I visit my favorite thrift shop at least twice a month. They have new things every day, but it’s far from where I live, so I can’t get there any more often than that. They always have the best stuff, so I never walk out empty-handed. My last great find was a vintage Coach cross-body saddle bag in gorgeous, buttery soft brown leather with antiqued brass hardware. I paid $7 for it, and have used it every day since. I have a short list of things I’m always looking out for while I’m there, and if you’re a thirfter, too, you may want to take a peek and keep a keen eye out, too! Her are 8 thrift store items I always look for.
1. Vintage Bags
This one’s obvious, because I adore handbags, especially vintage ones. They’re so incredibly unique, and tend to be well-made, like that gorgeous Coach bag I found last December. Educate yourself, so you know how to spot phony designer bags, and know a little about what you’re looking for before you go… but keep a watchful eye out for a great vintage find!
2. Unusual Boots
Boots are so on-trend right now, but they can be pricey, especially the unusual ones, with odd details or in a non-neutral color. So it’s hard for me to justify spending a lot of money on a pair of unusual boots I know I’ll only wear once or twice. That’s why I’m always looking for unusual boots when I’m at the thrift store. Keep an eye out for them, too, but be careful of the sizing, and don’t buy any boots you can’t wear around the store comfortably. And let me know if you find anything in red leather in a size 7!
3. Gorgeous Jewelry
I have a thing for statement jewelry, and I’ve found so many gorgeous, unique pieces at the thrift store. Some are low-end costume pieces, but I’ve actually found some really upscale and one-of-a-kinds, too. And the vintage pieces are phenomenal, too! Keep an open mind, since most pieces can be modified or even repaired pretty cheaply. Always check clasps before you buy, too.
4. Jeans in My Size!
It’s nearly impossible to find jeans that fit me well, so when I go to my thrift store, I always scour the jeans aisle, looking for my brands in my size. When I find them, they’re always less than $10 a pair… so not only am I finding jeans I can’t find anywhere else, I’m also getting them for a steal!
5. Fun Shoes
Just like I find it difficult to spend a lot of money on off-the-wall boots, I love getting a great deal on shoes that are an unusual color or style, or with great details. The thrift store I frequent has fabulous brands and a wide selection, and I’ve been able to find at least one pair of must-have shoes every time I go! Again, make sure the shoes you choose are comfortable and also check to make sure they’re in good repair. The previous owner may have gotten rid of those stilettos because one the heels was shaky, right?
6. Adorable Blazers
Blazers are so much fun to wear, but they’re pricey when you try to buy them new. Also, there always styles I like in the department stores or boutiques, so I’m always on the lookout for funky, pretty blazers while I’m at the thrift store. I’ve found so many great ones, in so many colors and fabrics…
7. Home Goods
Odd candlesticks, rich tapestries, antique dressers, crazy beaded doilies… there are so many fantastic home goods I’ve found at the thrift store! It’s a little easier to be bold with décor when you’re not spending a lot, so keep an eye out for odds and ends and even furniture you might like!
8. Vintage Vinyl
They just don’t make them like they used to, do they? I love finding a good record, something I know will sound so much better on vinyl that it does on CD. Jazz and blues in particular are amazing, along with classic rock. If you’re looking for vinyl, always check to make sure it’s not too scratched, and that it’s a speed you know your player can handle.
Books are so expensive, and there’s never been a book I haven’t been able to find at the thrift store. So I keep my literary wish list with me, and scour the books section at my thrift store every chance I get. I’ve even found some rare first editions and books that are out of print. Woo hoo!
And believe it or not, these aren’t the only things I keep an eye out for at the thrift store… I’ve also got a thing for vintage aprons, but that’s a whole different article. Are you a fellow thrifter, and if so, what are you always looking for?