Happy National Thrift Shop Day! 5 Items I Always Look For When Thrifting

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thank you Value Village for partnering on this post and graciously coordinating a shopping excursion to my local Value Village to score some finds in honor of National Thrift Store Day! Affiliate links are used throughout this blog. Thank you for supporting Story of My Dress! All opinions are my own!

Happy National Thrift Store Day! 5 Items I Always Look For When Thrifting

Happy National Thrift Store Day! 5 Items I Always Look For When Thrifting
Aritzia Wilfred Top thrifted! | APC Denim Cutoff Shorts (DIY, similar) thrifted! | Jimmy Choo Kitten Heel Pump thrifted! | Moorea Seal Anniversary Tote c/o | Cole Haan Aviator Sunglasses | BZR Amethyst Sunglasses | Target Faux Fur Jacket (similar) thrifted!

Happy National Thrift Shop Day! I've long loved the thrill of visiting a thrift store and finding that "unicorn" item. Most of my outfits typically include at least one thrifted item and on many days my entire outfit is thrifted (recent outfits featuring thrifted items: here, here here and here)!

Since my early childhood days of thrifting at the local island thrift shop with my Mom to the discovery of Value Village as a teenager and all the Abercrombie and J.Crew I could fill my cart with (at a fraction of the cost compared to the Abercrombie at the mall on my measly summer camp counselor salary), I have always loved to thrift for not only the economical reasons, but also the environmental, fashionable and stylish ones!

With nearly 96% of retail items at Value Village priced under $10, shopping secondhand can seriously benefit your closet and bank account. However shopping secondhand also has a huge impact on the planet. It can take 700 gallons of water to make one new cotton t-shirt and the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing each year. Thrifting can help your lower your clothing footprint. (Here are 5 steps to Give a Sh!rt and lower the ecological footprint of your closet.)

In additional to the economical and environmental impacts of thrifting, shopping secondhand also provides unlimited opportunities for creating unique outfits and discovering vintage and designer fashion. Whether it's finding that vintage band tee from the 70s or a designer item from a sold out past collection, there's just nothing like the thrill of the hunt (and the find!) for these treasures. My vintage Bottega Veneta Bag, Chloé sunglasses, vintage Levis, Rag & Bone Boots and favorite vintage Tees are some of my favorite items in my closet, and all are thrifted!

In fact, almost the entire outfit I am wearing in this post is thrifted! That Aritzia Wilfred top? Found at Value Village for $3.99! Those DIY APC denim shorts I'm wearing? Yup, thrifted at Value Village! Jimmy Choo kitten heels? Thrifted! Faux Fur Jacket? Thrifted! I only added a few accessories of sunglasses (both received as gifts) and my Moorea Seal Anniversary Tote c/o. This whole outfit cost less than $100! Seriously, I love thrifting!

In honor of National Thrift Shop Day, I'm heading out to my local Value Village in search of 5 items I'm pretty much always searching for when I visit a thrift store. While I might look in other departments (and I promise to share some of my favorite thrifting tips shortly!), these are the 5 items I always focus on, especially if I'm short on time or feeling overwhelmed with a cluttered secondhand store.

Happy National Thrift Store Day! 5 Items I Always Look For When Thrifting

5 Items I always Look for When Thrifting

1. Silk Everything
I adore silk in my closet. Seriously all the silk tops, dresses, shorts, skirts and pants please. But silk is expensive and typically requires dry cleaning. To save on the expense of owning of silk, I like to find silk items secondhand.

Once you know what silk feels like in it's different forms (light, heavy, etc . . ), it's super easy to spot as you're combing the clothing racks. Be sure to check for holes, stains, rips, etc . . . and leave any items with these marks behind (I know, sad face), because silk can be pretty difficult to clean and not typically worth the repair costs.

2. Cashmere Sweaters
Again, I just adore cashmere sweaters. They are lightweight and perfect for keeping warm as temperatures drop and even layering in winter. However just like silk, cashmere is expensive. Especially good quality cashmere. I also love vintage cashmere sweaters and the thrift shop is the perfect place to pick up cashmere for a fraction of the cost.

Cashmere sweaters work great both oversized and in that 90s baby-doll/shrunken style, so don't be afraid of combing all the sweater racks for that coveted cashmere beyond just your size. Again, be on the lookout for holes, stain, rips, etc which are typically not worth the repair cost (ugh...moth holes...why?!).

3. Vintage Levis and Denim
I much prefer vintage denim to that of new jeans, and am particularly fond of vintage Levis. However, I am not willing to pay the exorbitant rates that is required to typically purchase vintage denim and Levis on Ebay and at Vintage stores. As such, I am left to the hunt for my blue jeans (and jackets) at thrift stores.

My favorite pair of jeans, my coveted vintage Levis 501s I found at Value Village, fit like a glove. I am pretty much convinced they ARE the sisterhood of traveling pants jeans. At less than $10, they were found pre-hemmed to my exact height. I seriously think their previous owner was my exact height/size. And all of my denim shorts are DIY (such as the APC pair in this post) from thrifted denim, because DIY vintage denim shorts are THE best!

4. Vintage T-Shirts
Similar to vintage denim, I am not willing to pay the outrageous rates required to purchase vintage tees on Ebay and at vintage stores. I much prefer the hunt and find (as does my pocketbook) for vintage tees at thrift stores. I love to comb the racks to find those uber soft and almost threadbare tees from years past with a story to tell. I am constantly looking for Grateful Dead and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and other 60s/70s vintage concert tees, as well as tees with a story to tell to far off places traveled.

5. Handbags
One of my favorite thrifted handbags is a leather bag I found at a small thrift shop on the California coast. I love to imagine it's story and you can see it featured in an outfit here. When thrifting I look out for handbags (and wallets, clutches, etc . . .) that are crafted of natural materials and are well made. I feel if the leather is soft, buttery and supple (if the bag is leather), the construction is intact, there are no stains/rips/holes and of course I have to like the style and design.

What are your favorite items to thrift? Favorite thrift stores to visit?
Feel fee to leave any thrifting tips in the comments!

Happy National Thrift Shop Day!


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Photography: Bailey Makaimoku Photography

Happy National Thrift Store Day! 5 Items I Always Look For When Thrifting


  1. Yes - great post! Love thrifting too. Thanks for the inspiration.

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