The Ultimate Guide To Thrift Shopping

For those who struggle to spend money on ridiculously overpriced retail clothes, this one goes out to you.

I am DEFINITLY one of those people. I HATE spending money wastefully and unless whatever I’m buying is going to be great quality and last me a through million uses, I won’t buy it. All the time I walk into stores trying on piles and piles of clothes but still end up with nothing, and it’s not because they all look bad, I just can get myself to buy it at those prices.

So, the point of that was I LOVE a good deal when I see it and thrift stores offer many of the same items at super discounted deals! My favorite!

In the past two months I’d say, I started to go thrift store shopping and was actually finding really good pieces at really good prices. After finding all these great things and picking up a few tips and tricks, I decided that I would come up with the ultimate guide to thrift shopping and finding things you’ll actually like. Β So, without further adieu here is my guide to thrift shopping:

The Vision

The Ultimate Guide to Thrift Shopping | Read here for 5 tips to getting the best of what thrift stores have to offer + three thrift store outfit ideas!

The Ultimate Guide to Thrift Shopping | Read here for 5 tips to getting the best of what thrift stores have to offer + three thrift store outfit ideas!

My friend started convincing me to head out to more thrift stores, although I was reluctant because I never found anything good before and felt like I would invest so much time for no return. But, she had come home one day with some new sweatshirts that she asked me what I thought. Oblivous, I told her what I thought and said “there pretty good, they kinda look like something from urban outfitters” and then she told me that she picked them up from thrift store and took it upon herself for a little revamping. WOW, I was honestly astonished at how something that cost her 2 bucks could look like something so expensive, all it required was the vision.

What I mean by “the vision” is what YOU can do to revive that old piece of clothing into something cute and trendy. Now this doesn’t mean you have to be some excellent sewer or fashion student, no. That is not what I mean, unless you do have those skills, then by all means do it!

It can just be simple things, like my friend who searches through mens sweatshirts and cuts the bottoms off which some how turns them into retro, but trendy sweatshirts that you would have never thought were old mens sweatshirts that no one wanted.

Creating something of your own from old clothing really does take some imagination but the end product is so worth it. For me, getting my brain re-wired enough to envision clothing differently definitely took some practice for me and might for you too but don’t give up! Here are some ways you can train your brain to tackle thrift stores like a pro.

Get Inspiration Before You Go

This is really easy to help you think of new ideas and different ways to approach looking at things. Look at Pinterest, Instagram or a fashion magazine to find clothing pieces you like and what you like about it, for example maybe it’s the way it’s knotted or tied, write that down and note that as an option for a questionable piece you find while shopping. You might not realize the different options you have if you don’t find your inspiration and limit yourself with a narrow-minded eye, whether you know it or not.

It is always good to be caught up on upcoming fashion fashion trends so you can find the good stuff before every else and be able to actually wear it during the trend stage! Who knew the gingham was going to turn into the fashion craze! I would have never picked it up at any thrift store just because I didn’t every think it would ever come back in styled and now by the time I’ve gotten around to it, everyone is starting to get sick of it. Anyways, the point is to make sure you know what is coming in style and decide what you like so you can find super cute and affordable, trendy fashion pieces.

Take A Chance

For me this is always hard to do because I’m always overthinking things, like way too much. So for me, when I’m thrift store shopping I try to just let myself buy whatever I want and if I see something I am iffy about, I try my best to get myself to buy it.

Personally, I like to be one-hundered percent confident that I love the piece I am buying, but for a thrift store I try my best to push myself away from this kind of thinking. I know for impulse buyers and those alike you might be asking why would you not want that quality? But when shopping in one-hit wonder kinda stores you need to take a chance and it’s not like anything at a thrift store is really expensive.

A personal tip is to figure out around how much your willing to spend per piece and if you find yourself questioning something iffy, remember that price point you set, if it’s bellow or on the set price, take a chance and get it! What is a few dollars down if all else fails?

Revamp, Revive and Redo

The Ultimate Guide to Thrift Shopping | Read here for 5 tips to getting the best of what thrift stores have to offer + three thrift store outfit ideas!

The Ultimate Guide to Thrift Shopping | Read here for 5 tips to getting the best of what thrift stores have to offer + three thrift store outfit ideas!This might be the most essential tip I have when it comes to obtaining “the vision” as I like to call it. Once you have all your things bought and there laying out on the floor of your room, or maybe its been sitting in the bag for a few weeks, now is the time to get working! My 3 favorite essentials to create anything I make (so basically pretty minor changes) is:

  1. Fabric scissors – normally ones can ruin edges and start unintentional fraying
  2. A ruler – obviously, for precise measures
  3. Chalk – for marking without having any staining

My friends and I keep it simple and will usually just cut our things into crop tops, tie knots or fray our pieces. Whatever you want to do is totally up to you and I think its definitely important to not chicken out and just leave it as is if you don’t love it; unless you’re really, really gonna mess things up, go for it! This is aways such a fun thing to do will a group of friends anyways: bringing over your clothes and having a little revamping party, it’s surprisingly so much fun!

Look Out For Brands

At thrift stores you can find really good designer brands that you would have never thought would have been there. Especially in wealthy afluent areas , you can easily find designer brands that somehow end up in a thrift store. If your not a brand person, it might be nice to research some brands before you go or at least be able to recognize them, this can help you find awesome priced designer clothing, which helps ensure that you have good and reliable quality too. So even if you aren’t the type of person who cares about brand names and labels, for the sake of quality ensurance, check for brands.

Try New Stores and Check Back Often

The Ultimate Guide to Thrift Shopping | Read here for 5 tips to getting the best of what thrift stores have to offer + three thrift store outfit ideas!

The Ultimate Guide to Thrift Shopping | Read here for 5 tips to getting the best of what thrift stores have to offer + three thrift store outfit ideas!

Variety is everything! Luckily, a lot of thrift stores and resale shops will be located around the same area which makes it easy to get from place to place. Going to multiple stores is great because each place is getting different things and each area in itself will drive in different crowds and different clothes. For example, shops that are located near the beach will get more beachy clothing and have higher prices then say a local retirement area. So trying out different areas will yield very different results, to find new stores around you, Β pre-check Yelp so you won’t ever be eating up your time.

Thrift stores also get new stuff all day, every day! You can come in and find completely different stuff within a week. Coming back to the same location frequently will help you find new things that don’t have enough lingering time to be picked up; then you’ll be picking up on all the very best fashion pieces to look amazing for very good prices!

You Now Have The Vision!

And there you have it folks! My ultimate guide to thrift store shopping and how to find the very best finds! When it comes to finding clothing from thrift stores it can be really hard but once you’ve got the vision down, set and ready to go it makes things a whole lot easier. I hope these tips come in handy and good luck on your thrift store shopping adventures! πŸ˜‰



  1. LENA
    September 18, 2017 / 11:58 pm

    I’m all about a bargain deals too. Not everything has to be designer and labels! 😎

    L.E.N.A | Revealed

    • September 19, 2017 / 12:24 am

      Agreed, sometimes cheaper is better! Thanks for reading Lena!

  2. September 19, 2017 / 12:44 am

    Darling outfits! love your mustard vest ;- I do thrift shopping on Poshmark and it takes time but is so worth it!
    i wanted to let you know I host a fashion linkup called Turning heads tuesdays each week, so pop by tomorrow if you want to link up and meet other bloggers.

    • September 19, 2017 / 3:45 pm

      Thanks for reading Jess!!

  3. September 19, 2017 / 1:53 am

    Often when thrift shopping it can be a challenge to see beyond what is and see what could be, so I love that this is your approach! When you are open to changing things up, the possibilities can be endless. Happy Thrifting!
    Chic on the Cheap

    • September 20, 2017 / 5:38 am

      Thanks so much Lyddiegal!! Glad you like my ideas, they are super helpful!

  4. September 19, 2017 / 2:07 am

    These are some great tips, girl, because thrifting can be so overwhelming, so it’s so helpful to have some direction to start off with. Ps, I love all the details in these outfits!



    • September 20, 2017 / 5:39 am

      Your so sweet Jalisa! Thanks for checking out my blog!

    • September 20, 2017 / 5:40 am

      Thanks Remi!

    • September 20, 2017 / 5:41 am

      I love this sweater too! So comfy and was only 6 dollars! Thanks Laura!

  5. Gabrielle
    September 20, 2017 / 11:22 am

    I’ve never actually been thrift shopping, but i can totally understand the appeal! Happy to hear you’ve found some great things, and great tip on finding inspiration before you head out looking!

    • September 23, 2017 / 1:39 am

      You must go! And thanks so much Gabrielle!

    • September 23, 2017 / 3:59 pm

      Oh thanks Roxanne! I love getting a good deal and those are the best ways to do it!

  6. September 20, 2017 / 5:22 pm

    Thanks so much for your thrifting tips. That mustard colored knit top is super cute. I love it!

    • September 23, 2017 / 1:41 am

      So glad you love the sweater and my tips! Thanks for reading!

  7. September 23, 2017 / 6:00 am

    I haven’t thrift shopped in ages! This inspires me to give it a shot again!

    Jessica |

    • September 23, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      You totally should! It’s so much fun and you can get great stuff!

    • September 23, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      Thanks for reading Zorica!

  8. September 23, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    I love this post Elise!! I always find it hard to go to thrift stores and now I know it’s probably because I didn’t have a vision! I didn’t know what I was looking for and that made it hard for me to find anything. I love these tips πŸ™‚


    • September 24, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      I use to hate thrift shopping cause I felt like there was nothing good but now I end up leaving with tons! Thanks so much Colleen!!

  9. September 25, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    I was never one to find a good bargain! You tips are great. I agree you do have to keep checking and going back often but i normally find hidden gems when i am not looking for them x

    • September 26, 2017 / 1:32 am

      It definitely requires patience but it is so worth it! Thanks Sabiha!

    • September 26, 2017 / 1:33 am

      Awww you are too sweet Dominique!

  10. September 27, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    Wow this post is so useful and never seen another blogger doing it! Will take account of it when I go thrifting next time! x

    • September 28, 2017 / 8:54 pm

      Thanks Vanessa, you’re too kind!

  11. September 29, 2017 / 10:44 am

    waoo girl looks so beautifull yours outfit realy impress i like it dear nice post… πŸ™‚ best wordpress themes

    • September 30, 2017 / 12:31 am


    • October 1, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      It’s so much fun and you can find some really cute things! Hope you’ll try it out Mariama!

    • October 2, 2017 / 6:02 pm

      I’ll have to check it out! Thanks Valeria!

    • October 3, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      Totally is, you definitely should go! Thanks for reading Amanda!

  12. October 2, 2017 / 9:58 am

    I love thrift shopping and this blogpost is really helpful! πŸ™‚ xo

    • October 3, 2017 / 4:59 pm

      Thanks Lilia!

  13. October 3, 2017 / 6:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing these great tips! I find thrifting a bit overwhelming so I need to get a vision before I go!
    I love this mustard top!
    Julia x

    • October 4, 2017 / 2:23 am

      Super important! Thanks for commenting Julia!

  14. October 5, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    Great tips! Thrift shopping is quite overwhelming for me most of the time because there are so many racks to check and sometimes the shops don’t sort them properly in different categories of clothes.

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

    • October 6, 2017 / 4:55 pm

      Very true, it’s a lot of looking! Thanks Alyssa!

  15. Emilie
    October 19, 2017 / 10:46 am

    Great post! I have just moved to London and am loving all the thrift store shopping opportunities, such a thrill when you find that perfect item at a bargain price! x

    • October 19, 2017 / 6:14 pm

      Oooo I wish I could be shopping the thrift stores of London, I bet you find such good things! It’s always the best to get a good deal!! Thank you Emile!

  16. Toni
    November 6, 2017 / 8:13 am

    I love bargain hunting! Its one of my favourite things to do! xx


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