9 Thrift Store Shopping Tips + See Several Thrifted Pieces I Own And Love

There’s nothing I love more than a great sale! Besides my love for shopping the clearance section I also love the thrill of what treasures I may find while thrift shopping.

Since thrift shopping can be a little overwhelming below I’ve featured 9 tips & tricks I use to have a successful/enjoyable shopping experience. Plus I’ve included 16 clothing items, 5 purses, and 5 art pieces I own and love that were found during my thrift store shopping excursions.

Plus, if all that wasn’t enough at the end of this blog post I’ve featured 6 of my favorite blogger gal pals who also shared their recent thrift store finds, tips, and more.

Thrifted J.Crew Blazer & Coach Purse / Thrifted J.Crew Leopard Print Sweater

Tip Number 1: Wear Comfortable Clothing That’s Easy To Remove Or Easy To Layer Over

It’s important to wear comfortable clothing especially if you plan to be on your feet all day shopping, and/or lifting heavy home decor items. Also, wearing easy to remove clothing makes the try on session in the fitting room go much smoother, or try wearing tight fitting clothing (like tank tops & leggings) and skip the fitting rooms all together! Dressing this way makes it easy to pick up and try on any blazer, blouse, sweater, etc. you may come across.

Thrifted Atti.k Coat / Thrifted J.Crew Coat

Tip Number 2: Think Of Thrifting As Exchanging Your Time For Savings

Most days you really have to dig to find anything good and that can take some time so plan accordingly. Sometimes you’ll find lots & lots and other times nothing will appeal to you. Definitely don’t let the fact that you come home empty handed keep you from thrifting again. It happens to everyone.

Thrifted BB Dakota Vest / Thrifted Zara Dress

Tip Number 3: Bring A Friend

As I mentioned above thrifting can take some time, so bringing a friend along can make the experience much more enjoyable. Plus it’s great to have a second opinion on clothing or home decor before you buy.

Thrifted Banana Republic Blazer Size 6 / Thrifted Tommy Hilfiger Sweater Size L

Tip Number 4: Ignore Sizes

Since thrift stores are full of hundreds of different clothing brands (that all fit differently!) I typically don’t restrict myself to just one size. Also keep in mind oversized tops, cardigans, sweaters, and blazers are trending right now. For example if I’m shopping for a blazer I’ll typically grab any blazer that appeals to me regardless of size and try them all on. More often than not I’m pleasantly surprised by an item found outside of my normal size section (typically I’m a size small).

Thrifted J.Jill Linen Top / Thrifted J.Jill Linen Tank Top

Tip Number 5: Have A List

I always keep a shopping list on my phone using the Evernote app for accessory, clothing, and home decor items I would like to own. Currently on my list: straw or beaded bags, silk slip dresses, leopard and snakeskin pieces, gold necklaces, round sunglasses, denim skirts, and small scale art (for my office), just to name a few. I like to review my list before I start shopping so I don’t get carried away buying things I don’t have a need/use for.

Thrifted The Limited Leather Jacket & Kate Spade Purse /Thrifted Coach Trench Coat

Tip Number 6: Do A Once-over Before Buying

Last year my husband purchased 2 used North Face jackets online and when they arrived they smelled of smoke. I’ve heard that’s a smell you can NEVER get rid of, but thankfully after several washings, outdoor airing, and essential oils the smell finally went away, so buy at your own risk. Pinterest is a great source for finding advice on how to remove smoke smell from clothing incase you find a stinky piece you can’t live without. Besides the smell make sure the item is intact. No missing buttons, the zipper works, no holes, stains, missing pieces, etc.

Thrifted American Eagle Top & Dooney & Bourke Purse / Thrifted Banana Republic Top & J.Crew Purse

Tip Number 7: Decide If An Item Is Worth The Price

The more you shop the better you’ll get at determining what’s a good deal or not. Most thrift store items are only a few dollar so if you really like the item, it fits well, it’s something you want/need, and it’s in good shape like I mentioned above then it’s a no brainer. If it’s a more expensive item you could go home and sleep on it, but chances are it won’t be there the next day. To help me decide I’ll pull out my phone to check prices online of similar new and used items.

Thrifted J.Crew T-Shirt / Thrifted Gap Dress & Straw Purse

Tip Number 8: You May Have To Get Over The Gross Factor

The shopping environment, smells, finding broken or dirty items, etc. Once while trying on a dress I put my hands in the pockets and found a crumpled up tissue hiding inside. Gross! Needless to say I didn’t buy that dress, but I did go home with a cute J.Crew star t-shirt that I wore for the 4th of July.

Thrifted 4 Art Pieces In The Middle / Thrifted Top Right Art Piece

Tip Number 9: Imagine Home Decor Pieces Inside Your Home

It can be hard to see the value in a home decor piece when it’s dirty and surrounded by clutter. Instead try imagining it cleaned up and sitting on your bookshelf, table, or hanging on your wall. One of my favorite places to find art is from thrift stores. Not only is the art inexpensive, but unique too. If you’re still having trouble imagining a piece in your home check out Pinterest for inspiration. Just type a generic keyword of the item you’re deciding on in the search box and see what inspiration you find.

Do you like to thrift shop too? Also don’t forget to check out these amazing thrift store blog posts below.

7 Bloggers Share their Thrift Store Finds, Tips and More!

The Dark Plum
9 thrift store shopping tips featuring thrifted outfits from all 4 seasons.

Everyday Mrs
Boho Home Finds and High-End Designer Wear.

Sugar, Spice and Style Thats Nice
Bar Cart Styling and Colorful Kitchen Vintage Finds.

Live Laugh Rowe
Boho Baskets and Beautiful Vintage Vase via Live Laugh Rowe

The Glamour Pursuit
Thrifted Workout Outfits

Curlybyrdie Chirps
Revamping My Spring Style on a Budget

Everyday Teacher Style
Perk Up Your Home Decor on a Budget with Thrifted Finds

You may also like

14 Comments

  1. Great tips! So true about ignoring sizes — that one always surprises me, but I’ve picked up great items thrifting that were nowhere near my regular size. And I had to laugh at the “gross factor,” but that is 100% true as well! ~Jenny

  2. Love your tips girl! Especially to wear comfortable clothes/layering you, you never know the type of digging you might have to do!

  3. What a great post! I love your blog! The pictures are amazing and such great tips! I am reading to go shopping. 🙂 You will have to tell me some of your favorite places to go. Maybe we can have a day out together…wouldn’t that be fun!

    1. I would love that! Now that the weather is starting to warm it’s a great time to get out and shop! I love going to Goodwill, Habitat For Humanity, and Karens Kloset just to name a few. I haven’t been to Salt And Light yet, but I’ve heard great things about them.

  4. I love all of these tips, Cassie! Shopping outside of your normal size range is so true – keeping all of your options open while thrifting is the way to go 😊

  5. I love all of these looks and you are a deal shopper just like me ! You have definitely given me some inspiration!