Thrifting Like a Pro...It's Easier Than You Think!

Thrift Stores help keep clothing and home goods out of landfills.

Today is National Thrift Shop Day! We all looooooove thrift shopping here at SHE Changes Everything and have long before Macklemore made it cool. But, we always appreciate when mainstream media can promote a SHE lifestyle!

Thrift stores are known for having really great prices, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes products are still expensive, so it’s important to have another “why” behind thrift shopping than just the prices! While reasons will vary from person to person, a good one is the sustainability factor. Reusing clothes is a great way to keep them out of landfills and help slow down the fast fashion industry. You’re not increasing the demand for new clothes, and you’re not adding to the 10.5 million pounds of textiles that Americans throw away each year.

My personal “why” is I love to think of the story behind a piece of clothing. For instance, my small group leader in high school gave me a fancy, sequin blue dress. Her giving it to me was so special because I was doing my year in a dress to support Dressember and needed some more. She had picked it up at one of her favorite thrift stores a few years back. Since I got the dress, I’ve worn it on several occasions and my sister even wore it to a homecoming dance- making it a fourth-hand dress! I love imagining how many places that dress has been, how many big moments it’s gotten to be a part of, and how much dancing it’s done. I wish that dress could tell me its story!  

While we all think thrift shopping is a great SHE choice, some people might consider it “hit or miss” or just a total miss. But if you follow some of our thrift shopping tips then hopefully you’ll be thrifting like a pro!

Good Things Come to Those Who Thrift! Tips on


  • Make a general list of what you want. Don’t be too specific, but still have a list! Thrift stores have lots of great finds in them and while it might be tempting to buy everything, having a list can hopefully help you stick to only getting what you need.

  • Research thrift stores in your area. Usually the nicer thrift stores are in the nicer parts of town. You can use The Thrift Shopper to find charity-driven thrift stores in your area. Some to look out for are:

- Saver’s
- Salvation Army
- Plato’s Closet
- Goodwill

  • Put your reusable bags in the car (if they aren’t there already!) Even if you don’t have reusable bags, still #choosetorefuse. Some stores, like Plato’s Closet, reward you with extra points for doing so!

Related Reading: 8 Tips to Make You A Reusable Bag Pro

  • Shop on Sundays and Mondays. People go through their stuff and drop it off mostly on the weekends, so new stuff is usually sorted and put on the racks early on in the week.

  • Shop often. If you are in the hunt for something particular, like a large couch, chances are someone else is too and it’s going to go fast. Keep checking, and check often, to find it.

  • Check a thrift store before you check a regular store. You might be pleasantly surprised! We’re also curious… what is the most unlikely thing you’ve found at a thrift store? Comment below!

While you’re shopping:

  • Be open-minded about what you’re looking for at a thrift store. It’s pretty easy to find a black cardigan, or a simple sundress but the more specific you get the harder it is to find. Staying narrow minded might also make you pass up an option you might have liked better!

  • Don’t settle for something. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean you should buy it. Still only buy things that you know you are going to wear or use!

  • Check sizes that aren’t yours. The clothing might have been mislabelled or misplaced. Or, you might like the way a shirt a couple sizes up fits! Slouchy sweaters are great for chill days with some yoga pants.

    Related Reading: The Surprising Problem With Your Yoga Pants (Its Not What You Think) 
  • Don’t be afraid of a little bit of paint. When you see something at a thrift store and think “eh,” imagine it after a little TLC. A fresh coat of paint, a good scrubbing, or even some major repurposing later, you might have a Pinterest-worthy transformation.

  • Look for imperfections. A missing button or a tear in a skirt can get you a couple dollars off!

If there aren’t any good thrift stores in your area, try ThredUp and the Renewal Workshop. Thanks to them, you can also now shop second-hand online. How cool is that?!

Celebrate National Thrift Shop day by grabbing a friend, your reusable bag, and hitting up the local thrift store! We want to know if you find anything good… or totally wacky!