THRIFTING 101: What Can We Find?

Mar 30, 2014

When I asked you guys last week what type of posts you'd like to see, a lot of you said that you were curious on how I'm able to find such cute pieces at thrift stores and asked if I could share my secrets. And so a new series is born! 

I thought a good way to start off this series is to talk about what we can expect to find while thrifting. In all honesty, don't go in with a game plan. If you're on a mission to find a blazer or a certain type of skirt you're going to have a bad time. A lot of thrifting is just dumb luck- it's being there at the right place at the right time. I usually go in expecting to pick up some basics; like maybe some type of summer dress or a cozy cable-knit sweater of some sort. But then as I move through the racks other things catch my eye and I give them a go. Below I laid out the categories I usually find while hunting, along with some tips on how to not pass up a good item that just needs some tweaking. For example: never look at how frumpy a dress it, instead focus on if you like the overall shape of it or the pattern/color. 80% of my dresses are hideous baggy monsters that turn instantly cute with just an added belt. And you can also hem grandma lengths to turn that dress into a pretty mini or midi! 

Below are the categories I usually focus on while digging through a thrift store- keep these in mind next time you go and hopefully you'll be able to dig out some gems!

THRIFTING-TIPS THRIFTING-TIPS-2

Let me know if you'd like me to elaborate on something or have any questions in the comments!


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26 comments :

  1. ah, this post is great! blazers are always EVERYWHERE when i go thrifting, along with printed long skirts and basic cardis. i hardly see overalls though, because i think everyone in my city has a new love for them and they are now all gone (haha).

    lindsey louise

    hellomrrabbitblog.com

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  2. Oooh, great post Marlen! I've always admired how you thrift such fantastic stuff. I'm definitely keeping an eye out in the men's section for some Southwest print items now :)

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

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  3. I've never looked for Southwestern shirts at the thrift store but I definitely will now. I used to shop in the mens area more but not so much recently..feeling inspired :)
    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

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  4. Tell it, girl! Although I will say, I don't necessarily agree about not having a plan ... it really depends on a lot of things. I've been known to do "targeted strikes" at thrift stores and just check for a few high-priority items — especially if the store is super crowded or if I'm short on time (or money!). But you're absolutely right that you will find more treasures with an open mind. Are you going to do a separate post about accessories? I get tons of comments/compliments on the belts, scarves, hats and shoes I've bought at thrift stores (as I'm sure you do, too!)

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  5. This post is so spot on. Thrifting for the win! I can't even tell you how many skirt I have that were thrifted and cut off to make a cute spring/summer skirt. Plus all the wool pencil skirts that are definite staples. And cardigans/sweaters galore! Thrifting is glorious. We'll have to take an epic trip next time I'm up there and find some treasures!

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  6. Ah love this idea, and looking forward to this series. I too go into thrift stores with no grand plan instead I keep it basic like "I would like to find a dress today", like you said most gems are just things that you come across spontaneously and that's half the fun in thrifting!

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  7. Honestly, it boggles my mind how you and other bloggers find such amazing things at thrift stores. Granted, I've only ever been a handful of times, but I never find anything good!

    xo Jackie
    Something About That

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  8. this is such a fun post! I need to go thrift shopping with you!

    kelseybang.com

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  9. I am no thrifting expert--probably because I do tend to be picky about fit, and being on the petite side in a common known for their Dutch tall people...the choice in my size range is often rather limited! But I keep going and keep hoping because once in a while there's a treasure!

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  10. I love pinafores!
    Definitely going to look for them the next time I go thrifting.

    www.lavishingg.com

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  11. Fabulous! I love these little thrifting pieces you run. Very helpful. :)

    love,
    a

    www.missdecaf.blogspot.com

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  12. Hey there! Sorry it's been so long since I stopped by! It's been crazy around here. ;) I love this list! I always have good luck with skirts too! I recently found this amazing light pink lightweight wool pencil skirt + jacket for $10. Pretty much brand new, but they have been mixing into my wardrobe so well! Can't wait for the springy weather to come. Jackets & Blazers are my other favorite too! I have found sooo many vintage ones in so many shapes, colors, sizes and fits! It's so wonderful. Plus who isn't a fan of the prices!?! :) -XO

    Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  13. If you ever stop by NC we need to go thrifting and vintage shopping! Seriously, I know I can learn a lot from you.
    xo
    Carelia
    MySmallWardrobe.com

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  14. Yay, another awesome post ^_^ I've searched for southwestern shirts every time I visit the thrift store. Still can't find good ones. The men's section has lots, but they're too huge O_O

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  15. 3/4 or an even higher percentage of my wardrobe is thrifted. But as I'm a terrible hoarded who tend to fall victim to buying clothes, then never wearing them, I do have to have some kind of a plan before I walk into a thrift store; Fortunately, many stores sort their products by type and color, so if I, for example want a green top, I simply walk to the green section and browse for tops. That being said, the thrift stores I usually visit have a wide range of selection, so I can find almost everything I set my mind on. :)

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  16. I have such bad luck when it comes to finding shirts and overalls. I have found one pair of overalls (which I bought) and one skirt (that I did buy, but I rarely wear because it isn't great). I usually have pretty good luck in the dress section, though!

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  17. Such great rules to live by when going thrifting. You can't really go with any sort of expectation... you know what you like and what your eye is attracted to and then have some sort of guildlines that you go by. I for one always make it a point to never buy anything stained (that I know won't come out) no matter how awesome it is it's still got a big old stain on it. Ha ha! Great post!
    xoxo
    Taylor
    http://www.nothingbutapigeon.com/

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  18. love this! definitely do more posts like this. I love thrifting and it's always interesting to see what other people look for in thrift shops!

    http://hellonvmbr.blogspot.com/

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  19. This post is really interesting ! You right, never go to a thrift shop with a game plan. I never manage to find things I want every time I go with wishlist in my hand, haha :D
    Post more about your thrift experiences :>

    www.shabrinahazimi.blogspot.com

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  20. That is awesome! You have some skills for thrift shopping for sure. Thanks for sharing your tips :) Lovely items!
    xoxo

    Milu
    www.hellolupi.blogspot.com

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  21. hey this is definitely useful Marlen.

    Pinning up anything loose bought at a bargain with a belt is such a great idea.. makes most of the clothes bought at bargain shops wearable

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  22. i totally agree with you, you can never go thrifting with one thing in mind. you have to be so patient, and it's usually rewarding with unique gems :)
    xo jac
    thesunshinedistrict.blogspot.com

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  23. So great! It's a good idea to break it up like this.

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  24. Hooray for this post! I cannot tell you how many times I've walked into a thrift shop with the intention of finding a plaid shirt and not found one! It's so hit or miss!
    : signe : : the daily savant :

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  25. Part of what I love about thrift stores is the element of finding buried treasure! Some of my most favorite dresses were thrifted. :)

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