My Thrifting Secrets

I started my first thrift shop fashion blog in 2014 called Three Dollar Fashion. I loved finding a good deal and I loved styling my finds and made my roommate take pictures of me in our dorm room. Most of all, it allowed me to take a lot of pride in what I wear. I felt like I was hunting for treasure.

One of the questions I get the most is “How do you find such cute pieces…I can never find ANYTHING when I go thrifting!” So…I’m here to spill the beans about my thrift game plan and some pro tips to get the most out of your thrift adventure.

First, I get inspired. I go in with an idea of some of the things I’m looking for. Pinterest and instagram are both great resources to get outfit inspo.

Then, I head in with a plan. Stake out the territory. I’ve found my rhythm. So I usually start with dresses and blazers, head to shoes and accessories, then skirts, and finally blouses and pants. Think of it like going easiest to hardest. I can usually win big with dresses where jeans are the hardest for me to thrift. I don’t want to get discouraged right off the bat.

Then, I start the strategic hunt. Instead of sifting through the endless racks one by one: I keep an eye out for things that’ll instantly stick out.

  1. Color – If its bold, I want it.
  2. Patterns – Polka dots, stripes, florals. All of these things are easy to spot in the endless sea.
  3. Basics – There are always things you’ll be able to find at a thrift store. Plain Tee’s, simple cardigans, tanks etc.

My next biggest tip is try EVERYTHING on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the fitting room. I learned so much about what works and what doesn’t work for my body. I used to buy everything that was cute and that fit me. The question I ask myself now is “Is this a hell yes?” If I wouldn’t be sad leaving it, it stays. No need for it to hang out in my closet.

I’m based in Mad City so to round out my thrift toolkit, here are my favorite places to thrift in Madison.

St. Vincent DePaul on Willy St.

St. Vincent DePaul in Stoughton

Goodwill on Verona Rd

ReThreads on State St.