Hello dears! One of our girls favorite things to do is thrift shop; or more specifically, thrift shop at Goodwill. We absolutely adore scoring adorable items for amazing prices, and as many of you know, most of our wardrobes are thrifted. Goodwill thrifting is a double whammy, because not only are you able to find some adorable stuff for sweet prices, but you are also helping in supplying jobs to people who would otherwise be unemployed. Interested in finding out what our top 5 tips for shopping at Goodwill are? Read on!
However fun thrifting is, it can be very overwhelming at times, being surrounded by so many different styles of clothing and decor. Here are a few pointers that we girls have developed and always keep in mind when going through the racks at Goodwill.
1 // LOOK OUT FOR SALES
Though the prices are reasonable as it is at Goodwill, we still love getting as much bang for our buck as possible. Thus we always keep a look out for the 50% off days or Managers sales. By signing up for their monthly newsletter, or grabbing their deals calendar next time you go, it is easy to stay up to date with their latest sales, and plan your shopping trips accordingly.
2 // LOOK FOR AMAZING BRANDS
Though it’s easy to just browse through the racks of clothing and not pay any heed to the tags, one of the best ways for finding the best quality clothing is to look out for recognizable, quality brands like New York & Company, Chadwicks, Clarks, Boden, Nine West, Pendleton, Pringles of Scotland, and even vintage companies. Ha, the first time I ever scored my first Boden knit blouse, my week had been made (can you tell I love that brand? ;).
For your next trip to Goodwill, make a list of your favorite clothing brands, and look out for those when browsing through. It will not only help you keep focused, but also allow you to score clothing that you will love for a long time.
3 // INSPECT!
You don’t know how many times I’ve come home from a thrifting trip, only to find that my new, adorable sweater had a shredded cuff, or worse yet, that I had purchased a moth-eaten kilt. Those were dark days…. ;P
Though thrifting is cheap, and maybe a $2 loss isn’t huge in your pocket book, it is still a good idea to inspect the items of clothing that you are thinking about purchasing. We are talking about used clothing, after all, and who knows what the last owner did to your next wardrobe candidate. Some key places to check for stains and holes are the underarms of t-shirts, the cuffs & collars of sweaters (actually, checking the entire sweater would be a better idea… Moths love wool and natural fibers!), and all over skirts. I almost came home with an adorable camel-colored vintage pencil skirt, once, only to find tiny moth holes scattered all across the front. Yikes!
4 // BE OPEN MINDED…
This is a tip that I have most recently opened up to (can you tell I’m a rather inflexible person? Any other type-A’s out there?), and have found it to be very helpful. Let’s take for instance the adorable cardigan from Forever 21 shown above: the size reads Large, but it looked very much like it would fit my small frame. Thus, it came with me to the dressing room. Although size tags are helpful, be more open-minded and don’t shy away from going “a size” up or down: you may just find treasure!
Another thing to keep in mind is, can this item be altered? Maybe a new hem on a skirt, or chopping the sleeves off a dress, or even ditching the original design and altering the item altogether might reveal some treasure for your wardrobe. I made the most adorable sundress (which now hangs in Jessica’s closet… oh the joys of growth spurts…) last summer from a terrible maxi dress that was a size or two too big. Get creative when thrifting!
5 // …BUT KEEP A CERTAIN STYLE IN MIND
One of the best attributes about Goodwill, the huge variety of clothing styles, is also one of the scariest. Right next to that adorable cashmere sweater hangs the ugliest of Christmas apparel you’ve ever seen! It can be super overwhelming going through racks of clothing when polar opposites of fashion are sitting right next to each other. The cure to this is to keep a certain style in mind, whether that be vintage, boho, classic, or a mixture that works. I have trained myself to follow my inner stylist when shopping, and only pick out those things which really speak to me, and I know will fit well into my wardrobe. Don’t let the price tag deceive you. Though that prom dress may only be $15, it’s only going to take up clutter in your closet if you don’t have a set event to wear it to. Look at the example above: Brigid has found a beautiful wool pleated skirt, and an equally adorable vintage-inspired top. How well those would look together! And how easily they could be styled with other items in her closet. Be practical and realistic, and try to choose items that will go together; or at least will be able to be incorporated into your present wardrobe.
Well, that’s all for now friends! I hope you have gleaned some helpful tips from this post for your next trip to Goodwill.
Want to see past outfit posts featuring our favorite thrifted items? Click here!
CREDITS // Author, Photography & Graphics: Charlotte Boyer; Photos edited with VSCO Presets; Special thanks to the Ohio Valley Lebanon Goodwill for allowing us to take pictures in their facility, and feature them in this post.