It is no secret that we like to shop. However, that can be an expensive addiction, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are up for a challenge, with a little imagination and grit, you can dress fashionable for a fraction of the price by thrifting at your local Goodwill. In spite of its reputation as a place to get funky clothes to wear to 60s dress up day at school or 80s costume parties, Goodwill is actually a great place to pick up everything from Levi’s to leather jackets. So, here are our top tips for your next thrifting adventure.
- keep and open mind – Sometimes thrifting requires creativity. Sometimes you can find exactly what you’re looking for, but don’t forget to think outside the box. For example, add contrasting side stripes to pants to make them more interesting. Pants too long, no problem. Take them to your local alteration shop to be hemmed or cut them off and turn them into cut-off shorts. Ugly appliques on denim pockets? Just cut them out and let the edges of the pockets fray.
- shop the men’s department – We luv the Urban Renewal line offered by Urban Outfitters, but many of the items are pricey. Goodwill’s men’s department is a great place to find pieces similar to their pricey counterparts for just pennies. One Saturday, we saw these camo surplus pants at Urban Outfitters for $70. The next day we found similar pairs at out local Goodwill store for $6. Likewise, we buy all of our Levi’s in the Goodwill men’s department. We can not even begin to tell you how comfortable a pair of dude’s Levis are. And buy them big and them take the to the tailor to have them taken in at the waist and butt. Channel you inner Sarah Jessica Parker and with dude jeans you’ll be stylish and comfortable. You can’t beat that combination. Again, why pay department stores prices, when you can find the same exact one of a kind items at Goodwill. And don’t forget to check out the men’s coats and sport coats. We luv this section. The best perk about buying men’s suit jackets for layering pieces is that the patterns usually match up, unlike on women’s jackets unless they are higher end. Most men demand quality in the clothes they buy because they expect their clothes to last a few years (if not decades); therefore, men are willing to pay higher prices for hardworking pieces. Since men’s suits tend to be more expensive garments, the manufacturers usually do a fairly good job aligning the pattern. Obviously, matching a plaid or horizontal stripe may mean using more fabric to cut out the individual pieces, so this drives up the cost of the garment. All too often manufacturers of inexpensive garments forego matching to keep costs affordable. We know most people don’t really care about aligning the pattern, but we have OCD issues!
- visit regularly – We visit our local Goodwill regularly. Ours is literally 5 minutes from our house, so it’s easy to pop in often. Some days we score big with incredible finds. Other days we walk out completely empty handed.
- look for discounts – Believe it or not, Goodwill offers discounts on their already low prices. Sunday is when they change the weekly sale color, so that is usually when the stores have the largest bulk of sale items. For example, everything with a blue tag would be an additional 75% off if blue was the color of the week. Also, teachers, seniors, veterans and first responders have special days of the week, and these special shoppers get to double dip on savings. Some Goodwill locations even offer student discounts!
- visit multiple locations – Because every item is one of a kind, the inventory from store to store varies on any given day. You might find five pairs of Levi’s at one store and none at the next. Yes, we have actually found and bought five pairs of Levi’s in one trip! Or a fun pair of plaid pants at one and a great men’s houndstooth jacket at the next. If you are lucky enough to have multiple locations near by, we highly recommend carving out a few hours and hitting them all on the same day.
Below is a small sampling of some of our recent Goodwill scores. All of the pants pictured below were found on our adventures.