A little thrifting 101

A thrifting we will go…a thrifting we will go…

I love thrifting.  It can be a total hit or miss for me sometimes, and I’ll admit, the “hit” days fuel me to go back and hunt for more treasures.  So, I thought I would share some of my “thrifting tips”, and maybe I’ll inspire you to take a little trip yourself.

Here is a shot of my most recent thrift haul.  I happened to go to a Value Village that was about 30 min from my usual stop, and this particular day was a score!


(brands: Jcrew, Cache, Kenar, Forever21)

So here are a few of my fave tips:

Go with a “hit list” …having an idea of what you’re looking for makes the whole trip not so overwhelming.  The sections I tend to hit first are as follows depending on the season: Spring/Summer (shorts, short sleeve blouses, skirts, summer dresses)….Fall/Winter (light jackets, coats, long sleeve blouses, sweaters).  I have not had very good luck thrifing jeans/pants…I think the main reason is that I do not have the patience to weed through the obscene amount that most stores carry. I always scan the shoes, but honestly that is one department I have not have much success with, but I always look!

Know your brands…I think this is the best way to find quality pieces.  I can walk down an aisle and scan the rack while running my hand over each piece to know what’s worth taking a second look .  This yellow top below for example…first the color caught my eye, but then when I saw the detail I had a feeling it was a great brand, and sure enough…Jcrew!  Decide what is worth it and what isn’t.  For me, a Target t-shirt is not worth the sometimes $5.99 price tag.


*my two favorite denim jackets are both thrift finds!!


Smell it…I know this is a hang up for so many people and it is for me too.  If something smells in the store, it’s going to smell when you get it home…especially …ahem, the arm pits..just sayin 😉 …so my point is, I just don’t buy things that smell!


(blouse and shorts both thrifted)


Not only do I love to shop for clothes, but home goods are on my list at times too.  Here are some of my favorites:

glassware – I have found long stem wine glasses (think Olivia Pope from Scandal 😉 One of my favorite thrift hauls were the pint beer glasses of different varieties I thrifted for my 23 year old son.

books – I can always find a book or two that I have been wanting to read.


holiday items – my favorite holiday items are hands down my santa mug collection.  Keep in mind, most of the time you’ll find one, and then maybe another a week later.

wool blankets – I have been lucky to score 4 vintage plaid wool blankets.  I make sure they have a brand tag on them (ie: pendelton, faribault woolen mill, etc) so I know they are authentic.  I make sure to smell them, because that’s a hang up for me and I know for a lot of other people, and of course, they can’t have any holes.


A few other tips:

-I always try to bring a bag or two of donations when I go because stores like Value Village/Savers have a punch card or give coupons with your donation.

-Shop on sale days or at least make sure you find out the “color of the day” when you walk in the door.

-Don’t think that just because a store is not in an affluent area there wont be any quality items.  Trucks are bringing in merchandise from other areas so there is usually a pretty good mix.

-Know your prices.  I have seen some big variations on prices.

Well, there you go, some of my tips.  I hope have inspired you to take a trip to your local thrift store and see what you can find.  If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!






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