The three of us are definitely what you would call professional shoppers. And not just any professional shoppers, but we excel at finding deals. Therefore, who would be more qualified to speak about what to wear thrifting?
Needless to say, our ideas work for what to wear on any shopping expedition since sometimes our shopping outings can be very similar.
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Quote of the day: “When you fail you learn from the mistakes you made, and it motivates you to work even harder.” Natalie Gulbis
This quote is how life is in a nutshell. I always say that I learn more from my mistakes than I do from my successes. And what to wear thrifting or for any shopping is the same.
Of course, sometimes the shopping trip comes unplanned, and you are out and about in something that isn’t ideal for shopping. Yet, I have tricks for that occasion too!
Planning for What to Wear Thrifting
If you know you’re going shopping (whether that’s at a retail store or thrift store) you have the luxury of planning the best shopping outfit.
As professional shoppers like the three of us, we thought we would give our tips for what to wear thrifting.
1-Easy on/easy off. This is the name of the game because any successful shopping adventure includes trying things on. Granted if you don’t like to try things on until you get home, that’s a different story.
However, with many thrift stores, returns can be difficult depending on the store. So make sure to ask before you buy.
Insider tip: I used to consider button-up blouses as the best for easy on/easy off since you didn’t have to take them up over your head. You need to evaluate this for yourself because sometimes the buttons make it harder than just pulling a tee over your head. Remember, everyone is unique and requires different things.
2-Separates. As much as I love dresses (especially for airplane travel as discussed here), one trick I have personally learned is that separates are easier. If by chance you only want to try on a top, then you only have to remove your top. If you are wearing a dress, then you have to remove the dress and are left without anything on the bottom half!
3-Look nice. It’s no surprise that I still think it’s important to look stylish and modern. You never regret taking the time to look good with your appearance. You never know who you’ll meet when you’re out and about.
Insider tip: This is also the time it is beneficial to wear all-day lipsticks. It stays on so you don’t have to reapply, and doesn’t come off on clothing that you’re trying on. My two favorites are found on my Tools of the Trade page.
4-Comfy shoes. Shopping is a workout, right? It can be tiring to be on your feet to walk around the stores. So you need to make sure your feet are happy! It’s even more ideal if they are slip-on style so you don’t have to tie and untie them.
Insider tip: Wearing no-show socks is a must-have. Then you don’t have to stand on the bare floor in the dressing room with naked feet. PLUS you can try on shoes without worrying about “germs”. My favorites are Sheec no-show socks.
5-Scarf trick. That scarf can be more than just a beautiful accessory. It can be used to cover your hair (and makeup) when trying on clothes. Here’s a video (not mine) showcasing the idea. I learned this trick originally from my mom (in fact, I’m surprised that my mom didn’t wear one for this outing).
Insider tip: A large square scarf is ideal, and try tucking the ends of the scarf in your mouth to keep it secure.
When you are shopping, tie it around your purse handle for easy access.
6-Lightweight materials. Thinner clothing items can make it easier to try on items on top of what you’re wearing. Especially if you are looking at cardigans, jackets, or any kind of toppers.
Not all of our shopping trips are planned while we are getting ready in the morning. In fact, I have to admit that Lesley, Charlotte, and I tend to find the best stores while we are out taking blog photos.
For these times, you don’t have the luxury of making sure your outfit is ideal for shopping, so here are some ideas that can help.
1-Keep some items in your car. Just as I keep a denim jacket for air conditioned stores and restaurants, you can also have a spare pair of comfy slip-on shoes AND a scarf for what to wear thrifting or shopping.
2-When you are shopping, grab extra items. What do I mean by this? I mean, if you are wearing a dress, and you want to try on a top, make sure to grab a pair of pants to try on also, so you have something to go with the top. Just because you take it in to try it on, doesn’t mean you have to really want to buy it.
Or maybe you want to try on a pair of pants, and the top you’re wearing looks awful with them. For many women, they do better imagining wearing the clothing item if it looks good with what they are trying it on with.
Insider tip: Basically you want to put together something that will give you ideas of how to wear it for real.
3-Grab a cart. Granted not all stores have carts but it makes it much easier to lug around your purse and any of the extra items you need for a successful shopping trip.
Jeans: Charter Club~~ Cardigan: Chicos ~~ Top: Chicos~~ Shoes: Walking Cradles ~~Scarf: from a boutique~~Purse: no label
Lesley’s Outfit for What to Wear Thrifting
Lesley subscribes to the theory of easy on and easy off for what to wear thrifting. That’s why she chose to wear pull-on jeans for our day. The best thing about many modern pull-on jeans, is they look like regular jeans without having to fumble with a zipper and button.
Her white t-shirt is very lightweight so that she could try on any kind of topper easily. It’s also a neutral that would go with any pants or skirts that she wanted to try on.
These slip-on loafers from Walking Cradles are another easy no brainer option. These have good support for Lesley and are neutral for any outfit. This pair is from many seasons ago when they were on clearance. But classic so they work for years.
Even though Lesley added the scarf for the photos, she admits to leaving it in the car while shopping. It’s nice to have some form of “extra” for the outfit because most shopping trips include a stop at a restaurant for sustenance!!
Then again, in the future, she might use trick #5 above!!
Coat: 3 Sisters-thrifted ~~ Pants: Apt 9-Kohls ~~Cardigan: thrifted ~~ Top: thrifted~~ Boots: Jambu c/o code Jtouchs22 for 20% off~~ Purse: The Sak
Charlotte’s Shopping Outfit
You won’t be surprised to see this pair of knit pants again. These were just featured in the best travel outfits since they have a wide elastic waistband that makes them easy to take down and pull back up.
What you can’t see under the coat, is the cardigan sweater that is styled over the sleeveless turtleneck top. Since this day was chilly, it’s nice to have some coverage, yet still, wear things that will work for trying on new items.
A sleeveless turtleneck may seem silly at first, but since it’s lightweight and thin, Charlotte can try almost any other top over it if she doesn’t want to take it off.
The other two factors that play a role in what to wear thrifting are the crossbody purse and comfy ankle boots.
A crossbody purse can be advantageous so when you are shopping, it’s not in the way. Unless you have a cart. Then storing it in the cart is even better (as long as you can watch over it). There are thieves everywhere!
Even ankle boots can be the perfect shoe choice for what to wear thrifting or shopping. This pair is years old from Jambu. While they are plum-colored, I like how they add some interest to the overall look instead of wearing black.
You can see how Charlotte wore these when she first got them. And BTW, my discount code for Jambu is still effective through May. Use JtouchS22 for 20% off. They don’t have this style anymore, but they have some wonderful spring options.
Leggings: Peach c/o~~ Duster: Caite & Kyla-won in a giveaway~~ Top: LOFT~~ Shoes: Walking Cradles c/o~~ Scarf: Zara~~ Purse: Patricia Nash-won in a giveaway
Jodie’s Thrift Shopping Look
I too, planned out an outfit that included easy on/off pieces. In fact, many times I wear leggings that I can keep on while trying on dresses and skirts. But if I do need to try on pants/jeans, leggings are usually easy to pull off and back on.
This pair of leggings are faux leather (which I’ve worn many ways here) because I wanted to look modern and hip.
The longer duster is easy to take off yet a showstopper with the back embroidery. Even the t-shirt has a large scoop neck so it’s easy to get over my head.
You’ll hear it time and time again, that for our days of walking or being on our feet, Walking Cradles are the shoe of choice.
This loafer pair is called the Wyatt and is available in this cheetah coloring or leopard style. And yes, I’m wearing my Sheec ultra-low cut no-show socks with them.
My purse is also a crossbody purse for the same reason as my mom stated. For our days of exploring and touring, I may like a belt bag, but for shopping, a crossbody is easier to get on and off.
Online Thrift Store Options and Tips
I’ve heard many of you comment that you don’t have many fabulous thrift stores in your area. But don’t fret, because they are incredible online ones too.
Not only am I a professional shopper at the brick and mortar stores, but I’ve learned many ins and outs of online shopping too. Shocking, I know!!
These are the ones I’ve used more than once (except Swap, but it comes highly recommended from a friend)
thredUp—this link gives you $10 (and me in return).
Poshmark — here is the post about how to shop the site.
Uncommon Closet— nonprofit to help women.
Gild the Lily–a local Michigan store that sells online.
Need Tips for Online Thrift Shopping?
It’s advantageous to shop from our home and try things on when it’s convenient. However, as with everything, there are always pros and cons to each method.
1- I’ve shared 4 tips about online thrift shopping in this article.
2-Follow the site on their social media accounts. Many times they will post photos of what is for sale, and that can help to find things that say “pick me”.
Insider tip: Don’t forget to check Instagram stories too. That’s how I found my Kate Spade top from Gild the Lily (seen on Tuesday’s outfit here). I wasn’t “looking” for anything in particular, but when I saw the top in their stories, I knew it needed to be in my closet.
3-Sign up for their emails. You may think you have enough mail coming in on a daily basis but this is truly the way to find out any specials that make thrifting even more budget-friendly.
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