How to Dress with Thrift Shop Chic

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If you want to save money, make your wardrobe stand out, and have fun shopping, than dressing with thrift shop chic is just right for you. Here are some tips and guidelines for patronizing the world of second-hand stores:

*Look for bargains: Because most clothes at thrift shops are used, search for low prices and take advantage of them. Unless an article of clothing is true vintage (not just vintage-style), then you should be paying less for thrift shop clothes than department store clothes. Most of the clothes I buy at thrift shops is $5 or less.

*Search for brand names: Often fashionistas will discard brand name clothes in perfect condition just because it’s no longer in style, but if you know how to dress well, you can take high-quality brand name clothes you find at thrift shops and make them look fresh again. I recently bought a pair of almost-new Ann Taylor trousers a thrift shop for $2!

*Stock up on costume jewelry: One of my favorite finds at thrifts shops is costume jewelry. The selection is quirky and eclectic, ranging from vintage treasures to modern donations. They’re usually cheap investments that I can wear as a novelty or to high-class events, depending on individual pieces.

*Buy basics and get creative: If you’re the crafty type, it’s might be fun to buy cheap clothes in bulk and then reconstruct them by cutting off sleeves, adding funky trim to jeans, replacing buttons on cardigans, or a wide variety of other techniques. You can even tailor men’s clothes to fit flatteringly against your body.

*Transform your style: With the huge selection of clothes available at thrift shops, it’s easy to transform your style. I personally have a Victorian Boho look I achieve through generous use of velvet, a combination of both dramatic and delicate jewelry, and interesting details, like faux fur trim, embroidered items, and pearl buttons. You, too, can go from bland to edgy by choosing a style inspired by another era, such as 1950’s Bombshell, 1960’s Mod, 1970’s Flower Child, or 1980’s Material Girl.

*Go scarf hunting: Wearing a scarf is a wonderful way to jazz up any outfit and look instantly chic. Scarves are usually plentiful at thrift shops, so look for some  in pretty vintage designs, like paisley and floral. You can wear scarves as headbands, belts, sashes, or, as traditionally done, around your neck. You can also tie scarves around your ponytail.

*Wear men’s clothes: If you like menswear, then the thrift shop is the ideal place to buy handsome trousers, blazers, and comfy over-sized T-shirts. Taylor clothes for a more feminine fit or leave them as they are for a baggier, more relaxed look.

*Get shoes: Look for cute Old School shoes or more modern ones. While gently used shoes need no repairs, more beaten ones might, unless you prefer brandishing the “distressed look”. You can also get shoes professionally dyed if you don’t like the color. Even with the cost of dying, it’s usually cheaper to buy thrift shop shoes than buying new, high-quality ones.

            One of the most important things to realize about thrift shop chic is that thrift shopping requires patience. Unlike department store shopping, where instant gratification is almost always possible, it usually takes much longer to find what you seek at thrift stores. But if you can spare the time, you’re sure to be rewarded with a new addition to your wardrobe that hardly costs anything at all. 


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