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Thrifting 101

Hey thrifters!

I am so excited today to be sharing with you the ins and outs of thrifting. I spend a lot of time shopping for different clients, projects, and productions. I have made every mistake in the book and it has taken me several trips to realize the answers to many shopping questions. It is my hope that with these tips it will make your thrift store shopping for the “12 Months of Gathering… For the BEST Gift Giving Ever” more productive and enjoyable. As promised, at the end of this post you will find the spreadsheet to keep track of your thrift purchases and the poem I wrote to go along with the gifts! Without further adieu… Let’s get started!

First up… WHAT TO WEAR?

Now, I know this may sound REALLY silly and common knowledge but you would be surprised at how many people I pass by in thrift stores that commit these simple mistakes.

Here are my secrets:

Let’s start with your shoe choice. They need to be slip on, no laces. An easy on and off is what you are looking for. The last thing you want to do while thrifting is bend down and unlace your shoes just to try something on. Because right about the time you lace them back up to move on, you see another pair of shoes that look just your size. Laces= waste of time! Also, remember if you don’t have socks on with your slip on shoes… make sure to bring a pair in your purse. Just because you are not looking for a certain pair of shoes doesn’t mean a brand new, never been worn, tags still on, dreamy bargain won’t be staring you in the face at your next trip! Go prepared!

Next up, your pant choice. Simple, casual jeans will do just fine. Make sure to wear a belt… some of the best things I find are on the bottom shelf and require a lot of bending down. I can tell you one thing… no one wants to see your backside. Belt up!

On to my shirt choices. I always wear 3 layers on top. A cami, tshirt, and a button up. These three layers will cover any type of clothing purchase you will want to try on. Ever been in a thrift store, you go to try on a white sheer blouse only to realize you have a black bra on and then get called out of the fitting room by your sister because she wants to see it on you. Oh crap! Camis are your best friend when trying things on. I always wear a fitted tshirt for the times I find a flannel, plaid, button up, or cardigan that would need something to go underneath it. That way I can know how it feels in the shoulders and arms. And lastly, I wear a button up for the times I find a jacket or coat and need to know how it fits over a couple layers.

Speaking of coats… ditch it. Seriously, I leave mine in the car. The last thing you want is to tote around a Minnesota parka that weighs 50 pounds(ok not really but close to) and slows you down. It’s not needed, park your car as close as you can and hustle your bum into the thrift store! It is one less thing you have to worry about.


Purse choice. I have several purses but as a thrifter you need a purse that sits over your shoulder... I believe they call it a crossbody bag. You need your hands free to dig and lift things off the shelf and you can’t do that with your everyday tote purse.

Show me the money! When thrifting, always bring cash. Never assume the thrift store takes credit cards. If they do…Great! And if they don’t… at least you came prepared!


Discount tag signs. This is no big box store. Thrift stores don’t have a clearance section. They ARE the clearance section so make sure to look for discount tag signs instead. Most thrift stores have certain colored tags on sale that week or month. This will help you find the best bargains!

Sale calendars. Some thrift stores post them on the doors, whiles others have them at the checkouts. They might even have them on their websites and social media. These spell out what items will be on sale and are great tools to help plan your thrifting days!

As you begin to thrift, you will find what works best for you. These tips are just for starters to help you get your feet wet in the thrifting world. Tomorrow, I am back on my blog sharing my favorite places to thrift around the Twin Cities. Be sure to check in and see what thrift stores made the list!

Happy thrifting!

Katie Driver

The Uncommon Creative Studio

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