Teacher Style: Thrift Shops
While reading my posts on this whole fashion endeavor, you might notice that over 70% of my clothing acquisitions are from thrift shops. I joke that it’s the Dutch in me, but I really don’t want to pay more than $5 for any piece of clothing. Obviously this is not always possible, but thrift shops make that a whole lot easier.
The first step to becoming a thrift shop pro is to identify the best thrift shops in your area. We recently moved to our small town from the San Francisco area. Oh, the shops in San Francisco! But this summer I’ve dug in and found some real gems even in our very small area. We have a Discovery Shop that benefits the American Cancer Society right next to my grocery store. While their items are a bit pricier ($7-10/piece), I have figured out it’s where the more affluent ladies donate and I can find higher end items there. They recently had a huge sale and everything in the store was 50% off. I was able to get the following for $40:
There is a thrift store by my husband’s office that is run by a private Catholic school, and its donors give very nice pieces to it. I was able to find the following items for about $30, and I make a point to stop by each time I visit him for lunch:
The second step is to find thrift shops that are on consignment as well. I found a great shop in our downtown where I took my ‘purge’ bags-they picked out the clothes they wanted to sell and gave me $75 in store credit. The store carries brands such as Anthropologie and J Crew, so their clothes were much pricier than I would normally pay. But with the store credit, I was able to find the following items and only pay $5 out of pocket:
The third step is to go into the thrift shops with pieces in mind that you are looking for. While I have a closet of outfits that are fully ‘put together’, there are outfits on my Pinterest board I want to create as well. I also have the ‘leftover’ pieces I put in another closet after originally shopping my closet until I found an outfit for them. Most stores are organized by color, so it’s easy to go straight to a section and search for a piece if you have an idea of what you want. When I searched Pinterest for ‘black polka dot skirt’ ideas, I found that many ladies pair yellow tops with their skirts. I made a point to look at the yellow top sections in each store I visited until I found this one for $4:
Also, when looking at items in a thrift store, get creative! The $5 blouse in this jacketed outfit has a GIANT metallic gold embroidered dragon on the back. A DRAGON! But the blouse it’s self is Ralph Lauren and under this jacket you would never know it had embroidery on the back. The collar and fit is perfect otherwise, so I grabbed it and used it as a layering piece.
Keep your eyes peeled for basics. This skirt was around $5 and would work with a variety of casual tops. While I didn’t have a specific outfit idea for it when I got it, it went great with this light sweater.
If you see a piece that just love, but aren’t sure what to do with, grab it and then get on Pinterest or Google Images for ideas on how to style it. This cashmere sweater is SO soft and warm, and was a steal at $5, but I didn’t want to just do a jeans and cardigan look. I searched for ‘purple cardigan’ on Pinterest and found this cute look. I just need to find thick enough leggings for work and some black boots, and I’ll have a great outfit!
Do you love to shop at thrift stores? Any great tips for the rest of us? Share in the comments, and happy hunting!