is a handy website where you can find thrift stores near you.
Skip the Store Altogether
Second-hand goods don’t have to be from a store anymore. Companies like ThredUp or Poshmark lets you sell, donate, and buy totally online! From an environmental standpoint, not sure all that shipping is a better alternative, but hey, baby steps.
Would love to hear of any thrift store shopping tips you have or any great eco-friendly clothing brands that you like!