Updated: Oct 11, 2019
I am a thrift store finds queen, well at least that's what I tell myself. About two years ago, I walked into a Salvation Army on Chicago's north side and fell in love literally with thrifting. I have been shopping at thrift stores ever since, to purchase all of my clothes, shoes, accessories, household decor, etc. I almost never go to a mall to purchase clothes or household items. My initial thrift store finds actually dates back to my extremely broke college days. I had just moved into my first apartment and my mom suggested that I go to a thrift store and purchase some used pots and pans instead of buying them brand new ($90-$150 retail price for a set). Talk about saving yourself some money, this idea was genius!
People are always up in the air when it comes to purchasing items from the thrift store. But in actuality, you can get some GREAT pieces if you don't rush through your experience at a thrift store. You can also wash or dry clean clothes that your purchase if you're just that stuck on wearing clothes from someone else. I love going thrifting on Saturday's because the stores usually close around 6pm during the weekdays and again, I don't like rushing. Sometimes, I pick themes to shop for when I go such as, I'll shop for only shoes one visit, pajamas and t-shirts on another visit, or blouses to wear to work, or all jeans, etc. Other times, I go in and just ball out on items that attract my eye. I can spend anywhere from $20-$100 in a thrift store in a day and come out with bags full of household items and clothes. This has drastically changed because I used to spend $200 and have my car trunk filled with bags, bi-weekly.
I always hear when I get to the register, "These are really nice items you found." This comes from the cashiers or customers standing in line behind or beside me or my friends or people who see my purchases the most when I'm out at events. Most of the clothes that I pick out are items that fall in the range of only being worn once or twice, or never worn at all and still have the original price tags on them. I can attest that most women love us a good sale. Thrift stores also have the best sales invented (yes I'm exaggerating here but stay focused).
Recently, I received an email that one of my favorite thrift stores here in NOLA sent out letting us know that everything in the store was for $1. Girl, I was there spending all $16 worth of my coins. That's why it's important to subscribe to email lists because you never know when a sale is going on until it's too late sometimes if you're not a subscriber. Shameless plug (but really not): Make sure you subscribe to my weekly newsletters on the homepage.
I love going to more smaller thrift stores that are similar to boutiques because their quality of clothing selections are obviously better than the mainstream stores like Salvation Army or Goodwill because of the type of donations they receive. I actually donate my thrift store finds back to thrift stores once I'm done wearing the clothes, shoes and accessories. It's a great feeling to know that someone blessed me with the clothes and now it's my turn to bless someone else in return. Pay it forward.
The art of thrift store finds is whatever experience you make it but you have to go into the store with true patience to actually look through the racks, try on items and really pay attention to the bargains, there are always bargains at thrift stores.
Bargains can be color tagged for 25%, 50% or 75% off items on any given day. I'm such a plane Jane most of the time, and could care less about rocking the latest brands, trends, or the likes. But when I do put on clothes, thy shall know that I be looking cute in them and I love saying, "Oh you like this? It's a thrift store finds." So feel free to try spending some real time shopping at a thrift store near you and share with me what your experience was like here or on social media.