I get compliments on my outfits almost every day, and 75% of my wardrobe used to belong to someone else. I am a proud thrift store shopper, and I’d like to share some info on how you can improve your wardrobe without increasing your budget!
We have three main thrift stores in the Colorado Springs area:
Arc is a Colorado-based non-profit whose mission is to help those with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Their website has great information about what they do in our community, and it has updated information on their sales and promotions. Basically, there’s one color tag that’s 50% off, and it’s posted on signs throughout the store. The color changes on Wednesday. They run most color tags at 50% on Saturdays, and Senior Day is Tuesday. They also run 50% off sales on major holidays, but my favorite sales are when they are clearing out seasonal items for just 99 cents each. Sign up for their emails to stay updated and receive coupons.
Goodwill is the quintessential name in thrift stores. Our local chapter is called “Discover Goodwill“, and their purpose is to help people overcome obstacles allowing them to live independently and with purpose. They most often do this by offering training and job placement for those in need. At the store, there are colored tags like Arc, but they run three discount colors at a time. Two colors are displayed for either 50% or 30% off, and you have to ask for the third color or “secret” color which is 50% off. Colors change on Sundays at Goodwill, and they offer additional Military discounts on Tuesdays and additional Senior discounts on Wednesdays. Occasionally, Goodwill hosts “Customer Appreciation” days where you can earn discount coupons by donating items and/or participating in simple games. Goodwill also seems to have a more standard pricing system which is nice when shopping at multiple locations.
The Salvation Army is a Biblical Gospel based organization that directly assists those in crisis providing food, shelter, and services. This store also uses colored tags, but their system doesn’t seem as clearly organized and consistent as the other two stores. Most of the time, they have one color at 40%-50% off advertised at the front of the store. When I went this week, though, the whole store was 50% off. I don’t make it to this store very often simply because of its location, but I found some great stuff!
When I’m thrifting, I try to keep in mind things that I’m actually looking for but I don’t necessarily limit myself to those things. I search for good quality fabrics and craftsmanship. I’m usually drawn in by brights colors or strong patterns that show little wear. Your best bargains are typically on name brand items since they will often be priced the same as the previously owned Walmart brands which may not hold up to use as well. I would also recommend searching multiple sizes as they may all be filed as small or medium or large when different brands fit different ways. If you know you’re going thrifting, dress to be able to try things on easily. Leggings with a cami and an outer shirt work well because I can try things on over the cami & leggings if I don’t feel comfortable trying on used clothing. Lastly, you should always give everything a final thorough look-over before you checkout. Check stitching and seams and look for stains or holes that can’t be repaired.
My closet is full of brands like Lularoe, Banana Republic, Merrell, Land’s End, Garnet Hill, and J. Crew, and I spent $8 or less on nearly every piece. Each item feels like special treasure I hunted for, and each compliment feels so much sweeter. The only question is whether to tell people the truth when they ask where I got it from. 😉