GUIDE TO THRIFT SHOPPING: THE DO’S AND DON’TS

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I was thrift shopping loooooong before Macklemore & Ryan Lewis started singing about $20 in their pocket and lookin’ incredible in Grandpa’s clothes (Sidenote: I still love that song)….

SHOP MY LOOK:


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As someone who loves fashion and looks forward to trying out new trends, I have no qualms about spending a little bit of dough on some new pieces. But I also love when I’m able to “pop tags” on a designer pair of jeans or a vintage high-end handbag for less than I would pay for a dinner out with my girls

*The jeans and sweater I’m wearing in this outfit were both thrifted. Linked similar options at the top of this post.

But it’s more than just saving money. You’re also reducing waste.  And let me tell you… if someone wants to recycle their old Chanel, then I am DOWN. FOR. THAT!

So without further ado… here are my tips for thrift shopping:

DO go in it with an open mind

I feel like the stigma of thrift shopping has tapered off a bit since the recession, but I know some people may still get the heebie jeebies when it comes to wearing clothes strangers have worn. Think of it this way… you’re going to wash it when you get home anyway. When you stay at a hotel you have no issue sleeping on a mattress that hundreds, maybe thousands of other people have slept on (or not slept on wink face) before you! Does that put it into a little bit of perspective? I hope so.

DO get creative

I came across two weird horse statue paper weights and re-purposed them as bookends. Old-school luggage stacked on top of each other can double as a cool end table. A beat-up coffee table can be sanded down and re-stained (we actually did this and it’s in our living room right now). Woven baskets can serve as towel or rag holders. There are so many options!

DO dedicate some time for “the hunt”

When you first walk into a thrift store it can be overwhelming. Luckily, the stores I’ve gone to here in Vegas are very clean and well-kept. But I’ve also been to some incredibly disorganized places and it makes finding those gems a little difficult. Take your time! Don’t think of it as an annoyance, but rather a treasure hunt – that’s how I imagine it anyways. I like to dedicate a full hour to my “hunting process”. Trust me, it’s worth it. I’ve come across new dresses with tags, designer jeans that look like they’ve never been worn, and multiple other drool-worthy clothing that sells for a fraction of the retail cost.

DO go with a list

I typically thrift shop when I have a specific set of pieces that I’m looking for. I B-line it straight to that section and dig, dig, dig.What I look for: Jeans (I found the flares I’m wearing in these pictures from Goodwill for $8),  Sweaters, Jackets, Skirts, Dresses, (how may times have you worn a dress to an event and never worn it again?) Vintage designer purses

DON’T forget to put on your Inspector Gadget hat

Make sure to take a good look at the pieces before you buy. Inspect for holes, beads that have fallen off and PLEASE double check the pit area. If it’s discolored – put that shiz back! In my experience, whites are never a good purchase. I once bought a white blouse that looked great under the fluorescent lights, but when I brought it home it looked dingy and just… yuck.

DON’T go without donating

Every time I go to a thrift shop I bring a big donation bag with me. Goodwill’s website says, “The planet benefits when you choose to ditch the dumpster and donate.”  It’s true. Over the past few years billions of clothes have been kept out of landfills because people donate and recycle them instead of throwing them away. Plus, it’s a tax reduction! Make sure to get those receipts babes! You can claim up to $500 towards a tax deduction for donations to good will within a year (talk to your accountant about it).

DON’T just buy because it’s cheap

I’m guilty of this. I’ve gotten some seriously weird things from Goodwill because they were cheap. We now have a star shaped glass bowl that’s collecting dust because I really wanted to put copious amounts of red, white and blue M&M’s in it for the 4th of July. I also have a bumble-gum pink pants suit. Yeah… you read that right. BUBBLE-GUM PINK PANTS SUIT! Why? Well… if I’m being completely honest it was purchased after a bottomless mimosa brunch and I was feelin’ quirky. To quote Tim Gunn…I thought I could “make it work.” NEWS FLASH… I can’t.

Ok – real talk…

I want to know about the best thrift shop locations across the country. Please let me know! I really want to plan a fun trip for the beginning of next year and I have no idea where we should go! Is it weird I want to plan it partly around cool thrift stores? Regardless… I could use some help!

Love, Lindsey

 

 

 

 

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31 Comments

  1. I´m so intrigued by thrift shopping. I´ve seen more and more people getting amazing things from thrift shops but my mom has kind of taught me that they were no good. I´m definitely giving up this attitude & going in with an open mind. I will also keep all your tips in mind when I do that.
    xx Lisa | Following Lisa

    1. That’s great Lisa! Some days I walk out with nothing… other days I hit the jackpot! Please let me know how it goes!

  2. I love hunting for finds I got a pair of Christian Loubiton shoes yes that’s right CLs for 40$ at a thrift store! Crazy right? I used to go every Saturday with my mom growing up and now I go hunting when I can but I love the thrill!

    I love these jeans by the way !!

    1. I seriously make lists for everything! (Sometimes I put things that I’ve already done on them just so I can check them off and feel accomplished – ha!)

    1. Thanks so much! Confession: I haven’t been wanting to do my hair lately so the hats are coming in handy – ha!

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