a big ol’ post on thrift shopping

I did some serious thrift shopping today in search of some fun new spring/summer wear. The booty includes:

  • 2 purses {a colorful canvas floral printed one and a shiny purple one with a chain strap that looks like it’s from The Buckle. Or owned by a Vegas hooker. Whatev.
  • A scarf {not a spring or summer one… more of a fallish tapestry one that I’ll get to drag out months from now}.
  • A sunny yellow jersey dress. I now have 2 mustard-yellow sleeveless dresses I’ve not worn yet. Ha!
  • 3 skirts with various prints… plaid and florals.
  • 5 sleeveless and short-sleeved work-appropriate tops.
  • A hoodie and cropped sweats for working out.
  • Some longish khaki shorts… Calvin Klein and super cute.
  • A serving platter with a yellow print… looks kinda vintage/cottagey and will be perfect for my Garden Party-themed cooking club in June.
  • A few misc things for an organizing project I’ll be working on this week… pretty saucers, votive holders, etc. I’ll post about it later… I need to get some Gorilla Glue to complete it.

I ended up dropping $86 today which is a LOT for a thrift store trip for me, but that’s quite the haul. I feel like my work wardrobe is looking pretty good for Spring now.


I’ve been a thrift-shopper for a lot of years, which has made me a total deal-seeker when I shop anywhere. I’ll generally spend about $30 on a given thrift store trip and end up with around 6-7 items. I’ve hit the thrift store once each month of the wardrobe challenge and those 6-7 items get mixed in to the lineup giving me tons of options. I am on day 100 today and still going strong without spending a dime on retail… except those sandals in Vegas with a gift card.

Anyway… here are a few examples of some outfits built around thrift scores:

Left: button-down shirt; Middle: plaid gauchos; Right: black vest, grey skirt.

Left: tank; Middle: vest and button-down shirt; Right: short-sleeve sweater.

Left: black skirt and sweater vest; Middle: orange hooded sweater and houndstooth skirt; Right: sweater.

Some of my favorite outfits incorporate things I thrifted, because I buy things I might not normally buy when they are $4. Like that houndstooth skirt… I love it, but never would have thought to buy it new.

The great thing about thrifted now versus 10 years ago is you’ll find WAY more trendy stuff than before. Now that there are super cheap, super trendy stores like Charlotte Russe and Forever 21, you’ll find more of it in thrift stores while it’s still in style. Sad, I know, that clothing’s become so disposable, but you can use that to your advantage.

Admittedly, and obviously, I’m not really a person who thrift shops to support my unique and edgy style {though I’d like to be}. I still have to dress conservatively for work but like to still show off hints of my personality in my clothing. I thrift shop because of the bargains and because I like the creative aspect of putting things together.

^Here’s today’s haul!

So, a few tips to find great stuff, based on my experiences only… there are lots of thrift guides out there written by people way more dedicated than me. These are the tips for lazy people!!!

  • Periodically check your closet for things you don’t wear often because you don’t have things to go with them. Keep those items in mind while you thrift shop and expand the wardrobe you already have.
  • Don’t limit yourself to one size, especially with skirts and dresses! The skirts I own range from size 4 to 10 somehow. Sizes are not consistent and sometimes things are put away in the wrong place anyway. So, check all the racks!
  • Look for patterns and colors you really like, especially if you don’t have time to really dig. Just check out what catches your eye.
  • Try to make sure you’ve got at least one thing from home in mind you can wear with the item you are buying… unless you can find something to pair with it while you’re shopping!
  • Keep other seasons in mind. Be open to stuff you might not wear immediately. I look for dresses I like in case I have a wedding or something coming up. I’m always glad to get to pull those out instead of going to buy something full-price the weekend before I have to attend an event.
  • When you see something super weird, consider it’s use for Halloween. Not kidding.
  • Look for certain trends you really like and snatch them all up. I have a thing for vests so I buy them whenever I find them. They make layering easy.
  • Never buy the following items retail without checking thrift stores first: black or navy pencil skirts, denim jackets, basic sweaters, long-sleeve tee shirts. Thrift stores are jam-packed with those items! Same for men’s flannel shirts and sweaters, and baby clothing!
  • Pay it forward. Taking a bag of clothes you no longer wear to donate once in a while is good thrifting karma!

3 thoughts on “a big ol’ post on thrift shopping”

  1. Great post! Thanks for the thrifting guidelines. I’ve been scouting the thrift stores here in Japan and have scored a couple of gorgeous silk kimonos. Who knows if I will ever have a use for them, but who can pass up a thing of beauty especially when you are not paying retail!

    1. Buying one kimono at least is mandatory! That’s awesome- you should post! =) Thanks for the comment, girl!

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