Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thrifting Thoughts

Well, Hello bloggers! I know, I know, I used tumblr for my last post, but I will start blogging here now. If you want to see former posts, take a peek at my tumblr. But now, I will be blogging here. Just so everyone knows!
Ok, well yesterday's post got me thinking about thrifting, how much of my closet is either thrifted, secondhand, of hand-me-down, and what people think about that.
In my experience, everyone is pretty much on one side of the fence or the other. Meaning that, either they love thrifting and what it does for the environment and how much money they save, or they would just rather buy things new. While both sides are totally and definitely fine, I just thought I would share my own thoughts about the subject, and share some of my tips and some things I've thrifted.

I got this shirt yesterday at one of my local goodwill stores. It's a Merona brand floral button down shirt, brand new with tags. Originally 20$, I paid .99 cents.

Goodwill is probably one of the easiest, and most full filling ways to thrift. It's pretty much just a big room with tons of cheap used stuff in it. When you buy something from goodwill, the money goes straight back into your community and helps people get jobs and helps the environment since you are buying used goods. Prices range from .99 cents, to maybe 50$ but only for things like nice furniture or Coach purses, etc. I've found lots of good stuff at goodwill, all of it being new, near new, or even new with tags, and pretty much all brand name.
When I shop Goodwill, I like to shop the entire store, because things get moved around. I look through all of the women's section, men's, and sometimes children's. Depending on what I'm looking for I might go into the housewares or books. And I usually glance at accessories before I go. I like to walk through the aisles, and see if anything jumps out at me. Since goodwill takes pretty much everything that's donated to them, you may have to sift through a lot of not so good before you get to something cute. Honestly, I do look for original tags and name brands when I go to goodwill, because that's where I'll get the best price on it (except for maybe a yard sale, which we'll get to later) When I find something i like, I like to look it over and maybe measure it to make sure it will fit. Look out for stains, weird smells, or large imperfections that are hard to fix. If the item has any of that then put it down. Don't waste time or money.
Awesome things I've found at goodwill:
-like new Oscar de La Renta off-shoot (like a cheaper line of ODLR clothes. Not sure what that's called) black dress pants 5$
-brand new with tags Mossimo skirt originally 25$, paid 4$
-like new Gap nautical style striped tee, .99 cents
-vintage men's plaid Wrangler brand western shirt, 4$
-like new New York & Co pencil skirt, 3$
-like new Van Heusen suit jacket, 4$
-like new American Living (JC Penney brand) ruffled shirt, 3$
-Bubblegum brand jean jacket in good condition 3$

Garage/Yard Sales
(looks MUCH cuter on and belted, promise!:)) BCBG Max Azria shift dress (with pockets, always a winner in my book) like new condition, bought at a yard sale for 2$.

My mom and I have been going to yard sales every weekend morning in the summer since I can remember. When I was younger they bored me, but now I get really excited because sometimes people practically give away really awesome stuff!
Get the local newspaper and clip out the ad, look on Craigslist and add any big sales to the ad from the paper. Go through and highlight the sales you definitely want to go to, and plan your day around them.
When you get to a sale, walk around and look through everything. Be respectful, this is someones stuff, and probably their house. When you find something you want, consider your need for it, along with it's quality, probable original value, and how it's priced. If its a good deal, get it, if not, move on.
Awesome stuff I've gotten from yard sales:
-Ann Taylor LOFT faux wrap blouse, 1.50$
-new with tags:3 F21 dresses (25$ orig. paid 2$ each), 3 f21 tops (20$ orig. paid 1$)
-like new: buckle jeans, buckle brand tops, BKE sweaters, Merona brand button-down tops, etc
- a set of end tables for our apartment 3$

Secondhand Stores:
By far my best score. Brand new with tags J.Crew brand red strapless party dress with pockets. Since the 'gift' part of the tag had been removed, I can only guess that the original price was around 200$. What did I pay? 2o$. Yeah, I know.

Secondhand stores are probably the most pricey way to thrift, because the employees do all the searching for you. On average, expect at least twice as much as goodwill, and far more than a yard sale (since that is definitely the cheapest way to thrift). But, you're sure to find something good. To shop successfully, use the same principles above, but a little less strict, since its less likely that brand or quality should be an issue. Also, keep a look out for secondhand stores in your area with a buy-sell-trade program. This means that you can bring in your old clothes and the store will look through them, usually while you shop, and then if the store wants to take any of it (usually based on style, quality, brand, stock and sell back price) then they will probably offer you either cash or store credit in a portion of the price they'll sell your old things for. They will most likely offer you more credit than cash, and if you like the store take the credit, then you have a reason to come back!
Awesome things I've gotten secondhand:
-brand new with tags: ann taylor skirt (70$ orig. paid 12$)
-like new tommy hilfiger sailboat print skirt, priced 12$, bought with store credit, paid .34 cents.

So, thrifting, while depending where you go can be frustrating and sometimes dirty, 99% of the time it will be very rewarding. No matter how you do it you are helping the environment, and are getting something awesome, stylish, and definitely a good deal out of it!
Happy thrifting, and sorry this was such a wordy post!


  1. Great post!!! I love all three for clothes shopping. It's fun to find the treasures yourself instead of going to the mall and picking something that's already a cookie-cutter outfit.

    clothed much, a modest fashion blog

  2. I definitely need to start thrifting more. That red dress is SO cute.

  3. I LOVE thrifting! It's definitely my favorite. That red dress is so so cuuute!

    KF x

  4. love the red dress. x

    p.s. I'm having a giveaway on my blog for a fox tail if you'd like to check it out. xx