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The Collegiette’s Guide to Thrift Shopping


One of my absolute favorite past times in Boone is going thrifting. My mom always taught me how to find a bargain, and thrift shops can have some pretty great treasures hidden in them, if you’re willing to search. Something about fall makes me want to go shopping in every single one of them, stocking up on flannels and hunting down the perfect ugly Christmas sweater.

Sometimes it can get a little overwhelming with all the mismatched racks, though. That’s why I put together a list of some tips to help you avoid getting discouraged while looking for some great thrift shop finds!

Be open minded!

This sounds more like dating advice than it does shopping advice, but I swear I always get caught up being a brand snob without realizing it. Then, I’ll get through with a store and be empty handed when there was probably something worthwhile that I just passed over. Or other times, I decide it’s not something that would look flattering without even trying it on. Luckily I’ll have a shopping partner to remind me all of these things are just in my head! So don’t overthink things, try to be open to all of the unique things you can find!

Don’t just stick to one department, try them all.

If you came looking for vintage tee shirts, don’t just stick with the women’s department. Sometimes things get misplaced and end up in the kid’s or men’s sections by mistake. A lot of times, you’ll find some super soft tees in the men’s department too! I personally can’t wait to find a few good flannel button downs, and thrift shops in Boone are always stocked with them in tons of different color combinations.

Look out for days when your local thrift shops have sales!

Some Goodwill locations have “dollar days” where all clothing is a dollar, or one day out of the week they’ll have a college student discount. Whatever the sale is, don’t let it go to waste! On the same note, try and find out when the shelves are stocked if it’s a weekly thing. Bigger chain thrift stores might do it two days out of the week; it really just depends on the individual store.

Although the great prices can seem very minimal, it’s super important to set your budget beforehand. I can’t stress how easy it is to get sucked in to the world of thrifting when you keep finding amazing bargains! Maybe tell yourself you don’t really need all those quirky, Cosby-esque sweaters right now since you already own a closet full.

My most important tip is to know the difference between things that can be fixed, painted, reupholstered, etc. and things that are just a lost cause.

If it’s a cute little piece of furniture that would look great in your apartment but the paint color just isn’t your style, that doesn’t mean it’s not fixable. All it takes is a little elbow grease and a weekend to paint it a cute color and it’ll fit right in! Maybe you find a chic, vintage blazer that’s missing some buttons. You can find tons of buttons online or at craft stores to customize your thrift shop find!

With all these tips for your thrifting adventures, go out and find some great hidden treasures! If you’re struggling with specific things to look for, Pinterest is always a great go to site for inspiration. See what kinds of things people have DIY-ed and transformed into some really cool stuff! 






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