Thrift Shopping: My Tips & Tricks

I did an instagram poll asking if you all would like to see a post on thrift shopping. Why I enjoy thrifting, where I go, what I look for, and more. Today’s post is going to include all of my tips and tricks when I go thrifting & some of my favorite thrift finds!

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“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

I find this quote perfectly sums up why I go thrifting. Items are donated because someone either didn’t like them, were “out dated”, they grew out of it, etc. You can find such great deals and unique things when you go thrift shopping. My absolute favorite things to thrift are vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories. You can almost always find them for great deals depending on where you look. I love all things vintage, especially the 1950’s era. The clothing then was so modest and elegant. Women dressed up more then, and no one questioned why because it was the norm. Now I feel like if you dress up, especially being at college, people assume you have something important to go to- not just that you enjoy dressing up. Anyways, back to thrifting 😉 I also enjoy the hunt of looking for things. You never know what you’ll find! You may go looking for something specific and find something spot on that you’ve been looking for or you may not find anything and have to try again. That’s the fun of it!

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When it comes to purchasing items, I am particular about what I get. With clothing it’s important to make sure there are no holes, stains, or tears. Or if there are, you can easily mend them. I once found an adorable 1940’s inspired green and white polka dot dress at Goodwill but it had an ink stain on it. Fortunately, I was able to get it out the first time I washed it! When it comes to shoes, I am very picky. I almost always only get shoes thrifted if I can really tell they are brand new or haven’t been worn very much. I’ll also thrift vintage shoes if they’re in good condition and not worn a lot. As soon as I get home, I will put the clothes in the washer, wipe the shoes down with a klorax wipe, and throw the shopping bag away out of the house. You can never be too safe. My best shoe find was a pair of vintage Etienne Aigner loafers (same pair HERE) for $2.50! I also picked up a brand new pair of Clark’s Mary Jane heels (shown HERE)


Where really depends on your location, but always check out the local Goodwill. Yes, I know Goodwill can have a bad reputation and many people may think of it as “dirty” and “gross”, but you can find some treasure there! And you can always wash clothes! Of course, refer to what I talked about as far as quality goes. Yes some things at Goodwill may look gross and it may smell a little funky, but I have found some of my favorite thrift finds from there!

Also, check out any local thrift stores. Often churches will have their own thrift shop and the money will go to the church. These often have better quality pieces than Goodwill and may have better prices.


Something I recently learned from a fellow thrifter (shout out to Abigail from Contemporary Identity) is to go thrifting on the first Saturday of the month! All Goodwill’s have 50% off everything on the first Saturday of every month! But get there early because there will be a line before the doors open and you will have to wait in a long line at the checkout (but it’s worth it!)! This is often true with other thrift stores. They may offer deals on the first Saturday, third Saturday, certain day of the week, etc.

Aside from going to thrift stores, I also like going to yard sales and barn sales! It’s basically just like thrifting but at someone’s house or barn! You can usually tell before you even get out at the yard sale whether it will be clean or not. But the best places to go are in college towns and nice subdivisions. Again, I have found some of my favorite pieces at yard sales or barn sales! I found a blanket scarf for $2 from a yardsale once (washable!) and an authentic 1950’s vintage purse from a barn sale for $2 (seen HERE and in the photos in this post)! I also recommend going to antique stores/flea markets! Not only can you find vintage items for your closet, but you can for your home as well! My mom found me the cutest vintage dress and matching jacket (seen HERE) from a local antique store!

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Both the sweater and the skirt were thrifted from Goodwill! The sweater is Calvin Klein merino wool and the skirt is vintage. The shoes are Lifestride brand and are a few years old and the beret is new from Charlotte Russe (all hats and scarves are BOGO free now!)

Shoes (similar)    Skirt (similar)    Sweater (similar)    Beret available in stores, not online

I hope these tips were helpful for the next time you go thrifting, or inspired you to go yourself for the first time! If so, please comment- I’d love to hear!