People are often surprised when I tell them that I buy a lot of my clothes at thrift shops. Some, even those who go to the there for other things, think that thrift shop clothing is dirty and can’t imagine wearing things that others wore before them.
My outfit in this post is entirely thrifted, except for my sneakers.
When I was little, my mother was a single parent at a time when that was not only uncommon, it was frowned upon and talked about. She worked hard and struggled to support my two sisters and I without any financial help. Her first priority was a roof over our heads and food on the table. Stylish clothing was not something she cared or worried about!
We used to get hand-me-downs from cousins. An extended family member bringing a bag of discarded clothing was an exciting event in our house. It was fun to go “shopping”, try on things, and decide (or fight over!) who got what.
So you would think that I would have no trouble wearing other people’s clothes, but as an adult I was horrified at the idea of buying anything to wear at a thrift shop!
As I’ve shared before, it wasn’t until I was in the process of losing weight and not wanting to spend a lot of money on things that wouldn’t fit me for long that I ventured into the world of secondhand clothing. And now, I not only wear it, but I sell it as well!
I’m always thrilled to find designer clothing, but I don’t seek them out. I look for things that appeal to my sense of style and has just a little “something different”. For instance, a floral jacket that pops out of the rack or a long-sleeve tee shirt that has a lacy front.
I find that the best places to shop are independent thrift stores, like those associated with hospitals or or charitable organizations. Large stores like Goodwill have a ton of clothing, but I find them overwhelming and exhausting. The racks are often packed so tightly that I can’t see things properly. At a smaller store, I can flip through the racks much more quickly.
As I go through, I do look at the labels to see if it’s a good brand for reselling. But when looking for myself, I pay less attention to the label and more to the look of the item. I love bright colors, florals and fun details like covered buttons, lace, or zippers. I also look for well-made items and fabrics like silk or cashmere. The more you do it, the easier it will be to spot the higher-end clothing.
Don’t be afraid to look at the clearance racks. Just because it’s called “clearance” doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking at. Many thrift stores are now pulling designer items and putting them in a separate section called “boutique”, raising the prices accordingly. Sometimes, they simply price too high and, after a while, everything that doesn’t sell gets pushed onto the clearance or $1.00 rack. A few months ago, I found a lovely Diane von Furstenberg dress on the $1.00 rack.
It’s also a good idea to shop above and below your size. I generally wear a size Medium, but I look at Small and Large as well. Different brands size differently. For instance, I bought a Susan Graver top size XXS the other day that fit me perfectly.
I hope I’ve shared some helpful information! Below I’m also sharing a photo of my husband, Michael, who takes all of my photos for me. He’s a retired veteran, so I’ll be taking him out to dinner today for Veterans’ Day.
My jacket is by Laura Ashley Petites
My lace tee shirt is by Shannon Ford New York
My pants are by Soho Apparel
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