Tips for Thrift Store Shopping + My Wardrobe Resolution

Tips for Thrift Shopping Tips for Thrift Store Shopping + My Wardrobe Resolution


If you know me well, you know the only kind of shopping I genuinely enjoy is for food. Please don’t ever invite me on a girls shopping spree. I will politely decline.

What I love is a bargain, and that’s how I get my kicks.

In the fall I challenged myself to wear every article of clothing I own. It was a way for me to discover which pieces I was lacking in my closet, as well as a way to force me to clean out my closet.

I consider myself a fairly frugal person, and didn’t think I owned a ton of clothing. Turns out I did not wear an outfit twice in 5 weeks. FIVE WEEKS! My wardrobe challenge forced me to wear things I often overlooked. Turns out those items either didn’t fit, or I just didn’t feel comfortable wearing.

It was genius, and I’m so glad I did it. Now, when I’m out an about, I know exactly  what I need. 

This weekend I scored BIG time.

  • I got a free cut and color in exchange for my breast pump (my hair dresser is due in April)
  • I paid $1 for 4 leotards for the Child’s gymnastics class in exchange for a box of used baby clothes
  • I purchased two pairs of slacks (Anne Taylor and Banana Republic), a dress (H&M) and a work top (Worthington) at the local Goodwill for a whopping price of $17. I paid more for 6 items at Whole Foods, and the clothes are in perfect condition!

While my mom accuses me of being cheap and never buying myself anything nice, I get genuine pleasure finding such things in great condition for a steal. Plus it’s good for the planet.


o I’ve resolved to only make/sew or buy used items for my wardrobe for the remainder of 2013. 

 Yup. I will not buy anything new for one year. Want to give it a shot with me?

I’ve had a few friends over the years ask me for tips on thrift shopping.  For gals and guys who’ve never done it, it can certainly be overwhelming. Below are a few helpful tips I keep in mind before heading out on a grand thrifting adventure.

  • Leave your kids at home. I actually had both of my girls over this successful shopping weekend, but typically if I’m heading out specifically to thrift I leave them at home. Unlike “normal” shopping, thrifting requires a bit more time and patience. You have to weed through unorganized racks and you should always try things on before leaving.
  • Know exactly what you want/need. Otherwise, you’ll be completely overwhelmed or unimpressed. You know all of those nifty ideas you keep pinning on Pinterest and don’t actually make? You’ll start to look at run down tables much differently.
  • Have a budget. You’d be surprised how many rad things you can find for $20, but it’s also easy to get carried away.
  • Scope your favorite stores. It’s always fun to  explore new thrift stores as you stumble upon them, but it’s much more important to become familiar with the stores you’ve had great experiences with in the past. Get to know their layout and be willing to explore departments you might otherwise overlook. For example, I always find killer fabric in the linen section.
  • Along these lines, know the store’s inventory schedule. Find out when they get new shipments and which days they offer their various deals. Goodwill and Savers, for examples, will have color-coded sales on certain days of the week.

If you’re thrifting in Reno, below are a few of my go-to stores for thrifting. What tips would you add to this list?


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