October 21, 2015

How To: Successfully Thrift Shop

Black Velvet Blazer (Banana Republic)  //  Striped Necktie Blouse
Floral Shift Dress  (LOFT) // Printed Blue Dress  (Michael Kors)
Teal Linen Blazer  (Forever 21)  //  Pleated Blush Pink Dress
White Knit Overlay Dress   //   Red Wool Pencil Skirt (J.Crew) 

Light Denim Jacket  (Target)   //  Navy Striped Dress (L.L.Bean)

Full Red Plaid Skirt  //  Oversized Gray Cardigan

What do all these pictures have in common? Every outfit has at least one thing that was purchased at the thrift store. I love thrifting and scoring great deals at major discounts. I once found a DVF dress but had to give it up to my sister as it was size 0. Shopping at the thrift store is the hardest but most rewarding. You have to spend time and energy digging through rows of junk but finding name brands is beyond rewarding. Here are my tips to successful thrifting.

1. Know Your Brands

One thing that I always check for is name brands. When I'm shopping and looking through the items on a rack, I always check the tags. Something that is from J.Crew is bound to catch my eye and the name tag confirms that it's worth the money. Even if you don't know something, get online and check if it's something you would wear.

2. Try Everything On

Get a cart and pile it on with things you like. Then spend some time in the dressing room trying everything on and thinking realistically if you're going to wear it. Only because something is $1.99 doesn't mean you should buy it. Don't fill your closet with garbage but be very selective about the fit, color and fabric. But if something is really great, or an expensive brand there is a fix for that too. (read below)

3. Check It Over (multiple times)

Even if an item fits well, check it over multiple times for stains, rips and tears. A lot of times people donate stuff not because it's been worn out but because something has a hole, or a small stain. See if you are able to mend it yourself or bring it to a tailor for reasonable price. If it's going to cost you 5 times more to alter it, then you loose the point of thrifting. Unless, of course, you found a Burberry jacket, then grab it and run no matter the size. ha!

4. Take Your Time

Thrift shopping takes time. There are rows of items that are absolute junk and among those you will find one jewel. Yes, even seasoned thrift shoppers like myself need time to check every section over. I usually don't spend a lot of time because I don't have the luxury right now and therefore will find only one or two items that are in excellent condition. Checking things over and trying them on takes time so clear your schedule, free an entire afternoon and go for it.

5. Know Your Fabrics

Sometimes, an item doesn't look all that impressive until you put your hands on it. For example, the very last grey cardigan isn't very impressive looking but it's the soften cashmere I've ever had. My mom found it (she's even better at it than I am) and I stole it from her. You also have to check for items that are 'dry clean only' unless you are willing to pay more money to clean it later.

6. Find a Good Tailor 

I have taken a few things to the tailor while others I altered myself. Simple things like taking in a shirt I am able to do, but a pencil skirt with lining is a little beyond my expertise. Finding a good tailor can make a world of a difference. It can take a blah blazer to a top notch outwear piece. You have to make sure that an item is well made and in good enough condition to make it worth spending more money on it.

7. Shop Trendy Items

This fall, fringe is all the rage but you and I both know it's not going to stay long.  I know I won't be wearing a suede skirt for years to come so thrift shop is the perfect place to look for those authentic 70s pieces as most people donate them. Also, you can shop things you are afraid to buy at the department store. After all, if you don't like something, it only cost you a few dollars.

Are you a thrift shopper? Or do you stay away from such places?

How do you thrift shop? Do you have any secret tips and tricks? 


  1. You are the queen of thrifting. I never have the patience for it, but the pieces you've found have really made me reconsider! They're beautiful!


  2. Great looks with all your finds! Thanks for the tips. You are a gifted thrifter! :)


  3. These are all such great tips, and all of these outfits are so cute! Great post!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  4. I am a terrible thriftier. I always run out of patience. You are making me want to try harder! I love that plaid skirt and poncho/cape.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  5. These are some great outfits! You definetly must have a lot of patience which is what one needs to thrift shop and unfortunately most of the time I dont have that patience.

  6. Such great tips! You find such wonderful items :)


  7. I have never been thrift shopping, but I have wanted to for some time. Thanks so much for these tips! They are super helpful!


  8. I'm not very skilled when it comes to thrift shopping but am always jealous of others scores! Thanks for the tips :)


  9. Great tips - thank you so much for sharing. Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you Thursday.


  10. You have amazing style!
    -Adi xxo


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