Sep 24, 2011

Do you thrift?

Happy Weekend all!

Welcome to my new followers and those who visited from the link parties!  I have learned so much from the link parties.  So many new ideas I never would have thought of!

DH is downstairs steam cleaning our carpets as we speak.  The man was born to clean and organize! Later on I am going shopping with my mom and we will thrift a bit. 

Do you thrift shop?

In these days, thrifting is as popular now as it ever was due to our poor economy.  It's the best way to get items you need while saving money.  Some people look down on it or don't get it. DH doesn't get it.  He laughs at me and asks me "Did you buy any new dead people's clothes while you were out?".  He has no idea the great stuff you can find thrifting.  He also doesn't have the patience to root through stuff for a few hours to find a treasure like I do.

My love of thrifting started in high school.  My best friend and I would hit the Red White and Blue thrift store on Route 51 to look for vintage clothing.  Back then, thrifting was nowhere near as popular as it is now.  We would walk out of there with gorgeous cashmere coats from the 60's, Lucite purses from the 40s and other amazing finds.  All for dirt cheap.   As much as I enjoyed fashion and followed it (started subscribing to Vogue when I was 15) I hated looking like everyone else.  So thrift store shopping was the best place for me to find clothing that no one else had.  Plus, not a lot of money required!

And let's face it--I love old things. I like to think of these items with a history.  My mom has bedroom furniture from the 1920's in her bedroom.  She has a collection of blue Depression glass that belonged to her grandmother.  I must get it from somewhere!  

After I got married, I still thrifted, even though DH made fun of me.  It was getting hard to find the good stuff since people were catching on and vintage clothing became more 'in'.  But my best friend had always been a fellow thrifter and married a thrifter so I always have supporters! 

Now I thrift for home items as much as clothing and books.  Right now I am going to check out some local thrift stores for mirrors to put above our bedroom dresser.  I'm not worried about the color, just want the right shape and size.  I can paint or redo the mirror to make it work for me.   I actually stopped at a thrift store on the way home from work last night to check for mirrors.  While there wasn't much at that one, I did come home with a great sweater and 3 really cute vintage tops for $12!  Can't beat that!

And the other good part---most thrift stores support a local charity.  If I am going to thrift, I would rather give my money to a charity than a for profit place.  No offense, but I know Goodwill is helping to find people jobs right now. 

So how can you get started on your own thrifting adventure?

First, find out out what's in your area.  Chances are there's a Goodwill, Salvation Army, or St. Vincent de Paul store around you.  Another option is to check out The Thift Shopper site. This has a national directory of thrift shops all over, so you are bound to find one near you.

Some other tips for a thrifter newbie:
  • Take cash.  Most stores now take plastic, but some (like Red White & Blue) only take cash. 
  • Find out what day your store has special discount days.  Last time I was at the Salvation Army store, green tags were an extra 50% off.  I came home with a pair of Calvin Klein Jeans that fit me absolutely perfectly and they were $1.50! 
  • Find out what day new merchandise is put out.  Some stores do it on a Friday, others early in the week. 
  • Hit the store when there are the least amount of people there.  Don't go on weekends when everyone else may be out.  Go in the morning or during the day if you can. 
  • Try the clothes on!!!  Every place I've been to has a dressing room.  No point in buying something if it doesn't fit you. 
  • If you are looking for furniture, take measurements of your room before you leave and take a measuring tape with you.  Then you know if the item you fall in love with will fit in your house. 
  • Take a friend---it's so much more fun to thrift with someone else who loves it. 
I would love to know what your best find is while thrifting.  My favorite is a lime green cashmere cocoon coat from the 1950's.  I found it at a thrift store in St. Paul.   What's been your best find?

Have a great weekend and happy thrifting!


  1. I love thrift store shopping! Great article Melissa!

  2. I feel the same way about thrift shopping, and supporting the thrift stores helps people in the area, also the great deals are the only way to go !!