Thrift Store Fashionista: How to Dress Yourself in Hard Times


Article by Brigitte Pittsa

You’ve called yourself the “one and only” fashionista or several variations on that phrase. Every Saturday, your friends didn’t call you because they knew that you would be doing your weekly shopping crawl among your favorite stores and boutiques. Before this flipping recession started, things were pretty darn awesome for you and your closet. Now that both times and your budget have changed, your shopping habits should probably change right along with them.

You may know people who get great items from their thrift store expeditions, but you’ve shied away from your neighborhood establishment in the past. You might have thought they were musty places where tunnel people and those who want to look like them shop. Those times are no more. Here’s how to add to your already stylish wardrobe and not look like the latest unfortunate victim of that flipping recession you’re tired of hearing about all the time.


1. Have Thrift Store Shopping Goals

When shopping in a thrift store, it’s helpful to know what exactly you’re seeking. You can very easily get carried away when you see a rack full of very gently used work blouses for one dollar each. If you’re on the lookout for cheap work blouses that won’t make you look like your fifty year old boss, you’ve hit pay dirt. If your mission is to find a great fitting pair of jeans, you should keep the fashion forward blouse section in mind while you keep looking.

Before going to a thrift store, go through your closet and figure out what you need so you don’t buy a lot of stuff that’s similar to what you already own. Make a list of the things you need during your thrift store excursions. You should also set up a budget for this excursion.

2. Standards are Good for Both Romantic Partners and Thrift Store Outings

You definitely have standards when it comes to romantic partners. (Except that six month period in your freshman period in college. What were you thinking?) The same should be true for your thrift store purchases. Everyone knows there are some butt ugly things to be found in those places. Just because a t-shirt is one dollar doesn’t mean it’s earned a place in your closet. There’s a reason why that item is a dollar.

Thoroughly examine any item before you take it to a cashier. Look for holes, stains, discolorations or other types of flaws that might affect the look of the garment. If you find a rip or stain in your potential purchase, ask the cashier or manager if it could be marked down from its original price. Don’t be afraid to ask for a damage discount. They might say yes.

3. Love Your Thrift Store Purchases Like You Love Robert Pattinson

Back in the good old days, you didn’t buy a dress or pair of jeans unless you absolutely loved everything about the item. It should be the same for anything found in a thrift store. For the newly minted bargain fashionista, you might be tempted to get excited about that five dollar sundress you found. However, it’s only a good find if you would buy the exact same dress at a boutique. If you wouldn’t be caught dead in it, that purchase would go against your role as the standard bearer of fashion in your group of friends. We can’t have that, can we?

Just because times are rough doesn’t mean that you have to look like you live under a bridge. Doing a bit of targeted shopping in a thrift store can ease your case of light wallet syndrome in no time!

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