5 Reasons To Hit The Thrift for a Wardrobe Revamp

There are a kazillion reasons to shop at thrift stores. Paramount among them are environmental reasons, but this post isn’t about that (I promise, I’ll get into that soon). Nope, this post is about revamping your wardrobe via the thrift store. Here are my top 5 reasons for loving thrift stores for a wardrobe update. And while the clothes may technically be used, they’re new to you!

You’ll never be cookie-cutter again. I once cherished my days roaming the aisles of Bloomie’s during the Big Bag Brown Sale. I was a “top of the list” credit card holder. Department stores sent me birthday cards with little gifts and coupons. I had a personal shopper. But now going into a big department store where there are multiples of items is a foreign concept to me. “Look how many of these sequined dresses they have,” I once exclaimed to a friend on a recent stroll through a department store (to get to the restroom). Why would anyone want to wear something that everybody else is wearing? Isn’t that the definition of a uniform? It all seems a little too Orwellian IMO. As a general thesis, thrift stores have no “buyer” selecting what’s on trend or what’s hot now. They typically take what comes their way, tag it, and hang it on the sales racks with little to no discretion. This means YOU get to be the ultimate decision maker on what fills your closet. I understand some of you may not want this sort of style responsibility, but it’s a burden I’m happy to shoulder.

It’s super efficient shopping. Larger thrift stores typically sort clothes by color and type, making it extremely efficient. Imagine needing a red, long-sleeved blouse and being able to look at every single red, long-sleeved blouse all on one rack! No more meandering through endless square feet of merchandise sorted by brand or theme or whatever whimsy the designers at department stores brewed up to sell you an image. At thrift stores, high and low items typically mingle freely with no discrimination, and there is nothing more on point than the high-low trend right now.

You can shop across decades. Because people are donating clothes that may be fresh-off-the-racks and NWT or a piece that’s been in grandma’s attic for decades, you’re likely to find something from nearly every decade from 1950 to now. Sometimes earlier if you’re lucky, though anything from pre mid century is becoming severely fragile and less likely to have held up for this many decades. If you ask me, nothing beats this kind of inventory. You’ll have more “wow, check it out!” and “I remember this!” moments at the thrift store than you’ll know what to do with!

Check out this amazing 1980’s dress in near perfect condition that I scored in the photo below. It’s Sandra Ow-Wing for N.R.1. Oh, and that’s my pup helping me show it off.

New inventory hits the floors in real time. Most thrift stores have little to no storage space, which means they are putting new items out as they come in. This means stock is being replenished in real time. Do you know that saying about Texas and the weather: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” The same adage applies to thrift stores. Pro tip: shop the racks that come in hot from the back so you get dibs on the best pieces. The store clerks don’t mind… the more you pull from the temporary racks, the less they have to put onto the permanent racks.

It’s pocketbook friendly. Unless there is an unusually high designer piece, most items at thrift stores can be had for less than $5, especially if you shop the tag sales. Now, my sister in Texas laughs at the exceedingly high price point of $5, saying that in Texas most things can be had for $1 unless you go on the designated midweek sale day when all clothes are just TWENTY FIVE CENTS. Yep, you read that correctly, a QUARTER! And some, but not all, thrift stores allow items to be exchanged within a certain amount of time, so be sure to inquire if you’re hesitant about picking up an item. With these kinds of prices, go ahead, take a risk, pick up that dress, take it home, and give it a whirl. You’ll likely find that when you pay just a few bucks for things, you tend to love them a lot more than if you spent $350.



I'm a self-proclaimed thrift store junkie curating and upcycling dope finds and putting them back into the universe for others to enjoy.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jules Mathis

I'm a self-proclaimed thrift store junkie curating and upcycling dope finds and putting them back into the universe for others to enjoy.