My "happy place" is the thrift store. I admit that thrift shopping can be an acquired taste if you aren't used to the idea, but when you find your first silk Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress for $12, I promise you'll be hooked. Here are a few of my tips for things you should always buy at a thrift store:

 

 

 

 

1. Summer tops

Cute, floaty, patterned summer tank tops are a dime a dozen at the thrift stores. These are easily washed, rarely go out of style, and you can pick up a whole wardrobe of them for pennies on the dollar.

2. Sundresses

There are generally racks upon racks of brightly colored sundresses just waiting for a pair of sandals and a stroll through Main Street in the warm summer air. The best part? They're usually all $5 or less and easily washable.

3. Special Occasion Dresses

Going to your husband's work event? The symphony? Prom? Daughter's piano recital? Special occasion dresses are hardly worn and can be found at the thrift store for a fraction of the price of a brand-new dress. I have even seen J.Crew 100% silk wedding dresses for $50. Sounds like a party to me!

4. Purses

Purses are expensive. And, let's be honest, women tend to hoard them. So when they clean out their closets, they're apt to drop off a whole bag of unused, beautiful purses which will then be marked less than $10. Look for genuine leather and unique detailing, and you have a statement accessory that you can carry every day.

5. Work Clothes

I found a Georgio Armani hot pink suit for $20 at the thrift store once, and it looked hardly worn. Banana Republic pencil skirt, new with tags? $2.99. I highly recommend looking through the blazers, suits, and skirts sections at the thrift store. They seem to be passed over by most shoppers, but if you need work clothes, some high-quality bargains are certain to be waiting for you.

Thrifting Tips

  • Buy off-season! In the middle of winter, I look for all of those cute summer tops and sundresses. Things will be less picked over, and chances are, people are cleaning them out of their closets off-season, too.
  • Always keep an eye out for special occasion dresses, because you never know when you might need one, and $10 is a worthwhile investment for a knock-out dress to keep in your closet (even if you only take it out every once in a while to admire it!).
  • Try things on! If your thrift store has a dressing room, try to take advantage of it. There's nothing worse than finding the most adorable summer dress that won't fit over your head when you get home. That's not a bargain!

This is a guest post by Natalie from St. Paul, MN
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

 

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24 thoughts on “5 Types of Clothing You Should Always Buy at the Thrift Store”

This would be great, except it does NOT take into account the fact that some areas do not carry items like this, and it all depends on the type of area you live in. I dropped off a bunch of stuff at a church-run thrift shop in my town, because I know there are more and more homeless people around here (they donate some of the clothes), and I’ll be quite honest, I’m poor and I rarely buy any name brand of apparel (except Skechers–they repeatedly prove to me that you get what you pay for with shoes), but I had a chance to look through some of the items, and I can say that the things that I dropped off was the nicest stuff I saw.

I don’t even KNOW anyone who buys Armani or Banana Republic, and I have no clue where the nearest stores that sell those products are (I have suspicions they’re in the über fancy malls an hour away, but I’ve never been). The first time I ever saw a Coach bag in person was when I went to college, and my response was, “You paid $350 for THAT?”

With that said, sometimes if you go to a neighboring town with “higher income” population, you will find some nicer things. I still haven’t found any designer items. EVER.

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I buy everything except underwear at thrift stores! People always compliment my clothes and can’t believe where I got them! Hand to believe that some people think they’re too good to shop at a thrift store.

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I absolutley love shopping at our Salvation Army. We even have half price Wednesdays. I can count on one hand how many new articles of clothing I have bought for my three year old granson. Jeans are $2.00. I buy them for my teenage daughter, bring them home, pull off the tag and hold them up for her to see what I bought her. If she doesn’t like them I’m out two bucks and she never knows the difference. I can not bring myself to pay $50. for a pair of jeans made to look worn out. I buy most of my clothes there including the $2.50 pair of Coach high tops I’m wearing. I will admit though after a while the place starts to smell like old lady hair and va-jay-jay.

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Keep your mouth shut Pizzaz! Don’t you dare respond Pizzaz! Behave yourself Pizzaz! Recite the alphabet Pizzaz! Do whatever it takes to control your tongue Pizzaz! You can do it Pizzaz! 😉

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Last year I lost 60 lbs (great), but lost MY ENTIRE wardrobe – NOT great! First time in my life I’ve gotten “really into” Good Will shopping. I find brand name (Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor Loft, Liz Claiborne, etc.) and even items w/tags (brand new!). I go to half off Saturdays to get more bang for my buck! I found the cutest black skirt and jacket for a wake for $8 total! I get scrubs for work (Dental asst) for $1.50 each!! Try it!

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Another great thing to do is look for high end items and sell on eBay! I found some brand new Citizens of Humanity jeans that are regularly 188 dollars for 5 bucks. Sold them on eBay for 56.00. I loved my 51 dollar profit! I also found a small Juicy Couture sweat material jacket in hot pink which I sold for 42 dollars and bought for 1 dollar! Be careful though and research which types of items sell before doing a thrift store shopping trip. Also considering shipping prices.

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I will admit I am addicted to Thrift store shopping. 99% of my wardrobe is from thrift stores. Lots of NEW items and barely used items. I get compliments ALL the time, I have converted a great many people to thrift tore shopping based on the great bargains I find. And it has been most beneficial as I have lost 40 pounds and keep changing sizes. I can afford to change sizes every couple months!

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There are certain things I would NEVER buy at a thrift store…no shoes, hats, socks, under clothes, or bathing suits of any kind.
It really is disgusting! However, things like baby clothes are great
to get at thrift stores because babies grow so fast they are hardly in
the clothes for that long, so a lot of them are like new. I also donate
to thrift stores and I always wash the clothes before I give them away!

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We have a local Red Racks that has 25 cent Sunday’s. Every Sunday they choose a color that the items are tagged with and that color is 25 cents, or 5/$1. We have so many clothes, not to mention everything else you can think of. We can go in and spend $5 and come out with bags of things. We have found brand new items with tags still on them, Jewelry,bicycles, baseball bats, bowling balls, picture frames, my favorite is all of my wall decor marked $50-$60 during the week was only 25c. Even t.v.’s! I have found most of my shelves for my coupon items there for very low prices. Shoes (we take out the inserts and replace them, also spray them with alcohol). Got my son a brand new pair of $80 Nike shoes with the price tags still on them for 25 cents.

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Wow!

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and because of this article I am going to visit the 2 new Goodwill Boutiques in my area tomorrow… I have a trip to Texas next Tuesday and what a great time to go look for a few bargains!!:)

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Thrift stores are great for people of regular sizes but if you are an odd size they aren’t so great. I can never find anything because of my strange proportions! LOL

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When i was a teenager, I worked at a seconds to go store. The people who donate wash the clothing before they donate.

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Great Article! In response to the notion that thrift store clothing is all used and dirty, thats incorrect, I find A LOT of stuff that is brand new with tags. Also, as someone who worked retail, ALL clothes are worn before you buy them, they are tried on by numerous people, dropped on the floor, possibly even chemically treated. Everything you bring home should really be washed before you wear it anyway.

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Pizzaz has to be completely honest here-

Pizzazezz mind says that everything written in this well-thought out article is 100% accurate and logical. There is every reason in the world to purchase from Thrift Shops and the thrill of hunting down a great find has to be an indescribable joy!

Yet, Pizzazezz heart says that there isn’t enough Hand-Sanitizer or Lysol Disinfecting Spray on the planet to try on some unknown persons used clothing! The very thought makes Pizzazezz skin crawl. Pizzaz would rather cut off limbs than try on shoes where the possibility of nasty, crusty, smelly, fungused feet have been! (And, yes, I know that ‘fungused’ isn’t a real word, but you get the point.)

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Pizzaz. Have you been tested for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Sounds like you might have a mild case.

Or if not, maybe if you traveled more and saw how most of the world lives, you wouldn’t feel so creeped out by trying on “used” items. Afterall, 90% of the world probably lives off of our very privileged left overs. I lived in Africa and the vast majority of people (who were lucky enough to have the money to do this) bought all their new clothing from “thrift donations”. Malls don’t really exist there and only the middle class and higher were able to afford these clothes…kind of puts things in perspective.

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Testing Pizzaz for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is like putting your hand over a flame to see if it’s hot!…There’s no doubt about it!!! 🙂
As far as traveling more to see how most of the world lives, that would probably creep me out even further.
Pizzaz certainly sympathizes with the plight of people all over the world and Pizzaz is happy to donate both new and used items, whenever possible. Additionally, you are correct that it is all a matter of perspective. I’m sure that the rich wouldn’t be caught dead even in my NEW clothes. But, when it comes to Thrift Shops, Pizzaz has long maintained that instead of SELLING items that were DONATED to help the underprivileged, why don’t they just allow the underprivileged to help themselves to whatever they want?! Pizzaz has no problem seeing the homeless in my neighborhood wearing Armani suits and the bag ladies in Neiman Marcus gowns. But, as far as Pizzaz is concerned…NO THANK YOU!

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I completely agree and was laughing hysterically while I read this…but it does sound like there are some awesome deals to be had…but again…completely agree with you here.

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The best thing that anyone can wear is a smile on their face! 🙂

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Because simply giving to the under privileged can be an unsustainable solution to a very complicated problem, pizzazz. Here’s where the traveling and some knowledge of the world would come in handy…..

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Yes, that’s true. Yet, despite all the donations, charities and programs available, the homeless are still without homes and the hungry are still hungry. Where does all the money go? If I was homeless and wanted a job, who would hire me? However, if I was dressed nicely, at least I could obtain an interview so that I would be in a better position to help myself.

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well.. since your on a coupon site… look up where the best place to buy hand sanitizer or wipes and keep them with you to ease your disorder:):)

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Hate to break it to you, but any clothing or shoes you buy has been tried on (i.e. “worn”) by somebody else. And that person may have been sweaty or have athlete’s foot or who knows what else. There’s an amazing invention called a washing machine, and something else called bleach. They even make bleach you can use for colors. Try using that.

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Yuck! I’ve decided to live the rest of my life barefoot!
Also, I appreciate the tip about bleach. I’m filling up my bathtub with Clorox as we speak! Thanks for the tip, Jenni.

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