I used to be afraid of the thrift store. There was nothing about it that appealed to me. They always smelled like an old ladies’ basement and had knick-knacks from that basement all over. I would look through the racks and find elastic waistline jeans and shirts with birdhouses all over them. I also never liked the idea of wearing someone’s old unwanted clothes.
Well, my fear of thrift stores has gone away. I decided one day to check out the Salvation Army near my house for some work pants. (I work with babies and feel like paying more than 5 bucks for a pair of khakis that I don’t even want to wear in the first place is a waste of money.) So in my search for work pants I started looking around and in the past couple years I have found some pretty good deals. I’ve learned how to navigate the store and stay away from the ugly clothes and find cute ones.
Things I have learned while shopping in thrift stores is…
1.) Stick to the basics. Don’t go to a thrift store hoping to find the latest trends. Remember these are hand-me-downs. In stead stick to items like jeans, jackets, skirts, and dresses. Look for items that don’t go out of style.
2.) Don’t be afraid of the search. It is very time-consuming to find cute clothes at a thrift store. Many of them are organized by color, not size, so it might take a long time to find something you like that is also in your size. Don’t give up and give yourself plenty of time.
3.) Don’t buy shoes. It’s just gross. The only time I feel it is acceptable is if the shoes look never worn. I would rather buy clearance shoes that are brand new than used shoes.
4.) Look for name brands. I always look for brands that I know. Even better, I look for brands that I can’t afford at the normal store.
5.) You’re not always going to have luck. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped at a thrift store to look around and walked out empty-handed. It never hurts to just look because you never know what you’re going to find.
Here are some things I’ve found at my local Salvation Army store…
This is a dress I found for $2.00. It’s just a simple black dress. Nothing special, but the best thing about black is that you can accessorize. I found these red beads from Aldo that I must have bought in college and put them with the dress. I plan on wearing this to a friend’s wedding this fall.
This is a jade green skirt. I have not had a place yet to wear it, but it would be cute if you had to dress up for work. I usually pair it with black and I think it just adds a pop of color in an outfit. Oh yes, this one was 50% off of $0.99. Yeah, that’s right, thrift stores are always having sales. Skirts are usually really cheap too, even the name brands.
I love black skirts! I am always buying black skirts at the Salvation Army. They are so cheap and never really go out of style, so you can keep them forever. For these 3 skirts, I spent a total of $4.00. The one on the left is Bebe and the top right is Gap. Not sure the brand on the bottom right, but it’s one of my favorite skirts in the fall. I wore it to a rehearsal dinner last year and recreated an outfit I had pinned on Pinterest.
Here are a couple outfits with the black skirt. I love to dress it up with some heals, but sometimes I like to be comfortable when I’m dressed up. Heals are not always practical for my lifestyle, even though I love them, so I put some leopard print flats on and added a black sweater.
It’s Labor Day weekend and many thrifts stores run big sales on the national holidays. I know that the Goodwill and Salvation Army have 50% off all clothes. I know what I will be doing on my day off tomorrow!