The Thrift Store Evolution: Thrifting for Trends

Thrift store evolution

If you go on YouTube and start typing “thrift” into the search bar some of the suggestions that pop up are “thrift store haul” and “thrift store challenge”.

People are sharing their thrift store finds with videos such as the $20 thrift shop challenge, where one must buy an entire outfit at their local thrift shop for $20 or less.

DIYers and crafters are participating in the $5 Goodwill challenge, where they purchase an item(s) for $5 to incorporate into their seasonal home decor.

It seems there has been an evolution. Gone are the days when the idea of going to a thrift store meant a store full of useless junk. Now, with a little patience and motivation, you can find an abundance of treasures at the thrift store. Goodwills, Savers, and Salvation Army locations carry vintage and newer household items and plenty of apparel and accessories – everyone is bound to come across something that appeals to them at the thrift store.

If you are feeling nostalgic for a certain decade or so, your local thrift store is the place to visit. While there will definitely be more modern clothing pieces and accessories to be found, you may just come across a pair of 80s disco pants, denim in all sorts of cuts and styles, and racks full of printed shirts that look like they came from your parents’ closets.

I’ve bought quite a few granny-esque sweaters at Goodwill. If clothing isn’t your thing but you’re still yearning for some nostalgia, many thrift stores still carry CDs (80s and 90s music anyone?).

I have come across still fully sealed Backstreet Boy CDs at my local Goodwill. DVDs and sometimes even VHS tapes are still being sold on the shelves.

Thrift stores are also ideal for teachers, specifically newer teachers who may not have the budget but want to provide their students with quality books and activities.

Growing a classroom library can add up, and many children’s books occupy the shelves at thrift stores. While you may need to carefully inspect the books, many are still in good to great condition – and on certain days, books may even be marked down an additional 50% off! I’ve seen Lego tables and large playsets at the thrift stores. Perfectly intact board games and puzzles can also be found at the stores.

Sweet Sales

Goodwill and Savers label their items using specific colored tags. On certain days, a specific color such as yellow or pink tagged items may be marked up to an additional 50% off. Savers offers 50% off the entire store on certain days. These sale days vary depending on location, so make sure to check with your local thrift store ahead of time.

thrift stores

A+ Apparel

Sometimes if you are really lucky, you may find a brand-new Zara top or pair of Adidas sneakers for around $10. Thrift stores are ideal for buying work essentials such as pencil skirts or blouses for a good deal. Many brand names such as Ann Taylor or J. Crew can be found at stores.

There are also consignment boutique stores that sell more high end/luxury brands of clothing, shoes, and furniture. An example is Trends Oak Park located in Oak Park, Illinois. Hunter boots and Kate Spade accessories are just a few of the items you may find walking into a consignment boutique.

They are also ideal places to shop for gently used homecoming or prom dresses, along with heels to pair the dress with. If you’re on the West Coast, Los Angeles has a number of consignment shops that sell more high-end brands as well.

Thrifting from Home

If the idea of going to a thrift store and sorting through racks of clothing and scanning shelves of other items sounds tedious, there are a number of online thrift stores that have emerged and gained popularity in recent years.

ThredUp sells gently used women’s and kids’ clothing, handbags, shoes, fashion jewelry, and accessories. You can sell your own used clothing and accessories using the Clean Out Bag.

Fashion apps such as Poshmark are very hands on yet fuss-free. One simply needs to snap a photo of the clothing item or accessory they would like to sell, upload the photo to their closet on the app, and fill in details such as a description of the item and the listing price.

Users can follow other people’s closets and share their own postings to their followers.

Once someone decides to purchase your item, Poshmark provides you with a shipping label to be put on the outside of your package, free of charge! The Poshmark community has grown in recent years, with baby clothes and shoes also being listed in recent years.

Thrifting is the new trend – it’s seen as not only a way to save money, but to have fun finding treasures. Whatever your interest may be: fashion, home decor, entertainment, crafting, the thrift store is the place to be.

With technology these days, we have the indulgence to thrift from the comfort of our home and engage in an online community of thrifters. Head on out to your local thrift store and see what you can find.

I'm Stephanie. Coffee lover, desserts baker, and excessive shopper. Because I love indulging in all three I'm always on the lookout for the best deals out there- and sharing them with people.

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