Thrift Shopping Tips

October 2, 2018

Thrift shopping can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a disappointing waste of time.

Thrift shopping tips, how to thrift shop

But when you find a treasure like this pretty animal print dress, it’s a thrill!

This Dress

I found this dress one day when I walked by a local thrift store, and just peeked in for a glance.  Leopard and other animal prints have been so hot that this dress caught my eye immediately. I love the ruffles too.  The shoulder pads make me think it’s from the 80’s. (They would’ve been easy enough to snip out, but I’m still holding on to hope for the return of the big shoulder pad!!)  Anyway, it fit me perfectly and what a cute dress for about the price of a latte, right?

thrift store finds, how to shop at thrift stores

dress with moto jacket, fall style 2018

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 usually cheap.

*Local consignment shops – In our area, we have Crossroads, Black and Brown, Moon Zoom, Our Secret, and others.

*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.  Recently I just bought a funky Custo Barcelona sweater that I can’t wait to wear.

*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?

So Dolls, let me know what you think about thrifting. Is it fun or too much trouble?  Can you add any tips for us?

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Fun & Fashion,

Dawn Lucy


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  • Reply Mica October 2, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Such a cute dress, what an awesome find! I prefer thrift shopping but you’re right it does take a little more time!

    Hope that you are having a good start to your week – and October! – so far 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  • Reply Elise October 4, 2018 at 5:32 am

    This dress is gorgeous, what a score!! Love how you styled it!

    xx, Elise

  • Reply Angie October 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Nice article, Dawn! The shoulder pads don’t look like a problem in the photos. You’ve styled this dress beautifully! Nice tips about thrifting to keep in mind. Thanks, Angie –

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