Thrift Shopping Tips

June 28, 2019

Why thrift shopping?  Well, it’s good for the environment, most thrift shops raise money for great causes, and it can be a lot of fun!

Read my tips and tricks for getting the most out of your thrift shopping adventures!

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When I did my readers’ survey, I asked you all how I could help you better through this often fun and sometimes frustrating task of dressing ourselves every day!  One reader wanted a list of tips for thrift shopping.  I did a post like this last year, so regular readers might recognize some of these tips, but hey, it’s always good to do an update and add more ideas. Plus it’s nice to have new readers here to share ideas with!

I decided writing this post was as good a reason as any to head to a local thrift store to do some exploring.  I found this fabulous tie dye tunic for $3!  I also bought a skirt at the same time that I loved, BUT I read the tag wrong (damn middle-aged eyesight) and the sizing was UK.  Oh well … lessons learned:  #1 bring your readers #2 try stuff on & #3 if you make a mistake donate it back to be resold .. it’s for a good cause, right?!

I wore the tunic to the mall for lunch and shopping with the fabulous Cathy of Bay Area Fashionista.

midlife bay area bloggers

Okay okay, enough chit chat … here’s my list:

Thrift Shopping Tips

THE Rule

The most important rule is: only do it if you enjoy it.  Thrift shopping isn’t for everyone. I have friends who can’t stand the “interesting” smells and can’t find the patience to search through racks of junk. I get it. I like to thrift shop when I don’t need anything specific and when I can spend as much or little time as I feel like to hunt.

Where to Thrift

In person:

* Charity thrift stores –  This is my favorite place to thrift.  Anything you buy is for a good cause and the prices are often cheap.  But be warned, the pricing can be really inconsistent. Volunteers are often pricing items, so you can get a great bargain, but it can work the other way too. Last week, saw a Zara blouse priced at $35. I doubt it cost that much new!

*Local consignment shops – In our area, we have Crossroads, Black and Brown, Moon Zoom, Our Secret, and others.  Search online to see what’s available in your area and ask around as well.

*Flea Markets – It’s very seldom that I’ll get to a flea market and I think my husband dreads going with me because I always find some wacky thing I want to drag home, but I have found a few amazing things at the flea market, like a faux fur tote bag and a fun necklace.  Warning: I would pass on the “designer” items because often they’re fake.


*Thred Up – An online thrift store with a variety of items and price points.

*Luxury online consignment, like The Real Real or  Vestiaire Collective – This is where you’ll find verified real used designer goods being sold.

*Poshmark – A fun app to browse.  I don’t buy much, but when I do, I’ve been really pleased.

*ebay – I haven’t bought clothing on eBay in awhile, but I have friends who swear buy it for buying and for selling as well.

Deciding to Buy or Pass

  1. Make sure you really love it.

  2. Check out the item carefully for rips, stains, buttons, etc.

  3. Make sure it fits right.  One frustrating thing about thrifting is that you can find the most perfect item, but if it doesn’t fit, what can you do?  It’s not like you can ask for another size, right?  Of course if you can do alterations or you love it enough to pay for alterations, that’s always a possibility too.

  4. I always like to wash things as soon as I get them home.  If something is machine washable, this is an easy step, but if it’s dry clean only, I need to decide if it’s worth the dry cleaning bill (or do I want to take a chance trying to wash it on the “sanitize” or “refresh” setting on my washer/dryer.)

  5. I always say don’t go crazy just because things might be cheap, just like you wouldn’t want to go crazy at a good sale, buying stuff you don’t need. On the positive side, if you do over buy at a local charity thrift store, you can always just donate the items back and they can sell them again, right?

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So, do you like to thrift?  Please feel free to add any tips to the comments below!!

How is everyone this week?  Hope your summer is off to an amazing start!

And hey, did you get a chance to read my birthday posts? Here they are: Ten Tips for Loving Ourselves Through the Aging Process & Pretty Summer Birthday Dress.

And don’t forget you’re always invited to join our newsletter crew!

How is everyone this week?  Hope your summer is off to an amazing start!

Fun & Fashion,

Dawn Lucy

Link Ups: Visible Monday! Shoe and Tell!  #iwillwearwhatilike link up! Turning Heads Tuesday! Confident Tuesday!   Style Perspectives! Trendy Wednesday! Style on the Daily!  Thursday Fashion Files! Chic and Stylish! Labour of Fashion! Thursday Moda! Top of the World Style!   Fabulous Friday!   Weekend Wear Link Up!  Edge of the Week! Nancy’s Fashion Style! Sharing a Journey!

About the blog: Fashion Should Be Fun is me talking to you, other middle aged women like me who are over 40, but not over fashion.  We still want to look beautiful and stylish.  We still want to have fun with trends.  And we don’t need anyone giving us rules, because we’re all different. We all have own shapes and bodies, parts we’d like to cover and parts we still don’t mind showing off a bit.  This is a place for me to share my love of fashion with you, style ideas, tips, trends, and inspiration. I know how liking the way we look can translate into confidence and energy. I know we have so much life left to live and so much adventure ahead of us. Let’s show the world you’re never too old to have fun and be fierce!


  • Reply A Woman Of A Certain Age June 30, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    My best thrifting advice: even if you’re not sure you want something, put it in your cart. You can always take it out later, but if you leave it on the rack, someone else will invariably pick it up. I’ve learnt this lesson the hard way.

    • Reply Dawn Lucy July 1, 2019 at 5:16 am

      Aww great advice! So sad to go back to something and find it gone!!

    • Reply Dawn Lucy July 11, 2019 at 6:18 am

      Haha … great advice, Susan! 🙂

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