I have been thrifting since I can remember, this is a skill I have fine tuned. It saves SO much money, so I want to share with you how to thrift smartly.
I recently shared some AMAZING thrifting finds with you guys on my Instagram Stories. There were so many requests to share about how I do it. I decided to share the DO’s and DON’Ts that I have learned over the years. My mom taught me everything I know. SECRET FACT: we were featured in the Statesman Journal on thrifting at our favorite store when I was in middle school. This was before it was a “cool” thing, needless to say, I was SO embarrassed. Now, I carry share this skill proudly!
You need to know brands to look for. Obviously, brands like Old Navy and Gap are easy to spot. You want to also be on the lookout for brands that names are not the name of the store but hold a lot of value. Study brand names from department stores or smaller stores that will hold value. Full list below!
Have a list. Either a mental or a physical list of the items you are looking for. This can be something as simple as shoes and shelf or as specific as gold shoes and tall white shelf.
Know your style. When you go into thrift stores, it can be overwhelming. Know what you like and stick with it. Just because something is a good deal and a name brand, doesn’t mean you need it. I had a closet full of good deals that weren’t my style for years, that was a lot of wasted money.
Learn how to scan. Thrift stores have a lot of products in them. You need to scan the shelves and racks for things that draw your eye. You won’t be able to go through every item so make your time spent worth it. Scan for good fabrics, colors, textures, good condition materials, authors, etc.
Find the sales. Most thrift stores have specific sale days. Goodwill has color days. Make sure you know what days they are running sales because these are the days that you can score some great gems. I found an almost brand new Tahari pantsuit for a total of $2! All the clothing was on sale for $1 a piece.
Clean. I always wipe down my books with Clorox wipes, wash all clothes, and disinfect all decor pieces. This is to just ensure there isn’t anything that you would bring into your home that would be a pest or an odor.
Think outside the box. Especially with furniture. If it can be a small project, buy it! If you have time for big projects, this is also a great place to find them.
Never buy in excess. Don’t blow your budget on multiples of one item. In places like Goodwill, they will often have multiples of items. Don’t get overwhelmed by all of them, only buy what you need. I used to buy multiple of the same item because I loved it and it was a great deal. I NEVER used them all and wasted space and money on these items. Most of the time, this is decor items.
Judge. Try and not let the smell of a thrift store get to stop at the door. Thrift stores have a unique smell and set up. You can still find AMAZING items in there, you just need to know what you are looking for.
Overload. Don’t overload yourself with too many projects! If you don’t have time to fix it or paint it, don’t buy it. You don’t want to have a storage unit full of projects you probably won’t do because of being overwhelmed by all of them.
Buy without thinking. I’m talking about, it’s such a good deal so you buy it. If you can’t think of at least 2 places in your home it would work or at least 3 different outfits you can wear with it, then don’t buy it.
My List of brands I look for:
Shoes: Sam Edelman, BP, Born, Keds, Nike, Sorel, Hunter, Nine West, Steve Madden, Mossimo, Dolce Vita, 14th Union, Halogen, BCBG, Cole Hann, Franco Sarto, Jambu, Jeffrey Campbell, Louise et Cie, Sole Society, etc.
Clothes: Old Navy, Gap, PINK, Paige, Hudson Jeans, American Eagle, Joe’s Jeans, 7 for all Mankind, Free People, LOFT, Ann Taylor, Tahari, PJ Salvage, Lily Pulitzer, Kut From The Kloth, Halogen, Lush, Forever 21, H&M, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Nike, Adidas, Puma, The North Face, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Adrianna Pappell, Zella, AG, ALDO, Articles of Society, BCBG, BB Dakota, Calvin Klein, Caslon, Chelsea 28, Cupcakes and Cashmere, DKNY, Wildfox, Hinge, J. Crew, Jolt, Leith, Madewell, Make + Model, Michael Kors, all NORDSTROM brands, Sun and Shadow, Trouve`, Treasure&Bond, Gibson, Tommy Hilfiger, and so many more that I can’t remember!
Decor: Nate Burkus, Mossimo, Threshold, Nicole Miller, etc.
I may update this list in the future when I have more come to mind!