Style

Thrifting: The Master Class

God, you’re good at this.

Everyone relaxes in different ways. Some people bake cookies. Some go for a run. Others take a bubble bath.

I go thrifting.

To me, there’s nothing like wandering the aisles of a thrift store, idly letting my fingers brush the racks of sweaters, feeling for wool and cashmere and fuzzy angora. I crave the thrill of the hunt, the adrenaline rush of a major score, the pair of really odd shoes from the ’80s that no one else will have, ever.

Shopping at a thrift store isn’t easy like going to a department store—it’s work. That’s what I like about it. I like the digging. I like leaving with something special that was really cheap and looks awesome, then having someone freak out on me, going, “OMIGOD I LOVE your shirt, WHERE did you get it???” and casually tossing out, “Thrift store,” and have them frown and go, “Oh.”

You paid $30 for your vintage-look ’80s band T-shirt? Too bad, sucka…the one I’m wearing is real, came pre-softened, and was 90 cents.

But listen, frowning person and fake-vintage-T-shirt wearer: I’m not here to feel smugly superior to you. I’m here to help! Never been thrifting before? Not sure where to start? NO WORRIES. Me and my two skilled thrifting friends Jen and Kate will be your Guide to All Things Used.

But! Before we get down to it, there are two things I want to cover.

1. What is a thrift store?

Jen

It may seem obvious, but not all thrift stores are created equal. Here is what is NOT a thrift store:

A place that sells upscale secondhand clothing.
Places like Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, and Crossroads are NOT thrift stores. They sell name-brand, imperceptibly used clothing. A dress will probably run you $14-$35. Cheaper than a regular clothing store, but definitely not a thrift store.

A vintage store.
Vintage stores are cool as hell, but they’re also expensive and pre-thrifted. Someone with a great eye for design went thrifting for absolutely everything you see in a vintage store, then carefully cleaned each item, sewed up the rips, and is now reselling it for upwards of quadruple what they paid for it. Vintage stores are full of awesome, high-priced stuff because they know full well what they have, and they’re banking on the fact that you don’t have the time or energy to go out into the thrift-store world and find that awesome stuff for yourself. That’s where they’d be wrong.

Now, a Real Thrift Store is really cheap.

Kate

We’re talking $3-or-less T-shirts.

A real thrift store sells clothing that comes directly from the bags that people have dropped off for donation. The clothes aren’t checked for rips, holes, missing buttons, or stains—they’re sold as-is.

A real thrift store is often large and only loosely organized. It sells clothing with hand-written tags stapled onto it. Sometimes those tags are color-coded, because the thrift store has days where, say, all the orange tags are half off, or days when all the pink, white, and blue tags are all half off.

Real thrift stores have little paper calendars up by the register that tell you when the big half-off sale days are. Make like a crafty hoarder and grab one of these for your fridge.

Often, real thrift stores are dirty, with clothes strewn everywhere. Don’t be alarmed. Be thankful for the mess—it scares away the shoppers who aren’t as adventurous as you are. The truly brave are always rewarded with the most outrageous finds.

2. It doesn’t matter where you are. Thrift stores are everywhere.

Now, I live in Chicago, which is blessed with some of the best thrift stores around, but if you live in a small town or rural area, don’t fret. Amazing thrifting is to be had in small towns. The best thrift store I’ve ever been in was on the outskirts of Appleton, Wisconsin.

Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota—less-populated states and small towns are fantastic for thrifting, because the stores haven’t been picked over by hordes of hipster kids. You know why? ’Cause thrifting ain’t cool there yet.

Sure, it’s cool to live in a big city and go thrifting—it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon.

But in places like Fargo and Sioux Falls? You’re competing with almost no one for great stuff. Grandmas clean out their attics all over the country, not just in big urban areas.

The smaller the town, the more likely you are to make out like a bandit.

So.

It’s 11 AM on a Saturday, and you wanna go thrifting. Let’s get down to it.

Here are some tips for making your day a success:

Above all else: Eat something first. Then caffeinate yourself into a frenzy.
You are about to deal with an insane barrage of clothing—thousands upon thousands of items—that are not arranged by size and are jammed onto racks higgledy-piggledy. You will be there for hours. Do NOT go into a thrift store hungry or tired. There will be shoes and purses and racks of shirts and toys and furniture and housewares and books and a jewelry section, and you’re going to need energy to get through it all.

Thrift stores, with their mess and noise and pushy old ladies and faint musty smell and squalling babies, can sometimes overwhelm you with their sheer disorganization and sadness, like Atreyu in the swamp in The Neverending Story. Don’t give in to the sadness! You must enter that store with enough energy to make it out alive and victorious, loaded down with finds.

Wear the right outfit.
You’re going to be trying on lots of clothing, and you’ll have to try most of it on over your clothes, as there probably won’t be a dressing room. Wear something simple. A stretchy one-piece dress. Skinny jeans and a T-shirt. No weird necklines or giant sweaters.

Know your shopping companions.
I like to thrift alone. I like to look where I want, pore over the jewelry case, thoughtfully purse my lips as I flip through endless racks of dresses.

But if you’re not thrifting alone, bring only friends who won’t drag you down. The worst thing is to bring along a friend who shops exclusively in malls, who will trail behind you going, “I’m bored. This is boring. I can’t find anything. This place smells. Ewww, who would buy that? This is gross. I can’t find anything.” This is the person you leave at home. Or bury under a pile of battered children’s books in the toy department.

What you want is a crew of skilled thrifters, tried and tested in the battlefields of the biggest thrift stores in town.

The very best scenario is to thrift with friends who are cheerful, adventurous dressers, and not your size. That way, everyone can shop in the same sections at the same time, and there are no “I saw it first” awkward moments with your soon-to-be-ex-bestie when a pair of size-seven Jeffrey Campbell chunky heels is sitting on the shelf.

Divide and conquer.

When entering a thrift store, don’t get overwhelmed and start wandering around aimlessly. Grab a cart, home in on a section (e.g., skirts) and dive right in. Look over the entire rack, pulling out anything that looks immediately interesting, then shove all of the hangers as far over as they can go and start flipping through the skirts one by one. This gives you much-needed space on jammed thrift-store racks.

Look through everything. Throw absolutely anything that looks approximately right for you (in terms of shape, cut, size, color) into your cart and forget about it. Have one big try-on session at the end with all the stuff you piled into the cart.

No dressing rooms? No problem.
Many, if not all, of the best thrift stores don’t have dressing rooms. (We will never know why.) Instead, there will be several mirrors scattered around the store, with groups of people gathered around them trying things on. You wore a simple outfit, so it’s not a problem. Don’t be shy—hustle up to that mirror and try on all clothes in your cart quickly, pulling them on over your current outfit, making sure to share the mirror with everyone else.

Make rapid decisions—don’t hem and haw.

It’s cute? You’ll wear it for sure? It’s $1.80? Buy it.

It’s kiiiinda cute? You’re not sure what you’ll wear it with? It’s $8? Don’t buy it.

Wait, though…what if you want to try on jeans? Not so easy, now, is it? You’re in public! How are you gonna take off your pants in public?

Here’s how: Go to the skirts section. Find the biggest, roomiest, elastic-waisted, floor-length skirt you can find, and put it on over your jeans. Then drop your jeans, grab the new pair you want to try on, and pull them on under the skirt. Then drop the skirt. Ta-da!!

God, you’re good at thrifting.

Look through all the sections.
The bedding department often holds other linens, like adorable vintage aprons. The man-sweater section is a treasure trove of giant cashmere sweaters that women have given their husbands and their husbands have refused to wear.

The kids’ section has hoodies and T-shirts, the sleepwear section has vintage slips, men’s shoes has great cowboy boots hidden among all the loafers. The underwear section has silk camisoles from the ’40s, the furniture section has awesome ’60s luggage sets, and the books have best-sellers you’ve been meaning to read and weird teen-girl novels from the ’50s.

Look up high and down low—the best stuff is hiding out of eye range…sometimes hidden by other sneaky thrifters in the hopes that no one else will find it before they return.

Poking through random sections of the thrift store is incredibly rewarding—you never know what you’ll find.

Know your weaknesses.
This is my weakness:

Tall leather boots. You are looking at an entire closet full of tall leather boots, none of which cost more than $10 and each of which I was certain I needed at the time.

Maybe you love, say, hand-knitted fisherman’s sweaters. But you already have five of them—do you really need another?

Thrift stores are full of bargains, but remember: you’re not saving money if you’re not going to get around to wearing that $4 sweater.

That brings us to…

Are you really going to wear that?
Learn from me, y’all. No matter how cool something is, do NOT buy it if it “needs some work” and you’re not actually going to fix it up.

My drawers are a graveyard of blouses I think I’m going to sew buttons onto, sweaters whose sleeves I’m going to cut off for legwarmers, dresses I keep meaning to have hemmed.

I’ve finally learned something about myself: I’m not going to do it. I am not going to take things to a tailor, I’m not going to make things out of cool old T-shirts. Only buy “project pieces” if you’re really going to spend time with them; otherwise you’re throwing your money away.

You guys, thrifting is absolutely fabulous.

It requires energy, determination, and a laser-like focus. It’s a way to level the playing field for those among us who can’t, um, always afford the newest things in magazines. Twelve-hundred dollars for a pair of elbow-length leather gloves? PLEASE. Thrift until you find $4 leather gloves just like the ones you saw in Vogue. Wear them to a party. Everyone will be jealous, and you’ll be the cleverest girl there. ♦

223 Comments

  • Moxx March 1st, 2012 7:10 PM

    THIS IS MY RELIGION OMG

    • Jenn March 3rd, 2012 5:26 PM

      I was literally going to say that wow, twins!

  • missblack March 1st, 2012 7:13 PM

    OMG THIS IS SO GREAT!!!
    I live near Buffalo which has the Best Thrift Stores Ever and as a Serious Thrifter I can attest to the fact that seriously every thing in this article is spot on. (I especially love the bit about not shopping with friends who are the same size as you – best advice ever.)

    Also, this reminded me of the episode of 2 Broke Girls where Max takes Caroline to Goodwill and finds all of the cool things that other people have hidden in drawers, vases, soup pots….

    Little&Trivial

    • Stephanie G. March 1st, 2012 8:12 PM

      Yes! Oh my gosh! I live in Buffalo too, and sometimes it’s hard to appreciate the city. We have some seriously cool thrift stores though.

      • ladyjenna March 1st, 2012 10:03 PM

        Holy moses I was born in Buffalo and it is da bomb.
        I now live far far away and periodically crave la nova barbecue wings.

  • Kaede March 1st, 2012 7:16 PM

    I love this article! You are so right about not going with someone your size, but the friend I always thrift with is just like me, petite, with size 6-6.5 feet. So far we haven’t gotten into any knock-down, drag-out fights over anything, haha. It probably helps that we don’t have the exact same taste, but occasionally we have trouble deciding who should get what.

  • EmilyJn March 1st, 2012 7:18 PM

    any advice for us in the uk? I have never come across a thrift store over here :c

    • Krista March 1st, 2012 7:34 PM

      OMG THAT IS HORRIBLE, no thrift stores, what???

      What about charity shops and great church jumble sales?

    • Pashupati March 1st, 2012 8:09 PM

      I live in France, and through a few reflexion, I understood what I called thrift stores (friperies) weren’t really. Emmaüs and La Trocante (dépôt-vente = consignment shop) are thrift stores! :o
      Except these are less huge.
      Maybe, UK thrift stores are named otherwise?
      Also: FLEA MARKETS! YARD SALES! WALKING AIMLESSLY AND FINDING SMALL JEWELRY AND BABY SHOES ON THE FLOOR! LIFE!
      I’m drunk with sleep deprivation, sorry.
      Where in the UK do you live? I searched consignment shop and there is a tiny list of the 20 best of London, so you could find other lists.
      Also, explore your streets. When I was 13 there used to be a tiny second-hand clothes store where they placed an awful pizza store now, but it wasn’t mentionned anywhere in magazines or maps. It had a really discret sign, I saw it while looking through the car window and came back.
      Seriously, check if your city even if it’s small don’t hold flea markets, big or small, every so-and-so in a year!

    • Afiqa March 2nd, 2012 1:41 AM

      Same here :(

      • Violet March 2nd, 2012 2:56 AM

        UK People !!!! YOUR COUNTRY IS THE MOTHERLAND OF THE SALVATION ARMY !!! Lucky you :)

    • cuddio March 2nd, 2012 6:13 AM

      Apart from London there aren’t many thrift stores similar to the ones that Americans have.
      But don’t worry! You have a few options:

      1) Charity shops.
      Try to go to every one in your town and even go to the next town and just trawl their shops
      2) Church sales.
      Very cheap and so much stuff is sold here from bric-a-brac to clothes.
      and finally 3) Car boot sales.
      This is the mother of all jumble sales. Check online for your local one. They mostly operate in the summer but it’s worth checking to see if your local one is running now. Each time you go there theres a whole new

      Each stall has something different and every time you go to a car boot you’ll be amazed at how cheap the items are and the variety of stuff that people are selling! I’d definitely recommend it.

      Cuddio :-)
      http://www.cuddio.tumblr.com

      • EmilyJn March 2nd, 2012 11:26 AM

        Thanks Krista, Pashupati and Cuddio, this is so helpful! The fact that the articles always carry on into the comments is one of my favourite things about Rookie x

    • Libby March 2nd, 2012 11:53 AM

      They’re charity shops on a huge scale, basically. I don’t know where you live but in my village, there’s a manky Salvation Army {seriously just ratty old M&S tshirts and polyester trousers, but with silk scarves for 30p!} and then on the bus ride into town there’s lots of different ones.
      They’re smaller, there’s no coloured tokens/money off sales, and there aren’t carts or anything like that. Here at least, they’re clustered together–there’s a row of charity shops all squished together, Mencap & RSPCA and BHF, all sharing the lovely fund-raising and clothes-finding in a big happy family of amazingness.
      They don’t seem as fabulous as the US ones but I guess I just need to dig further!

      • ann ann ann March 2nd, 2012 4:56 PM

        I wouldn’t dismiss a small thrift store just because it’s small. Most of my treasures are from smaller thrift stores, even though I live in the US. I rarely go to my local goodwill, for example. I found a place nearby that’s frequented (and donated to) by older women, and they have some of the best clothes.

        • I W May 24th, 2013 9:22 AM

          When we say small though, we MEAN small. Seriously, there’ll be about three rails about half the length of the ones in those pictures. I still go to charity shops religiously, but there is no guarantee you’ll find anything at all. You have to go in pretty much every day if you ever want to get anything good.
          Be grateful for your massive thrift shops, they look incredible!

          doxographies.blogspot.co.uk

    • tilda March 7th, 2012 6:44 AM

      I live in the UK and wasn’t aware of thrift stores until this article, but I’m a massive fan of charity shops, car boot sales and flea markets, where all the same rules apply. Every single area has car boot sales, you need to work out which local ones are better for what- know the sale that’s best for books and the one for oddments to put on your shelves, etc. My favourite charity shop is an Emmaus which has ALL THE THINGS. In fact I’m wearing a knitted mustard tank top from there- 50p. :)
      Happy thrifting!

  • Shutterbug1998 March 1st, 2012 7:19 PM

    I live in Chicago too! Would you mind sharing what thirft store that was? Or is it a secret? ;)

    • Krista March 1st, 2012 7:35 PM

      Village Discount in Andersonville! OOH but the one by the Milwaukee Blue Line is EVEN BETTER

      • Emilie March 1st, 2012 8:04 PM

        Thank you so much I was just going to ask the same question! Wooo chicago!!!

      • blancateli March 1st, 2012 8:07 PM

        VDO is the jam! I also love Unique’s 50% off Mondays.

      • Shutterbug1998 March 1st, 2012 8:24 PM

        Thanks so much Krista. Btw my best friend Liza interviewed you for our school project, you sound so cool! I hope you can come to the project reception. :)

      • Jamie March 2nd, 2012 1:30 AM

        love that one by the blue line.

      • leraje March 3rd, 2012 1:36 AM

        called it. those red poles are unmistakeable. half of my wardrobe is from there, i swear.

  • lilghostie March 1st, 2012 7:21 PM

    this article is so SPOT ON. as a fellow self deemed thrift store queen you hit every tip for beginners and gave me, and other seasoned thrifters, the inspiration to get out there and do more thrifting. yayyyyy!! :)

  • Marguerite March 1st, 2012 7:22 PM

    who’s taking a trip to The Barn? ME! -thats who!

  • Cerise March 1st, 2012 7:22 PM

    Love this. This is all really good advice, especially about getting sleep and food before you go. I know I’m always exhausted after I shop, and going in that way practically guarantees that I will attempt to buy something that I will never, ever wear when I am in a normal state of mind.

    Also, I am definitely guilty of hiding clothes and then coming back later to buy them. Thrifting can be sneaky.

    • Pashupati March 1st, 2012 8:14 PM

      I just ask the people you pay to put clothes or books or whatever in a bag with my name on it and come back later. I just mention how much time it’ll take until I’m able to pay. Maybe it’s also more possible than you believe it is, I was too shy to ask for it first.
      That’s if you had the time to try these on and just need your pay or allowance.

      • Cerise March 2nd, 2012 12:45 AM

        Actually, I hadn’t thought of that. Hmmm. I shall have to try that out. Thanks!

  • purplebabaushka March 1st, 2012 7:27 PM

    This article is AMAZING!! I love thrifting and completley agree with everything said! Plus I’m in love with the flowered sweater in the second to last picture! :D

    http://purplebabaushka.wordpress.com/

  • curlygirlmorgan March 1st, 2012 7:27 PM

    This was the best guide ever! i live in chicago too, which is the best for thrifting but (like you said) kids trying to be cool are invading them.
    ive been thrifting since i was in first grade and another tip i have is to find thrift stores surrounded by places you can pee.because thrift store bathrooms are reallllly gross.
    and dont forget alot of things can be altered for less than $5 at the cleaners if youre really lazy.

  • DANNI March 1st, 2012 7:28 PM

    I really need to like, improve my wardrobe, but I live in NYC and thrift stores are SO INTIMIDATING! I want to go, but I’m afraid when I get there, everyone’s gonna be a canned jams (OOOH PEACH RUHBARB WASABI RAISIN BERRY YUM!)-art house movies-Pixies-pro thrifter and they’ll be like “WHAT IS THAT NORMAL BORING NOBODY KID DOING HERE? GO BACK TO HOLLISTER OR CHILDRENS PLACE WHERE YOU BELONG!” I know I shouldn’t care what peole think of me, but sometimes I can’t think straight because I don’t have an accomplished indie music blog and a nice flannel shirt. (I have friends, too, but most of them are my size or don’t believe in thrifting and would rather spend 80 bucks on a sweater with holes in in from Trash and Vaudville.)

    • DANNI March 1st, 2012 7:44 PM

      This sounds really insensitive and I’m just naming every single hipster cliche, but I have to say, we live in a world of cliches.

    • MissKnowItAll March 1st, 2012 7:48 PM

      I know exactly what you mean Danni. I go to this thrift store in Elmhurst and even though I’m a regular there, there’s always a bunch of these Indie college students giving me the stink eye, like I trespassed on their land or something. But you shouldn’t worry. I don’t have an Indie blog or anything like that but thrifting is for everyone! I’m 15 and I love meeting old ladies at the thrift store. If you ever need anyone to shop with. Come to Queens! You’ll probably find me there.

    • Anaheed March 1st, 2012 7:49 PM

      DANNI! I recommend the Salvation Army in Times Square. It is HUGE and not packed — I used to go there during my lunch break from work and I got so much good stuff.

      • I.ila March 1st, 2012 8:14 PM

        O MY GOODNESS THIS IS SO HELPFUL!!! I am usually stuck on the UES and the UWS, I know, but that’s where I live and where my school is. There are a bunch of great consignment stores, but really no thrift stores. And I know what everyone means, with the intimidating people in thrift stores; scary. I will definitely try out the Salvation Army. But for those who want something else, there’s a store called Encore on 84th and madison, and it has pretty good prices on designer stuff. Also, I hate when people wear band tee shirts and I say “oh, you like nirvana?” or “Oh, you like led zep,” and they respond “who?”

    • Pashupati March 1st, 2012 8:27 PM

      Exactly: thrifting is for everyone.
      Try to socialize a little with other children or older people in the thrift store, so you can maybe thrift with them or just feel less stressed and more like a traditional, “real” thrifter or something.
      Go with a family member first, maybe.
      Find friends on the Internet to thrift with, there are website holding “public events” things, like 15 people going thrifting or playing tennis or.
      Also, if they ever verbally say “go to Hollister” because you’re a child, just tell them you don’t have enough money as a child to go there, and your parents either. Children totally belong to thrift stores (not that you should try to sell yourself there!) They’ll feel impolite, maybe mumble excuses and stop bothering you.
      After all, a lot of people thrift because they don’t have a lot of money.

      • DANNI March 2nd, 2012 5:30 PM

        THANK YOU GOOD PEOPLE OF ROOKIE!

  • youarebananas March 1st, 2012 7:28 PM

    HOLLA! I love this. I love that you called out Buffalo Exchange, because it irritates me to NO END when people go there and call it “thrifting.” HELL NAH! You gotta go to the places where NOBODY REALIZES that there is cool stuff.

    Another tip: pay attention to what fabric your clothing of choice is. I’ve found some great 100% silk pieces (e.g. pajama pants & top that I wear as separates and that look awesome!) that have worked really well, but it’s also really easy to fall in love with, like, an acrylic sweater that quickly gets stretched out/misshapen. Also, never thrift ANYTHING stretchy, ever! And also, some people say you shouldn’t thrift something that you wouldn’t buy if it were more expensive, but I say, THAT’S WHY YOU THRIFT! As long as the item in question is, like, a dollar. Thrifting=risk-taking.

    • Henry Jeanne March 3rd, 2012 11:37 AM

      As a Buffalo Exchange employee, I get a full serving of people telling me how cool it is that they’re thrifting. No, they’re not. We’re picking the clothes out for them. We’ve wheedled through the stained and torn stuff so they don’t have to. While the prices for clothes that you know are going to be good are really fantastic at BE and I will probably be shopping there primarily for the rest of my life, it’s not a thrift store. The only thing they have in common is the second-hand part.

  • MissKnowItAll March 1st, 2012 7:31 PM

    Oh you don’t know how much I needed this. When I was in middle school, I was really fascinated by thrift shops and found a few by my house in Queens. But my mom would always freak and say that she didn’t want me to wear dirty, used clothes. Now that I’m in high school, I’ve found out what my taste is and I love thrift stores. I even found a pair of gently used Cowboy boots with spiked studs. Does anyone from New York know where there are any good thrift stores in Queens?

    • Faith March 1st, 2012 9:34 PM

      Omg!! I’m crossing my fingers you live around Astoria!! Cause I live around there, and you know in Steinway, there’s a couple. Most of them are pretty small so you’re going to have to dive into a pile of skirts to find something cool, but I find all the great stuff in the Salvation Army thrift store. But, I must warn you, the other day when I got out of the train station, it was EMPTY. Hopefully these people are renovating it, I’d be devastated if it were turned into some JC penny or something. There’s also a Goodwill right down the block. I haven’t gone in there yet, but I will, tomorrow. I’m hoping this’ll help, and maybe we’ll bump into each other, if that’s even possible! haha

      • MissKnowItAll March 1st, 2012 9:46 PM

        OMG!!!!!! I live about 2 blocks away from Astoria! I think I know which Salvation Army you’re talking about. Everyday my bus passes by there and a little part of me explodes thinking about all the cool stuff in there!

      • Faith March 2nd, 2012 6:48 PM

        this is too awesome! You live near Astoria because I gotta say, Queens is a huge borough, and I knew it’d be a fat chance for you to live around here, but this is insane!! Rookie is the best, I must reiterate. haha

      • MissKnowItAll March 2nd, 2012 7:04 PM

        Yay for Rookies from Queens!!! (aka best borough in NY!!!!!!!!)

    • Alinamp March 3rd, 2012 12:31 PM

      Wait, can I just say that I’m freakin’ out that some of you are from Astoria? WHERE ARE YOU GUYS!? I used to go to that Salvation Army all the time an its by far the best place I’ve ever been to. I stopped going though because I heard that they won’t feed gay people in their soup kitchen and that really pissed me off. I’ve been considering going back, but I’ve got to do more research and do some real soul searchin~~. But yeah, the good will on Steinway is alright, I’ve never actually left from there with anything. Further down on Steinway there’s also a tiny thrift store called Unique Boutique (oooooh yeah ;]!) that I’ve only been to once, but seems pretty good. On Ditmars blvd between 31st and 33rd street there’s another one which is alright. I go there ALL the time but it’s a bit overpriced. I’d still recommend trying it out though if you’re in the area. WHO ARE YOU GUYS AND WHERE ARE YOU IN MY LIFE?! :)

      • MissKnowItAll March 3rd, 2012 4:19 PM

        Ahhhh, This is INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!
        The Salvation Army is simply amazing. I heard the same thing about the serving gays in the soup kitchen but I think there’s been new management that serves them now. I’ve been to a few thrift stores in forest hills that are all right but I have to take the E train to get there and sometimes I’m too lazy to get on the train. THIS IS SO AMAZING!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!

      • Alinamp March 4th, 2012 3:19 PM

        This is really really wild! I’ve never been to any in Forest Hills, but I’m thinkin’ I should check’em out. I’m really not like…hip to the thrift store scene outside of Astoria– the bulk of my thrifted clothing has come from there. Oh man, you guys. There should be a Queens Rookie-Reader meet up.

      • MissKnowItAll March 10th, 2012 9:35 AM

        Just out of curiosity, do you like One Direction?

  • TheAwesomePossum March 1st, 2012 7:33 PM

    When I saw the screencap for this post earlier, I kind of squealed a little bit.

    Awesome article (and I love the oversized skirt/jeans trick. I never would have thought of that.)

  • Bentivegna March 1st, 2012 7:33 PM

    i love this so much! i have a good friend who loves thrifting just as much as i do. we’re the same size but we just end up sharing clothes if there’s controversy. don’t forget to check to cds and vinyls first to see if they’re scratched! xx

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/classy_vs_trashy/

  • raggedychick March 1st, 2012 7:34 PM

    Thrifting is my absolute favorite thing. ;w;

    And now, the next time I go thrifting (which needs to be soon) I’LL HAVE ALL OF THESE TIPS :D

  • elleminte March 1st, 2012 7:35 PM

    I’m glad to learn all of this! Because I’ve almost gone to several vintage stores thinking they were the same as thrift stores.
    Now I’ve learned. And I need to find myself a real thrift store.
    :D

  • anisarose March 1st, 2012 7:39 PM

    I loved this! I’ve only gone to an actual thrift store once but I was with my mom and we were both very hungry and even more exhausted so we only stayed for a few minutes. Now that I’ve read this, I want to call up my coolest friends and go thrifiting!! Unfortunately though, I got my wisdom teeth out 6 hours ago… Thanks for cheering up a girl whose mouth is filled with gauze.

  • Starboardd March 1st, 2012 7:40 PM

    The title I’ve been given that I’m proudest of among my group of friends is “best thrifter.” I love that people ask me to help them thrift and I love teaching people how to thrift! It does take determination (and caffeine). But it’s also the most rewarding thing in the world.

  • Lily March 1st, 2012 7:43 PM

    this was such a good article! i love thrift shopping and this inspired me to take myself on an op shop trip this afternoon with my $4

  • kittenmix March 1st, 2012 7:51 PM

    I love to thrift! But unfortunately thrift stores in Melbourne (Australia) have started charging a lot more for their wares. Jackets and dresses at the salvos can run up to more than $50, and $3 t-shirts are hard to find in pretty much any op-shop :((

    • Graciee March 4th, 2012 1:15 AM

      OH MY GOD I KNOWWW!! You can’t even buy a shirt at savers for less than $6 ! I’ve just started to look for smaller op shops around the area.. Brotherhood of st laurence out the back of Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds is pretty great and still wonderfully cheap :)

  • Kathryn March 1st, 2012 7:56 PM

    I love thrifting so so so much! There’s a tiny goodwill and a small salvation army in my town. now I just want to go there really bad but it is night and i can’t drive and i’m broke. sigghh
    also, I actually have thrifted in fargo. it’s an hour away and way bigger than my town. haha

  • stepha March 1st, 2012 7:58 PM

    ive been shopping there since i was 13 and im 27! my fiancee has been an assistant manager at goodwill for almost a year, i have found some amazing things and i feel good recycling things.

  • mwong1025 March 1st, 2012 7:58 PM

    Ha! All the thrift stores in New York are already hoard up since the, say, early 90′s. But whatever, bless this post and bless everyone at Rookie ~

    http://www.style-abuse.blogspot.com

    • Alinamp March 4th, 2012 4:37 PM

      Woah! I just clicked on your blog and realized we go to THE SAME SCHOOL. I actually just had a fit over how good your blog is and how knowledgeable of fashion you are. I’m way way way too jealous, especially ‘cos you’re younger than me and JUNIORS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE COOL AND KNOW EVERYTHING RIGHT!!? Anyway, we should be friends ‘cos its not like we won’t be in the same building 5 days a week.

    • MissKnowItAll March 10th, 2012 9:37 AM

      Gah, so depressed. I got into that school but didn’t go because I also got into townsend harris:(

  • tankgrrrl March 1st, 2012 8:06 PM

    Thrifting is my very favourite hobby! Anyone in the vicinity of Portland, OR should check out the Bins (aka The Goodwill Outlet), where they sell clothes by the pound and you really can find anything…

  • Limey March 1st, 2012 8:06 PM

    AHHHHHH! I also live in Chicago and I always go to this Village Discount!! AGHHH THIS IS SO EXCITING. I’ve found that looking in the men’s sweater section is always great. Also, I love going to the child shirt sections because they are like pre-cropped crop tops.

    Village Discount rox my sox

  • talia anais March 1st, 2012 8:07 PM

    Thrifting is my stress-reliever, hobby, and anti-drug. I adore this article.

  • joenjwang March 1st, 2012 8:07 PM

    I live in chicago as well, can you recommend some good thrift stores? Also, the only thing I would be careful about (when thrifting)is SCABIES. A family friend is an avid thrifter (works at a vintage store in New York City and combs through the midwest for goods) and gets scabies at least once a month. Gross, but true!

  • stephb March 1st, 2012 8:17 PM

    “The best thrift store I’ve ever been in was on the outskirts of Appleton, Wisconsin.”

    The Darboy Goodwill!!

  • elphie March 1st, 2012 8:20 PM

    I THINK THIS SHOULD BE THE SPORT.
    I LOVE YOU AND ALL HAIL THRIFTERS AROUND THE WORLD

  • appletonbabe March 1st, 2012 8:28 PM

    Which thrift store was it in Appleton?

    • Krista March 2nd, 2012 10:56 AM

      Mmm I can’t remember if it was Fox Valley Thrift Shoppe or the St. Vincent’s on W College Ave. Both are excellent, but one of them has a weird gravel parking lot, bazillions of vintage cruiser bikes inside, and BOATLOADS of Virgin Mary ceramic crap. It was UNREAL. I am going to rent a car JUST TO GO BACK.

  • ak March 1st, 2012 8:29 PM

    i can’t decide about the morality of thrifting. on one hand, it’s extremely environmentally savvy because it’s all reusable. on the other hand, shouldn’t we save thrift stores for those that can’t afford clothing elsewhere?

    • ann ann ann March 2nd, 2012 12:29 AM

      The thrift store I frequently shop and volunteer is attached to a community center. A significant part of their funding each year comes from proceeds from the thrift store. They wouldn’t be able to run many of these programs or services without the money that the thrift store brings in, so when I go there I actually DO feel good, because I know that I’m helping them further their goals. Keep in mind that when you shop at places connected to churches, community centers, or charitable organizations, you’re not simply ‘taking,’ you’re also giving back. If you’re still on the fence, try going around to your local thrift stores and asking where the proceeds go. Shop at the ones that will use that money to help others.

      I also think many thrift stores are actually geared towards the middle class clients nowadays. Kind of a sad, but there are still places for the people who need them the most to get clothes. Check out organizations like Dress for Success that work to provide business attire for women who can’t afford it (but of course you need a job to afford such things… it’s a bad cycle).

    • Jamie March 2nd, 2012 1:33 AM

      the point of thrift stores is to provide lost cost things to people who need deals, but usually the profits from a thrift store go back into providing social services to people in need.

      so yes, you might be taking an ugly sweater from a someone less well off than you, but the money from that sweater is going back into more programs.

      plus, there is no shortage of old clothing. if you go into a mall for like 5 minutes, you’ll see that people are buying tons of crap that they will later donate to thrift stores.

      in short, HAVE FUN. don’t worry.

      • Jamie March 2nd, 2012 1:34 AM

        this said, you might want to look into where the money from the thrift store you shop at goes.

        i don’t shop at the salvation army because they have some homophobic policies that ain’t my thing.

  • MissGorgeous March 1st, 2012 8:31 PM

    This article is fantastic! <3 I understand there is a low, low chance of anyone knowing the answer to my question buuut… long story short, I am an American girl living in Brazil. I am a freshman in high school. After reading every single Rookie post, and half "OMG, I WISH I WAS TAVI. GAHHH WHY CAN"T I BE AS CULTURED AND WITTY AS HER?", half stalking Tavi on her blog, I want to know if there's an online thrift store? I understand that kills the "digging" aspect, but right now I'm stuck with all of my skinny jeans, shorts, and hand-me-down Hollister shirts from my cousins. I need my own style, but living in Brazil, everything is very expensive. :( I apologize for the long question, but if anyone could help me, it would be much appreciated. Thank you, have a wonderful day. :)

    • CariStereo March 1st, 2012 9:11 PM

      http://www.shopgoodwill.com/

      happy hunting! :)

    • Blou March 1st, 2012 9:11 PM

      It tends to be more like vintage stores with the high-ish prices, but if you’re willing to spend some good time looking for sales and browsing through tons of pages, I’ve come accross a few good things on Etsy before. It actually ends up being a lot like virtual digging haha. I’m not sure if thats what your looking for, but I hope it helps! :)

    • Madalena March 1st, 2012 9:48 PM

      Hey there – don’t know where you live in Brazil, but a “brechó” is the portuguese equivalent of a thrift store! I’ve been to a few in Rio de Janeiro. Good luck and just ask around!

      • MissGorgeous March 2nd, 2012 3:11 PM

        Thank you CariStereo, Blou, and Madalena! The websites you gave me are perfect. :) I do live in Rio de Janeiro, and I’m sure I’ll find some brechós soon! <3

      • Madalena March 3rd, 2012 4:51 PM

        sweet! check out lapa and santa teresa. i know of two brechós on rua riachuelo, near the arcos da lapa. boa sorte :)

  • Abby March 1st, 2012 8:46 PM

    The next time my dad raves about the thrift store he always goes to, I PROMISEPROMISEPROMISE not to laugh at him, and I’m pretty sure I might actually go with him the next time he does. You’ve made me a believer!

  • Abby March 1st, 2012 8:48 PM

    Also, I LOVE AND WANT THOSE SHOES you’re wearing in picture four….

  • sissi March 1st, 2012 9:01 PM

    best article ever. i love thrifting. i live in new york so my thrift stores are full of clothes donated my swag hipsters. only for 1:00, yes!

  • CariStereo March 1st, 2012 9:07 PM

    Been thrifting for ages. My tips:

    • Bring handi-wipes or baby wipes in your purse or your car. You’ll definitely leave the store with dusty, dirty hands. DO NOT touch your eyes or mouth until you’ve cleaned your hands.

    • If you’re allergic to dust like me, try sucking on a cough drop while shopping. It can help.

    • Not all stains or smells can be removed. Sometimes it’s better to walk away.

    • Sometimes you can bargain a little. Not really with clothes, but it’s worked with art and furniture… if they want $20 ask them if they’ll sell it to you for $15. Sometimes they’ll say yes. :)

    Great article, Krista!

  • meowzer March 1st, 2012 9:16 PM

    This article was so good. SO GOOD. Loved the text, loved the photos, ya’ll are cute, thank you and goodnight.

  • moonchild March 1st, 2012 9:18 PM

    :)

  • melmaus27 March 1st, 2012 9:20 PM

    ABSOLUTELY loved this post. It is SO my way to spend a free afternoon – and I go ALONE because I will stay for 4 hours or more and I’ve never found anyone who can keep up with me. LOVE LOVE LOVE thrifting!

  • Mirae March 1st, 2012 9:26 PM

    PERFECT! Absolutely Perfect! I’ve been to thrift stores few times but now with this handy-dandy tips from thrifting masters, I must go there more often!

    Thank you!

  • ivoire March 1st, 2012 9:54 PM

    what im so jealous of americans right now. i live in sydney and we DO NOT have thrift stores. or maybe im not looking hard enough. if anyone is a sydney resident please tell me of thrift store you know of! no vintage stores too expensive.

    • eliza dolittle March 2nd, 2012 1:03 AM

      hey! i completely know what you mean ($3 shirts?? AAH), but our versions are pretty much op shops such as vinnies or salvos, and though they’re almost always regular sized small stores, they can still be totally awesome.

      i’ve had great success in newtown since the stores there are large, and the strong LBGTQ community means AMAZING leather goods (i’m talking entire sections for leather pants) and sequins and feathers are always waiting to be found :D there’s a wonderful salvos store on king st, and a great vinnies on the corner of city rd right near broadway and sydney uni where i found 4 awesome items for $4 each that makes my dearly beloved $16 outfit.

      there’s also a huge anglicare depot fill-a-bag-for-$6 in summer hill that’s amazing, but pretty much search for anglicare, vinnies and salvos stores in your area, have the patience to flip through LITERALLY EVERYTHING and you’ll be fine. happy hunting :)

      • ivoire March 7th, 2012 1:09 AM

        thanks awesome peepz luv ya. newtown is the best place around sydney

    • Manda March 2nd, 2012 8:49 PM

      That’s because they are called Op-Shops (short for Opportunity) and are usually not as massive as the American ones. St Vincent de Pauls and Salvation Army shops tend to be the best, and yes, you are unlikely to get $3 shirts, most things (except for crazy intricate dresses and fur, I’ve found) will be from 10-20 dollars. Considering clothing is so expensive in this crazy country of ours, that’s a bargain.

      If you look at Vinnies, Salvos and Anglicare on the net, they will have the addresses of all their outlets. You will have to scope them out, to see how good their stock is. But the ones in out-of-the-way areas tend to have the best prices. And the weirdest stuff.

  • Kaetlebugg March 1st, 2012 9:58 PM

    OMG where are all these pictures from/which thrift store? it looks a little bit like heaven.

  • Ruby B. March 1st, 2012 10:30 PM

    My favorite is Savers!!! It’s so huge and I always find cool 80′s dresses and stuff there.

  • Sea goddess March 1st, 2012 11:09 PM

    I loveeeeeee this too much! I love going thrift shopping, i recently got this beautiful red purse for 3 dollars!!! I love that most people don’t like to go which makes my outfits more original ( omg all selfish hahah) but yea its pretty fun to go, i refer to them as “gold mines” …. awesome post rookiemag <3

  • Toria Crux March 1st, 2012 11:11 PM

    My family’s store is RIGHT across the street from a thrift store! I got an AWSOME leather skirt there.

  • SweetThangVintage March 1st, 2012 11:11 PM

    This is amazing! haha when I go thrifting and my mom comes she’s like
    “Are you almost done?”
    I usually tell her “I’LL NEVER BE DONE!”
    XD

  • CoraBoraeAlis March 1st, 2012 11:13 PM

    I wish I could put into words how much I love and understand this (or how many cableknit sweaters I have…)!

    HOWEVER I work at a Goodwill in West Virginia and I can say that, yes, we do go through every bag of clothes that comes in and check every item for holes/stains. 90% of thrift stores, at least in my area, do.

    • JessH March 1st, 2012 11:22 PM

      I live in West Virginia too! I love Goodwillling; I do it at least 2-3 times a week. Whereabouts do you work?

  • MaggieMae March 1st, 2012 11:20 PM

    This looks like the coolest thrift store ever! we have a nice value village in town, but nothing like the ones in these pictures! I’m already scouting out the thrift stores for college next year:)

  • JessH March 1st, 2012 11:29 PM

    Everything in this article is true, especially the part about living in the middle of nowhere. Columbus, OH has a lot of great thrift stores, but the college kids have picked them over so much that there are no granny dresses left from size 2-10. Luckily, students in my lil’ ol university town are not as classy and fabulous, so I score amazing things like: $7 floor length fur coats, 25 cent dresses from the 50′s (belt still attached, to boot), $3 black oxfords with stack heels, $5 Betsey Johnson dresses from the 80′s…the list goes on and on.

    My advice? If you want to go real hard (HAM, even), start going to estate sales and fleamarkets. There are almost NO teenagers/young adults in these spaces and you will be the mistress of all you survey. It’ll be like in the Lion King: everything the dust touches is yours for the taking. And this doesn’t just go for clothes: my best record purchases have been courtesy of some old-timers who were more than happy to part with the funk/hip-hop/new wave records their kids left behind when they moved out.

    • Jamie March 2nd, 2012 1:36 AM

      HAM, EVEN.

      omg dying you are hilarious

    • Veganpop March 2nd, 2012 5:52 PM

      Ahhhh I live Cincinnati! BUCKEYE PRIDE FOREVER

  • ann ann ann March 2nd, 2012 12:15 AM

    “The clothes aren’t checked for rips, holes, missing buttons, or stains—they’re sold as-is.”

    I do want to say that from my experience volunteering at thrift shops, this isn’t exactly true. The crappiest of the crap IS discarded, but sorting goes pretty fast so smaller things can be overlooked. Always check a garment over for holes or stains before buying. If you’re still keen on buying it despite the flaws, point the flaw out at the register and sometimes they can give you a discount. It’s worth a shot! Sure the clothing is cheap, but if you save more then you can buy more haha.

    My other advice would be to get to know the people who work at the thrift shop. You’ll get to know what day(s) they restock, when their upcoming sale will be, and sometimes if you tell them your style they may even put aside things for you if they find them. Obviously the last one is more for smaller thrift stores and you shouldn’t get into a conversation with them with THAT intention in mind, but I’ve had it happen and I really appreciated it.

    Also, for the inclined, the names of thrift shops by country:

    thrift shop (general)
    charity shop (UK)
    hospice shop (US + Canada)
    resale shop (Japan)
    op shop (Australia + New Zealand)

    I would encourage you to search by ALL the terms listed above, even if it’s one not next to your country name. I’ve seen ‘charity shop’ used in the US as well, for example.

    I would also suggest looking into flea markets, church sales, jumble/rummage sales, yard sales/garage sales, consignment shops (though be careful, some of these places are like Plato’s Closet) etc. Also

    • ann ann ann March 2nd, 2012 12:16 AM

      Whoops my comment got cut off!

      “Also a weird one, but army surplus stores are a great place to find hats and rugged looking bags, among other things. They’re pretty cheap too.”

    • ivoire March 2nd, 2012 12:57 AM

      oh wow, thaaaaaanks!

  • Adrienne March 2nd, 2012 12:18 AM

    Sad story: I’ve never been to a thrift store. I’ve been wanting to FOREVER. I know it’s a bad excuse, and it’s even addressed in the article, but I live in a , sheltered, high-middle class suburban town (like the kind with fancy galas and has a ridiculous and unnecessary huge library) which has no thrift stores.

    Anyhoo,when I do go to my first thrift store (hopefully in the near future), any tips for washing and cleaning your thrift store finds?

    http://theaverageasiangirl.blogspot.com

  • Nauny March 2nd, 2012 12:26 AM

    What’s the Appleton store called?
    Alsoo… Any outstanding Milwaukee hits ya know of? (considering Milwaukee isn’t so far from Chicago)..

  • juliette March 2nd, 2012 12:33 AM

    I’ve been second hand shopping since I was born. My mum has too. My grandpa has too. And my great grandma owned one. Definitely runs in the family!

    You know what I hate now? Second hand shops that used to be incredible fillabagfor2bucks places that now have snooty old ladies with antique guides and a “vintage” section. Ah!

  • Susann March 2nd, 2012 12:52 AM

    This is so great! I wish we had proper thrift stores in Germany!

    http://fashioninpepperland.blogspot.com

  • back2thepast March 2nd, 2012 1:10 AM

    BAAAAHHH i love all these people and the other people for writing the stuff for the people i love!!! gah please please please create a safe pen pal system where Rookies can send letters full of wisdomosity and thrift store wonders! sorry moment of insanity i just cant help myself when articles like this make me so excited

  • Madeline March 2nd, 2012 4:47 AM

    Also remember to have a good chuckle over truly ridiculous items of clothing.

  • zety March 2nd, 2012 5:14 AM

    you guys are so lucky to have thrift stores!
    they look so much fun. in my country there’s only like 4 legit thrift stores. and all of them are not in my state. the only thrifting I can do is going through my mum’s stuff haha

  • mangachic March 2nd, 2012 6:04 AM

    YES THIS PLEEEEEESE Tavi if you do I think everyone on the site will. probably chip in to buy you a year’s worth of cookies

  • mangachic March 2nd, 2012 6:07 AM

    Could someone please tell me if there are any thrift stores in Israel???????
    This was so useful, I always felt inferior to all the bloggers since I didn’t know what a thrift store was

  • Pinkovski March 2nd, 2012 6:56 AM

    Great article. These kind of stores are also very good for figuring out who you are and what you like, ie to find your style. Lovit. Love your mag.

  • illonablyton March 2nd, 2012 8:53 AM

    Oh, how I wish we had stores like this in South Africa. Sure, we have fleamarkets, but nothing like THIS!

    When I go overseas, I am so printing this out!

  • oriGINAlity95 March 2nd, 2012 9:34 AM

    I don’t think I can say anything differently about my love for thrifting than what everyone else has said already. I just love it, and this post.

  • Tabea March 2nd, 2012 9:43 AM

    Well, now I’m IN LOVE!!

  • surruh March 2nd, 2012 9:58 AM

    I don’t mean to be a jerk, but I have a question for people who like to thrift.

    I like thrifting at Ross and Buffalo Exchange, but I specifically avoid stores like the Salvation Army and Good Will. These places are specifically meant for families living below the poverty line, who may literally be unable to afford clothes that fit at any place besides these stores. I guess that ruins my street cred, but too many of my friends have stories about growing up below the poverty line and never having clothes that fit or looked right. I cannot buy clothing from these stores without feeling shitty about taking a decent pair of pants or a cool t-shirt from someone who could not afford to find clothing anywhere else.

    I really doubt that you have ever lived below the poverty line, or ever had any genuine want or need for basic necessities like clothing. You bought that pair of trousers and glasses because they looked funny, and you constantly do this according to your blog. There are people who go to these stores because they have no other choice, and they might have desperately needed a pair of pants in that particular size. And you bought them. As a joke. To show other people on the Internet.

    I’m really genuinely curious. I wouldn’t care if you liked flea markets or Buffalo Exchange or other places that are specifically for-profit, but you seem to be at non-profits meant to assist families and people in genuine need. How do you not feel totally weird about this hobby?

    • surruh March 2nd, 2012 10:03 AM

      Also, if your excuse is that money from shopping goes back to the store… Why not just donate money instead of taking a perfectly good item of clothing from a poor person?

      I’m sorry, but I just feel like you’re justifying your quick thrill when you know the negative impact is greater than the benefit of buying a $3 trinket.

      • ann ann ann March 2nd, 2012 4:36 PM

        No, I don’t think that the negative impact is greater. That’s where we differ, I suppose. We’re probably not going to come to a consensus.

        You can say all you want that people should just donate money, and they certainly do, but people also like to get something out of it. I don’t think many of the places I go to would have the funds they need without the thrift shop. People just aren’t going to donate as much money as they would spend on themselves, especially in the current economy. This is at least a small way to get that extra bit of money from them.

        There IS a problem of gentrification and thrift shopping, and I think that’s why many thrift stores have shifted their focus to the middle class consumer. They’re realizing they can actually make money, needed money, from these enterprises that can be funneled into other programs. You can’t wholly blame the consumer when the organizations themselves are seeking to cater to them. Ever seen a goodwill commercial? They are actively seeking out the middle class consumer with their commercials about “come find the perfect LBD!”

      • ann ann ann March 2nd, 2012 4:37 PM

        Goodwill and other organizations also have policies where they will often sell their best clothing wholesale to vintage venders. Goodwill has their own online auction site. I would say that they have really expanded from their original purpose of catering to people in need to become a full-fledged business. But I think that they do that because they still have a goal of helping those people in need. These organizations have had to adapt to meet the current economic climate. You can’t always depend on the unconditional charity of others.

        What you decide to do is really your own business. But I would not be so quick to dismiss other as heartless just because they choose to shop at thrift store.

    • benji March 2nd, 2012 12:44 PM

      I don’t think that thrifting by fashion types is necessarily taking away clothes from people who need them. I tend to thrift mostly at a store close to lower income areas in my city and what I as a hobby thrifter/fashion plate am looking for is probably not what people who actually have to shop there are looking for. They are generally looking for functional, modern clothing. I am looking for things that anyone who does not share my esthetic would probably deem weird and ugly like grandpa sweaters and high waisted pleated trousers. You also have to consider the massive volume of clothing available in these stores and the volume of donations received on a daily basis. In a chain thrift store like Salvation Army or Value Village (which is the same as Savers) that is the size of a big box store there is no way that fashion thrifters are going to have any effect on the ability of people in need to find functional clothing. As well, I (and I’m assuming most people on here) donate the clothes I don’t wear anymore to a charity that takes them to these very stores.

    • nonasuch March 2nd, 2012 11:26 PM

      Okay, so here’s the deal. There is nothing like a shortage of donated clothing; in fact, charities get more clothing (and books, and housewares, and and and) donated to them than they can sell in their own stores. They don’t need stuff. They need cash, to fund the programs that actually help families in need. Most charities sell their surplus donated goods by the pound to businesses that pick through them for the good stuff– my uncle does this with books, and there’s a place in Baltimore I’ve been to that does it with clothes. We’re talking goods by the truckload, in bales and in thousand-pound cardboard bins. And there is a never-ending stream of it, because Americans have too much crap and they’re constantly getting rid of old crap to make room for new crap.

      (Not that I’m judging– I own a vintage store. Hooray for old crap!)

    • meowzer March 5th, 2012 3:27 PM

      The negative impact of buying a $3 trinket by no means outweighs the positive benefit that Goodwill and Salvation Army receive from people purchasing items that were originally donated to them. For free. Something that might be better examined is that if these thrift shops REALLY wanted to help disadvantaged people and families, why don’t they just donate the clothing they receive directly to these people rather than selling it to them? I think your argument is missing some points.

      I don’t think there should be guilt felt by people shopping at thrift stores, for any reason. These shops have no shortage in clothing donated to them on a daily basis. Buying a pair of silly pants does not prevent disadvantaged people from having pants to wear – there are typically several aisles full of them.

      As a final note, this is coming from someone who has grown up living below the poverty line and continues to do so. There’s never been a time when I’ve gone to my local Goodwill and left without at least one bag full of great, name brand clothes that fit well.

  • Gerlin March 2nd, 2012 10:01 AM

    Yes! Love this! So true! Cannot believe how gigantic American thrift stores are though, holy moly! I think you find these same kind of shops everywhere but under a different name. Here in Belgium they’re called Kringloopwinkels, for example. I’m lucky enough to live super close (like a street to 3 streets away) to three different thrift stores and I have found so many treasures here! My favourite thing to do, also, when I go back home to my parents is to visit the local thrift store. It’s not just clothes for me but more little trinkets, decoration etc. that I’ve purchased. Also great for finding cheap, original and unique presents for friends!!

    • Anaheed March 2nd, 2012 11:48 AM

      Kringloopwinkels! <3

    • ann ann ann March 2nd, 2012 4:44 PM

      I love this post for giving me so many different names for thrift stores. Not sure I’ll ever find myself in a place like Belgium, but at least now I know what to look for, thanks!

      Also that suitcase is amazing hahaha.

  • megplumps March 2nd, 2012 10:35 AM

    Basically, this article is my life. There are few things I’m more passionate about than thrifting/flea marketing/garage sale-ing, and I’m so happy there are people I can say that to without getting “ew” or “you’re weird” in response.

    I’m telling you, Wisconsin is the greatest place to thrift in the whole world. My favorite find of all time was an insane brocade Malcolm Starr dress for $2, just hanging there at the end of a rack, right out in the open. There’s a St. Vincent de Paul (my personal favorite thrift store) in practically every city, and everything is always crazy cheap. There’s a giant weekly flea market in Princeton during the summer that’s to die for, and there are always big rummage sale events in the area. It’s hard to beat Small Town Wisconsin.

    Sorry, I’ll shush now – I get excited when I talk about thrifting!

  • alicebea March 2nd, 2012 10:38 AM

    omg this is the new bible

  • bunny2015 March 2nd, 2012 11:08 AM

    I was planning on going to go thrifting this weekend, I’m in Seattle and now I have the best tips ever, thanks!

  • Meche March 2nd, 2012 11:42 AM

    ha here in costra rica we have “ropa americana” end they are literally the best. there are pools of clothes that cost like 50 cents a piece.

    thrifting is therapy.

  • Nishat March 2nd, 2012 11:49 AM

    Ughhh now I want to go shopping. What a well-written article! I’d LOVE to see one with pictures of people’s thrift-store finds!

  • Meche March 2nd, 2012 11:51 AM

    I’m sooo going this afternoon my mouth was watered by your article!

  • mayaautumn March 2nd, 2012 11:53 AM

    I WISH I LIVED IN AMERICA!!!!!!

  • ReneeRevolution March 2nd, 2012 11:54 AM

    This is a fabulous article. I’m now overwhelmed with the urge to go thrifting. Sadly, I have sculpture work to do and then I have to go to work…at Plato’s Closet! Haha. I’m all about inexpensive clothing.

    Shopping for inexpensive clothes is so incredibly gratifying! Whether it’s a sale rack, a resale shop, or a thrift store, I’m all about saving money and coming out with something awesome.

    Maybe I’ll drag the BF out tomorrow for some thrifting adventures instead of finishing my sculpture project…

  • Renee March 2nd, 2012 12:07 PM

    I have to agree on the “don’t buy a project piece unless you will actually do the project,” bit, because I am guilty of the same thing. HOWEVER, taking something that’s worth it to a tailor doesn’t take that much effort – perfect for someone like me or maybe Krista.

    Case in point: found a $4 *yes* four dollar faux-leopard-fur coat, perfect length, perfect everything, but it was just too old-lady-square shape. Tailor brought it in at the waist and cleaned it (got that musty cigarette smell out) and put me back only about $40. IMO, that’s a low price to pay for a unique coat that they were selling for double the price at UO! Plus, I feel good about giving the money to my local tailor :)

    p.s. Hello to Western NYers! Saw some people upping Buffalo (my neighbors). Rochester has GREAT thrift stores, too!!

  • erin March 2nd, 2012 12:15 PM

    I love thrifting! it’s so calming and so fun. I think it’s cause I get kind of zen wherever I’m shopping, but thrifting is the extreme version. My mom, sister, and I always find really great stuff and really great deals and have so much fun! Though I do have to sort of disagree about small towns having good thrift stores. We have one, and like all things in small towns, it’s quite small, with not a huge selection. Still good, just not an extravaganza. I’ve been to huge ones in the city though, and they’re like a dream come true to a small town girl like me!
    http://keepingupwithunstuck.blogspot.com/

  • JoanTition March 2nd, 2012 12:23 PM

    Hey! That’s my Village Discount!

    I found the BEST weird and amazing marionettes a few years ago. There were three of them and I found them on three different trips.
    Don’t skip the weird plastic bags of mixedgoods!

    Pure magic.

  • Toilets March 2nd, 2012 12:26 PM

    The thrift store in your pictures is flipping mahoosive! The charity shop in my village is about 10 feet wide but I just bought the nicest green dress ever so all is well.

  • benji March 2nd, 2012 12:30 PM

    My tip for thrifting: if you live in medium/large city avoid the stores downtown, in hip neighborhoods or near universities. They will be totally picked over. Thrifting in the ‘burbs is the BEST.

  • Jessie March 2nd, 2012 12:32 PM

    We don’t have thrift stores in the UK,but charity shops-which are sort of the same-but they’re smaller and most stuff is about £8 (or so I’ve found).

    Would these tips apply to charity shops?I always get nervous about going in them for some reason,and I always wonder how people find wonderful ugly jumper and brilliant vintage stuff!

    • Rae0320 March 2nd, 2012 7:18 PM

      GO GO GO TO CHARITY SHOPS!!!

      I live in the UK too :) You might not always find things you like but it sure is fun to spend a whole day traipsing round all the different ones in your hometown. Sometimes me and my friends make a road trip of it and go somewhere totally random and have a charity-shop adventure. Some of my favourite purchases have come from charity shops for as little as £3, £4. Don’t be put off, charity shops are for everyone (plus its a totally good cause – old people love it when you go in, honest.)

      If buying clothes is a bit out there at the start, look at the pretty scarves! And homeware! And accessories! And old school paintings and books and games and all sorts. Not every charity shop is as good as the next, but you can find stuff for sure if you look hard enough :)

  • VanyaTheDinosaur March 2nd, 2012 12:41 PM

    Someday I want to walk into Hot Topic with my giant nerdy glasses, thrifted vintage dress, and flower crown and buy a bunch of band t-shirts and My Little Pony themed stuff and look on in mild amusement as everyone tries to figure me out.
    Thrift stores make me look like an enigma :P

  • Finley March 2nd, 2012 12:47 PM

    WHY would we not have these in the uk? :-(

  • canklesandclothes March 2nd, 2012 1:54 PM

    Yeah, this makes me so sad that there’s no thrift stores in Ireland. However, next time in the States, I’m walking into the nearest thrift store armed and ready. . .

    • bedazzledbandannas March 2nd, 2012 3:52 PM

      yes there are! charity shops and the Vincent de Paul count! we just don’t really have the gigantic ones like the ones Krista’s describing.
      just hunt around a bit. you could find some good stuff.

  • Dayzee March 2nd, 2012 2:03 PM

    There are no thrift stores in Newcastle :( i really wish there were! all the good vintage shops are waaaay too expensive. this makes me depressed.

    • Toilets March 3rd, 2012 6:01 AM

      Last time I went to Newcastle I saw at least an Oxfam shop and a Mind shop!

      (As long as you’re talking about Newcastle, England and not some sort of Newnewnewcastle in America)

  • bedazzledbandannas March 2nd, 2012 3:35 PM

    I’ve never actually been large-scale thrifting even though I’ve always wanted to (where I live we don’t have any thrift stores) but sometimes in the summer I’ll visit my family in Ireland and there are some really great small charity shops I love to visit! but to be honest, because of their size I rarely find much clothes-wise, which is why I sift through the book section.
    My version of thrifting is really just going through the piles and piles of books and picking out any with interesting binding or covers and taking about ten at once for really cheap prices. sometimes I find some pretty rare stuff, too – books from the 40s and 50s that are actually first editions – and even though I know nothing about book collecting and they’re probably not worth much, I find them really interesting and love how they look on my bookshelves! (after I’ve read them, of course, I don’t just buy them for decoration.) it’s also very entertaining to casually slip ‘oh, well when I was perusing my first-edition J.P. Donleavy…’ into conversation with an adult who assumes that as a teen, you have no interest in anything other than tiger beat. and then drift off mysteriously….
    just wanted to point out that even if you’re not into second-hand clothes, there are other sections to ‘explore’.

    • taste test March 2nd, 2012 11:30 PM

      yes! old books are the best, I agree. whenever I go thrifting with my friend she always has to drag me away from the books. the best ever are old children’s books with awesome retro illustrations.

  • cassidyrosie March 2nd, 2012 4:39 PM

    i live near appleton, do you know the name of the amazing thrift store that is there?

  • Frances March 2nd, 2012 5:26 PM

    I’ve been waiting for you to do something like this! Thanks so much! I love thrifting, but some of the tips I hadn’t thought of before! Much appreciated :)

  • Veganpop March 2nd, 2012 5:40 PM

    Ahhhh I love thrifting SO MUCH. To any fellow vegans, don’t be deterred from buying something if it’s leather or cashmere. In my opinion, you’re not supporting the industry or really hurting anyone because chances are, no one else is probably ever going to buy it.

    Also, what’s a good way to ‘break someone in’? My friend was completely overwhelmed when we went but I didn’t know how to help ):

  • hollz March 2nd, 2012 6:07 PM

    I live in the UK and I am sad that there are no epic, massive thrift stores over here.
    However, one time, at a car boot sale, I got a yellow GameBoy Color with a Zelda game included, FOR ONE POUND.

    i wuz happai.

  • Heather March 2nd, 2012 6:39 PM

    I LOVE this article. I used to be really opposed to the idea of thrift stores just because I saw them as “used clothes” stores. But NOW, I can’t stand going to the mall and buying expensive things. Expensive clothes bum me out, especially when I know I can get wonderful, one-of-a-kind things at thrift stores. Also, I always go with my best friends, and fortunately, we have really different body types, but we are also really good at finding things for each other, even though her style is much more adventurous (and FABULOUS) than mine.

  • Notgoingtotrytohard March 2nd, 2012 6:45 PM

    Apple-valley MN, best thrifting ever. Found a vintage blue “pretty in pink” dress. It have puffy sleeves. Best 4 dollars I have ever spent.

  • Rae0320 March 2nd, 2012 7:11 PM

    GRR it won’t let me reply to people’s comments on here?? Anyway I have only ONE place that I know of in the UK that is remotely thrift store-y and it’s called….drumroll….

    The Clothing Warehouse in Newbury. Ta-da. I have just shared with you my biggest clothing secret. Bags, shoes, jumpers, denim, blouses, vintage wedding dresses, scarves. ITS A TREASURE TROVE. ITS LIKE A BARN OF CRAP/WONDERS. Its googalable (new word?)

    Other than that, best bets are always charity shops, which are everywhere :) Its easier sometimes in cities like London/Birmingham/Manchester, because quite often there are sort of designated areas of town where you can find some cool dives/holes in the ground to rootle through (rootle is such a totally english word). But don’t be fooled, quiet sleepy towns can yield some gems too!!

  • Miss Iffa March 2nd, 2012 7:26 PM

    Thrifts stores in America are so big and brilliant! Over here, in gloomy England we have small corner shops with broken crockery and odd socks.

    http://www.theeasternpearl.blogspot.com

  • FrillsAndThrills March 2nd, 2012 8:07 PM

    BEST.ARTICLE.EVER. I was nodding practically the whole time I was reading this. I wish I lived in America, the thrift shops in New Zealand are tiny… say… the size of someones living room. I am now planning in my head how to move to America solely for the thrift stores

    • ann ann ann March 2nd, 2012 11:08 PM

      I said it above but I figure I’ll say it again: don’t rule out the small stores! My absolute favorite local thrift store is a tiny little shop that I happened to see by chance by catching sight of the sign on the way to work. I live in the US, but I rarely shop at the big places like goodwill, and tend to seek out the small places that are unnoticeable at a glance.

      The trick to shopping small stores is to come back often, once a week if you can. You really never know what might happen. Some days you’ll walk out with nothing, then the next week you’ll come back and find something absolutely amazing. That’s just how it goes.

      Basically, don’t be taken in by the allure of large thrift stores! Of course those are great too though.

  • LBABUNNIES March 2nd, 2012 10:16 PM

    This absolutely amazing! I have been waiting for this article my whole life…

  • luuci March 2nd, 2012 10:43 PM

    Omg! This is so cool!
    There are not many thrift stores in argentina, at least for what I know the only similar thing is the Salvation army, but is not so cheap. There are vintage stores, but they are very expensive!

  • Gretchyn March 3rd, 2012 12:15 AM

    I love this so much. Tomorrow I’m going thrifting. By myself. I love me. And Rookie. <3

  • Lele March 3rd, 2012 12:35 AM

    In Australia instead of using the word ‘thrifting’, we call it op-shopping (or maybe it’s just me lol). And during my op- shopping expeditions I have found that you can get some really great clothes in the richer suburbs. The things that people in these areas donate can be really quite surprising, and you can sometimes struck gold. I found a Lanvin bag in a Salvos, which also had other pretty great designer clothes for a very cheap price.

  • upintheclouds March 3rd, 2012 2:13 AM

    OMG, you guys are so lucky in the US.
    I live in Australia, and the concept of thrifting sounds so awesome but there are barely any thrift stores around.
    The few that I have been to didn’t have anything good (whether that be because I’m just too slow or impatient, I don’t know).

  • airportspongebath March 3rd, 2012 4:54 AM

    I LOVE this. I’ve been writing about thrift stores for years, you might like what I do. Here’s my site:

    http://secondhandunderground.wordpress.com/

    If you read this please check it out. We may have something in common.

    I’m going to come back and mix it up in the comments posthaste but I just found this and I wanted to at least say hello and show you what I do before I passed out. Very amazing post. Thank you.

  • Betty March 3rd, 2012 6:13 AM

    Like many people that commented above, I live in Australia and massive thrift store places are very uncommon (I can only think of Savers atm) and the prices of clothing usually range around $5 up, it’s super hard to find shirts or slacks that are under $3 and URGH, do I really need another reason to wish I lived in the U.S?

  • gloomyflamingo March 3rd, 2012 6:55 AM

    Oh my god, i shouldn’t have read this. I’m from Prague (Czech republic) and the thrift-store situation is really miserable here. There’s quite a lot shops that call themselves “second-hand shops”, but it’s always just two or three years old clothes that weren’t bought in regular shops and it usually goes for half the price, nothing drastically cheap. Then you have those vintage stores that are really expensive and all the good stuff is already gone. There’s nothing like garage sales here and also no regular flea markets occur. All in all, if you want some cheap old clothes, the only option is to browse your grandma’s attic – whoever I ask about some piece of clothing, it’s either from a regular shop or a vintage piece from your family members – I don’t know anybody who would buy anything vintage.

    And when I think about other places I visited in Europe, there were some small shops selling vintage clothes at not such a high price, but I’ve never seen anything so big and cheap like a thrift store. It’s definitely high on my to-do-list when I come to visit the USA.

  • isabellehungryghost March 3rd, 2012 7:04 AM

    humpf. germany sucks. the only nice (not even wonderful or special) things you can get here are over 40 euros. UNCOOL.

    http://blogbyisabelle.blogspot.com/

    • julalondon March 5th, 2012 6:40 AM

      not true. i dont know where about in germany you live but where i live we do have a couple of amazing shops, normally close to some church! my mum used to take my sister and me there to get clothes and stuff when we were younger and now my sister and me go digging every other week! the cool thing is that no one knows how great those shabby shops actually are, so normally there are only old and weid people (and us). maybe you have a look on the internet?

      • julalondon March 5th, 2012 6:41 AM

        i meant to say weird people..=)

  • Allison March 3rd, 2012 11:16 AM

    Story of my life.
    My town has a Salvy, a Goodwill, and some locally owned thrift stores in practically walking distance.
    Nearly every dress I own literally cost me $1. A friend will as me where I got my dress, I’ll say thrifted, and they’ll automatically ask “$1?”.
    It’s an obsession.

    • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini May 15th, 2012 3:57 PM

      The fact that you can get your hands on a dress for 1 dollar. I need to get back to America.

  • Kaleidoscopeeyes March 3rd, 2012 2:08 PM

    I’M READING THIS AT 11 AM ON A SATURDAY

  • Asta Katinka March 3rd, 2012 5:48 PM

    Oh wow, I really hope they have thrift stores here in Denmak too! We have a ton of vintage boutiques, but they’re expensive as hell… I’ll have to go EXPLORE Copenhagen :-)

    http://www.astalavistamoncheri.blogspot.com

  • floralgore March 3rd, 2012 7:00 PM

    Brantford has an awesome collection of thrift stores! Just today I found beautiful 60′s dresses and this adorable baby blue slip! Anyway you (writer) would love the church sales we have! A garbagebag full that you pick, is for one dollar!

  • Kate March 3rd, 2012 9:23 PM

    Thrifting is my favorite, but my favorite thrift store in my city is a Salvation Army, and I just found out about their whole homophobia thing :(
    One time a guy thought I worked at the thrift store and he came up and asked if the store had any trucker hats. I had so many things in my cart, he thought I was restocking!

  • Ellie March 3rd, 2012 10:48 PM

    Soooooooo, Krista…would you be willing to share the names of your favorite thrift stores? I live in a Chicago suburb. ;D
    There is one by my house that is fabulous, but it’s always nice to have a few choices!

  • Lolita March 4th, 2012 10:36 AM

    I live in Barcelona and there aren’t thrift stores like that at all. There are a few streets with vintage shops but usually really expensive. I wish I could go to one of those thrift stores!

  • Ginger March 4th, 2012 2:14 PM

    *le sigh* I live in England. We have nothing like this. Literally ANYWHERE. There’s about one vintage clothing shop that I can reach within a day, and it’s overpriced and full of snobby hipsters. *sniffle* :(

  • forestfriend March 4th, 2012 6:04 PM

    Any Canadian Rookie fans out there? Canada is seriously the Great White North of awesome thrift stores. I live on the east coast (Nova Scotia) and it’s a goldmine.

    Here’s a guide (and a map!) to thrifting in Nova Scotia:
    http://www.forestfriend.ca/2012/01/17/cheap-fun-and-ethical-treasure-hunting-second-hand-clothes/

    • camille March 7th, 2012 7:49 PM

      I was going through the comments to see if there were any other Canadians here! I live in Montreal, and while most popular thrift shops are over picked, as soon as they’re not reachable by subway, they’re even better than in most smaller towns (including my hometown haha). I usually leave with a bag of things from the 1940s to the 1970s, in great condition, and that most people shopping there are not interested in anyway.

  • Tessa March 4th, 2012 7:15 PM

    YES! I love thrifting. It looks like you’re in Village Discount, not sure if you’ve ever heard of it, but there’s one in Aurora, I’m sure they are all around Chicago. I absolutely love finding goodies in thifts and am overly excited when I find myself wearing all thrifted goods! :D Great post! x

    http://teafortessa.blogspot.com

  • Emily March 4th, 2012 8:19 PM

    SIGNIFICANT ADVICE WHEN THRIFTING WITH YOUR FRIENDS

    Wear a nude colored bra with straps, and wear some underwear in a cut generally like what you would in a bikini.

    This is because:
    REASON ‘A’
    You are likely going somewhere with one dressing room and 20 people waiting to use it.
    So you might all just use one room at once.

    Basically, what i’m trying to say is, have you ever put on a dress/shirt somehow, and then find that taking it off is impossible? Then you ask your friend to help you tug it off so you don’t rip it?
    Best to be wearing undergarments that won’t decide to go along with the garment you’re trying to remove.

    REASON ‘B’: Try on a collared shirt with a strapless green bra. Not gonna look right.

    FINAL ADVICE: Take a shower as SOON AS YOU GET HOME. DO NOT EVER WEAR THE CLOTHES YOU BUY WITHOUT WASHING THEM FIRST.

  • ellarose March 5th, 2012 10:56 AM

    urrhh if only second hand shops were as good in England..

  • fiorellaaah March 5th, 2012 12:51 PM

    i looove this article! thrifting is so much fun and you get away with spending so little money!

    i live in peru and we have some cool thrifting places, unfortunately, the bigger one is raising it’s prices because it’s getting more popular everyday to shop there. say, purses tha once costed S/. 10 (around $3) now hav doubled the price. it’s still not expensive, but it’s kinda sad to see this happenning.

    oh, and i have excellent thrifting buddies!!

    anyway, i have a couple of posts at my blog about peruvian thrifting, i case you’re interested:

    http://www.pontetuvestido.com/2010/07/centro-de-lima.html

    http://www.pontetuvestido.com/2011/06/de-compras-en-el-centro.html

  • FossilisedUnicorn March 5th, 2012 3:08 PM

    Wooow I didn’t even know heavenly stores like these existed. But after reading the comments, apparently for a European girl (I’m from Amsterdam) I’m lucky, I live two streets away from a tiny thrift store (with fitting rooms!) but it isn’t nearly as awesome as the thrift store from this post. There are like 5 racks of clothing (mostly some really clothes that have gone out of fashion just a few years ago) and finding something cool only happens when I’m really lucky.
    This post got me inspired though and after Googleing around a bit I found out there’s another little thrift store only a few minutes away from where I live!

  • okayokayokay March 5th, 2012 7:51 PM

    I am 98% sure these photos were taken at my favorite thrift store in Chicago! How have I not seen you ladies there before?! Great photos, it looks so clean and bright!

  • MaggietheCat March 5th, 2012 8:30 PM

    Great article! We didn’t have a lot of money when I was a kid so my mom shopped at thrift stores while I was growing up. I used to hate it, but at some point during my pre-teen (I’m old enough the the term “tween” hadn’t been invented yet) years I learned to love it. My mom even used to hide things hoping no one would find it!

    Some of my most precious, treasured belongings, most of my favourite t shirts, and most of my record collection came from thrift stores.

    The next time I go I’m buying a book to murder for the book bag project.

  • MaggietheCat March 5th, 2012 8:32 PM

    Oh, and pro-tip I forgot to mention: check pockets! I once found $20 in the pocket of a dress at the goodwill!

  • rayfashionfreak March 6th, 2012 3:38 PM

    WOW!! This is amazing for a beginner thrifter like me, I am now desperate to get out to my local charity shops (sadly in Scotland we don’t get such amazing, huge thrift shops) definetly dragging my friends along this weekend! Another amazing article to thank Rookie for!!

    http://www.fancyfashionfreak.blogspot.com

  • whodatgal March 7th, 2012 12:37 PM

    I’m a beginner thrifter. Know any good places in London that are good for thrifting?

  • SpencerBowie March 7th, 2012 6:41 PM

    I COMPLETELY relax by thrifting!

    !!! <3

    KISS!

  • bibliovore March 7th, 2012 8:55 PM

    I’ve been meaning to check thrift stores for a while now, but just haven’t gotten around to it. This gave me the push I need! And considering I live in Chicago, I feel even more compelled to drag a friend with me for the day and find my inner thrifter.

  • unicornrider March 11th, 2012 8:58 AM

    I thrift to relax too!!

    My favorite thrift store is a legit thrift store, but it’s not as cheap as yours (most of the things I get are $5 & although I am slightly disappointed by this I still get good deals because on top of it only being $5 I try to only go on days when everything is 25% to 50% off so I still get good prices)

    P.s your closet looks kinda like mine :]
    I have a huge collection of boots and vintage pieces in mine too and I wouldn’t have it. any other way.

  • Adrina March 12th, 2012 2:32 AM

    I’ve found a few thrift stores in my country but they are not as good as this! This thrift store is like a wonderland! Anyone knows where to find the best thrift store in Malaysia?

  • kaia March 20th, 2012 12:41 PM

    I’m moving to Cleveland, Ohio in a few months, does anyone know some thrift stores in that area? Thanks! :)

  • Anniebanana March 26th, 2012 7:04 PM

    Anyone know of thrift shops in the CT area?

  • crystalcatlady March 27th, 2012 2:36 PM

    THIS IS AMAAAAZING! This is everything that I’ve wanted to put into words and tell people but I just didn’t know how.

    I live in a small town and i find the BEST stuff. I recently bought a picture of an elephant brushing his teeth, and got 22 sweaters on 99cent sweater day. To avoid appearing on the show “Hoarders” in my future, I decided to open up an etsy shop and sell most of my cool finds on there! I try to keep it relatively cheap, because I know paying shipping sucks. This way I can feed my shopping addiction, make a few bucks, and being on etsy has been a lot of fun for me and my mom.

    Thanks for this article, I’m always amazed by how much I adore this blog xo

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/MotherGooseTreasures?ref=si_shop

  • Mary4fashion April 2nd, 2012 1:59 PM

    WOW! this is amazing! I live in a small town and I’ve given up to search for these amazing thrift stores! But I’ll keep looking! :)

  • whodatgal April 6th, 2012 5:27 AM

    HELP PEOPLE! WHat about London?!!??! I haven’t found any thrift stores and the one time I found a ‘thrift store’- it was actually a semi- cheap vintage shop – . – Any ideas? Although there aren’t many thrift stores there are a few cheap places in East Dulwich, London! North Cross Road on Saturday (market day) down the bottom I got a gorgeous rain coat for a fiver :) But apart from that it’s nUL. Today I am going to check out the east end thrift store and brick lane thrift store in Shoreditch area…Beyond Retro’s around there too for any Londoners! xxx

    This article is awesome.

  • ThatgirlyouknowtheoneEve April 9th, 2012 2:27 AM

    *Goes out to thrift-drat public holiday!*
    Until tomorrow…

  • Daninz April 13th, 2012 7:03 AM

    you forgot the other important rule… unless you are lucky enough to have a significant other who likes thrifty shopping… dont take him!! my husband will drop me off outside and say “youve got 10 minutes”…. he has no idea

  • HopefulLeigh April 16th, 2012 12:14 PM

    Those pictures have got to be from Village Discount! One of the hardest parts of moving from Illinois is no longer having access to my favorite thrift store. Whenever I return to my hometown, I try to sneak in a quick trip and hope there will be room in my suitcase. Great tips!

  • funnyhands April 20th, 2012 4:01 AM

    What about Mexico?
    The closest thing I have to a Thrift Store are this weekend markets (we call them ‘Bazares’). Any help, please?

  • SFclaire April 22nd, 2012 8:37 PM

    This is actually the best thing I’ve ever read

  • izi April 28th, 2012 4:45 PM

    I’m in chicago and I know EXACTLY what thrift store that is…heading there now…

  • Vicky May 3rd, 2012 5:14 AM

    I live in the Philippines and we call thrift stores “ukay-ukay” haha :) I’ve gone thrifting a couple times before, but I didn’t know all these techniques yet! Especially the one about fitting all your stuff at the END. Great article!

  • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini May 14th, 2012 1:05 PM

    So jealous of you americans. The only thrift store in my town is super expensive. Like 20 bucks and over-expensive. Their stuff isn’t even that good.

  • Zoo May 22nd, 2012 11:43 PM

    I live in Washington, DC and I have no idea where any thrift stores are. Does anyone know of any good thrift stores in the DC area?

  • TheJunkyardFaerie May 29th, 2012 12:09 PM

    I live normally in an area that’s *filled* with thrift shops, and am ridiculously excited to get home… *sigh*
    Currently, though, I’m living in Holland and has virtually NO THRIFT STORES AT ALL. It’s cruel.
    But… I think there’s one downtown that’s meant for very small children (which can be nice for Fairy Kei girls like myself), which I’ve been avoiding, but I’ll have to look in this weekend…

  • Mozzerian May 29th, 2012 11:46 PM

    I adore this dearly. Since I was a little kid, I have been a thrift-store junkie, and as a result my closet is full of vintage, unique clothes that are one-of-a-kind. I like to think that thrift stores also played a part in my ongoing adoration for nostalgia. Thrift stores are treasure troves.

    I live in Chicago, too. Are the photos taken at Village Discount by any chance? Tee-hee. x

  • aud85220 June 24th, 2012 6:45 PM

    I love thrifting endlessly. Everywhere you turn there’s something with a story behind it. (which is pretty cool when you think about it) Sure, sometimes you’re gonna come across something GROSS, but don’t let the nasty stuff scare you off. (last month I found a light gray shirt that was perfect but one little detail – it had pee on the bottom. I kid you not, IT HAD FRICKING PEE ON THE SHIRT. WHAT THE HECK MAN. NOT COOL. But still) This year my mom got a 200$ coat for 30 bucks – SCORE. If you just take your time looking around, it can be the best time you’ve ever spent shopping.

  • buildheracake June 29th, 2012 11:22 AM

    I haven’t ever been seriously thrifting before, and now I’m totally inspired to! Thanks!

  • Gerri Clayton April 21st, 2013 1:51 PM

    @megplumps What are some great thrift shops in Milwaukee or in other parts in WI that sell beautiful artwork? Thanks in advance!

  • lbacon May 3rd, 2013 3:21 AM

    Which thrift store in Appleton?

  • margaret e. May 11th, 2013 5:16 PM

    Lovely article! My town doesn’t have the best thrift stores, but I did find an adorable pink blouse with a lace peter pan collar for a dollar! (I’m also wearing thrifted clothes right now)