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9 Thrifted Winter Outfit Ideas to Make Getting Dressed Easier…Hopefully!

Getting up in the morning is already hard, but it makes it a million times harder when you have to go outside in the freezing cold! Here are 9 outfit ideas to make the process a bit easier on you...and your sleeping schedule!

I've definitely had my fair share of waking up so late I have to choose between comfort and looking cute (because it is the definition of impossibility), so I put together 9 outfit formulas that I've thrifted to make things easier for you on the mornings that are so cold, staying under the covers, knowing you know what you're going to wear brings nothing but comfort.

Winter...With a Hint of Lace

I feel like everyone has this idea of what they’re going to look like in the winter, only to end up looking like a lumpy, blanket-cocooned person all throughout the season. You know what? That’s how it should be on most days! Winter is hard, and it’s even harder to pick out a new outfit every single day because we’re just going somewhere to get our work done anyway. What if I do want to just "Steve Jobs" it some days and wear the same sweater over and over again? That’s what this sweater does for me every single year, and I wouldn’t want it any other way, because this bad boy is cozy as heck. It’s not technically thrifted, however, I have seen this type of long, pull around sweater in literally every thrift store I’ve ever been in, so I guarantee you you’ll find one! The tank top in this is a little fancier than you may be feeling by around February’s take on winter, so no judgment here if you chose to dress it down a bit with a regular cami. Although, I do recommend looking in your lingerie section at thrift stores! Warning: you’re bound to see far too many early 2000s styles, but there are almost always surprisingly cute silk tanks that I’ve personally grown obsessed with. The jeans in this are also thrifted, but it’s not terribly common to find jeggings that actually fit in most thrift stores, at least in my experience. I do think it’s still worth a look a lot of the time, especially in the men’s section, because you can find some really cute mom jeans (if that’s your thing!) as well as just some other lucky finds! The boots, hat and bra in this look are unfortunately not thrifted, however, I’ve seen all three and bought all three in similar styles before.

Funky Pants...Kinda!

No one ever talks about it, but I truly believe everyone has that one pair of colored pants that brings them nothing but joy. Yet, they still sit in the back of the closet, because my goodness does it take a bit of guts to actually wear them. I tend to gravitate towards a lot of pinks and reds, so naturally, I picked up this pair of pink denim that honestly does more for me that some of my old jeans ever did. I get they’re probably not the thing you go directly for, however, I feel like they do mix up a lot of outfits in a great way. For one, it makes it super easy to match accessories (especially dramatic thrifted statement scarves). Then, because your bottoms are so loud, I feel like it’s important to tone down a lot of other elements, which is why I opted for a more basic sweater. If you're feeling more of a statement that day, wear your loud shirt with your loud pants that makes you feel like the badass you are and live your best life! I also don’t tend to find a whole lot of shoes at thrift stores, so I repeat quite a few on this list. If you’re more of a heel kind of person, I’ve seen some adorable heels in my thrifting days, so don’t feel like it isn’t possible. I’m just a bit challenged when it comes to clumsiness.

  The Outfit that Cried Valentine’s Day

This is my personal favorite outfit on this list, and my goodness is she loved deeply. I got super into sheer shirts lately, and I think the main reasoning behind that is I just love a good layered piece, and that’s all this beauty is. Unfortunately, the shirt and denim overall dress were not second-hand. I have another sheer shirt in this list that is actually thrifted, so I promise it’s possible. However, the dress is too trendy I think for it to be at a lot of thrift stores. The coat on the other hand is thrifted and is just as beautiful as I could hope. It needed a bit or repair because it was missing a button, so I just took the one from the very top and put it in the middle and voila, new coat! If you know the very basics to sewing or know someone that does and a minor fix is all that’s preventing you, I say go for it. I do think there are some that are too far from repair, so as much as it hurts sometimes, it’s not worth the space and money for something you’ll never be able to wear. Last, but of course, not least, this hat was actually handmade, and I’m a sucker for anything made with some creativity and heart, so I was very excited, to say the least, to put this in here.

  The ‘I Forgot to Set My Alarm (again)’ Look

I wear this formula outfit at least twice a week, because I have a talent for forgetting to turn the sound on for my alarm, and honestly, it’s served me well. Although I love a good thin sweater, I’m convinced thick sweaters and leggings were made from clouds and pure comfort. And if you add some tall boots (that you may or may not have stolen from your sister--which still technically counts as second-hand) you’ve got a quick and cute outfit, my friend! I used a black tank top and black leggings to let the green sweater stand out a bit, but by all means, don’t be afraid to throw in some patterns and color in there if you’re feelin’ it. Then, of course, I had to add yet another hat. I’ve had it for so long though, I truly don’t remember where I got it from, but I think it was still a hand-me-down, so we’re staying true to the second-hand mentality.

Let’s Matrix This Thing

There’s a lot going on in this one, but at this point, it’s kind of just go big or go home. I live on campus, so it’s too late to go home! In all sincerity though, we all deserve to have that piece of clothing that makes us feel powerful, and this coat checks every single box. It’s corduroy, so right away it’s already comfortable, but it’s also really long. I always feel like it’s that one coat from “The Matrix.” We don’t stop there, because here comes the sheer top I mentioned earlier! And because we’re going all out in this one, I layered that same lace tank over it to even out the juxtaposition of the coat and long sleeve. I didn’t have any, but I do think taller black boots would look fantastic with this look, but my hand-me-down tan ones served me well with the classic torn jeans.

Trendy, but Make it Good for the Planet

I wanted to include this one as a fully thrifted outfit because I feel like it does a perfect job at showing that you can still find cute pieces at second-hand stores and make an outfit that still follows the trendy styles that you may love but want to remain environmentally friendly. The reason I bring this up is because it can take 25-40 years before thicker materials decompose in landfills and about five to six months for thinner cottons to decompose per piece. Now think about how many items are held in just one Goodwill, then multiply that by how many thrift stores are in the U.S. alone. I understand how hard it is to buy sustainable brands when you don’t know what they are and the cost of just one of these pieces can buy you five at a store that uses fast fashion and factory-based methods. If you really don’t want to stray too far from most fashion trends, I’ve found that stores like Plato’s Closet tend to be just a tad more costly than places like Goodwill, but they still have incredibly low prices and a lot of up-to-date pieces. With that being said, Plato’s Closet is where I got this shirt, which is originally from American Eagle. I rarely ever look at where thrifted items are originally from, just because it never really changes my opinion on whether or not I get them, but I still loved the shirt and it fit super well, so it was a nice surprise. I actually made the jeans in this look, because they didn’t fit at all at first, so I had to take them in a bit in the waist and cuff the bottoms, but my goal is to embroider them as well when I have a bit of time! Then, of course, I added yet another hat because I get really cold really easily and it’s a good way to easily style up an outfit in my opinion.

The Dad Look that’s Actually Cute

I’m incredibly guilty of stealing all of my dad’s clothes, so I guess this one was bound to happen, however; this one wasn’t my dad’s. I actually thrifted this oversized button-up for a dollar, and it’s the perfect thing to wear just when I want to be comfortable because it’s made of 100% cotton and hugs you like a good blanket. I’m sure you can find one just as easily too, because I’ve found one every single time I’ve gone to a thrift store. As for the shirt, this is one I’ve seen at thrift stores a thousand times, but mine is from my mom’s closet, which gives me all the more joy wearing. As for the pants, I had to take in the waist on these guys as well because high-waisted jeans refuse to ever fit me. I also cut off the bottoms and frayed them a bit, and I highly recommend you do the same if you’re part of the short person club like me, because I used to roll them up and they would always come down, but there’s truly something special about having a pair of jeans that just fit. Then, I added the same coat from earlier that I got for a dollar because I felt it fit in with the look. I also feel I should point out I was one black hat away from a complete “hipster aesthetic.” 

The Graphic Tee We All Have

I never thought I was a graphic tee person, because I used to wear them every single day of my freshman year in high school. However, times have changed, and here we are again. I also tied it at the front to give some texture. Then, I threw over my chunkiest sweater and pulled on some leggings to bring the comfort level to a new height. Also, I added a scarf (which I actually made for my mom, but she was very generous and let me borrow it for the purpose of this article) and of course some high boots to shut out all wind that Ohio sees far too much of this time of year.

Dressin’ Up Never Felt So Comfy

Okay, so I used to be that kid that absolutely despised anything that had to do with dressing up...and now I thrift on the regular and write as many fashion-related articles as I can. People change. Anyway, I felt it would only be right if I fit in the skirt I’ve been wearing every chance I’ve had for the past two months. It’s just a basic black skirt, which I’ve found at many thrift and secondhand stores, so you’re bound to find one at some point. Then, I added some tights because Ohio weather isn’t the kindest on bare legs, hence the super long boots as well. I’ve also started wearing thinner sweaters as well because I’ve gotten super into tying shirts and sweaters and whatever else in the front to give a bit more detail. Of course, I had to include the coat that I found for literally a dollar. I do want to mention as well that thrift stores and secondhand stores, although vaguely off the wall, have very good coats. If you have a specific coat or style in mind, it’s truly a gamble, only because they are so random, but you never know! I also think they’re a great place to get coats if you need to donate for a drive of any sort. I know that sounds kind of strange, but even just grabbing coats that are a dollar to donate to someone because they just need a coat seems like a wonderful cause.

If you’ve ever gone to a thrift store and thought, “Oh, I could never pull that off,” I dare you to get that exact thing. If you’ve never been to a thrift store, start there. They’re a great way to find your style and help the planet, all in one. It's especially helpful during the colder seasons because you can go and find some layers!

Kristin Berchak is a senior Digital Media Production major. She works as a showrunner for an entertainment show for TV2, The Blurb, loves running, writing, reading, baking, creating and just staying busy! She loves movies and television (and far too many baking shows!) She is very excited to work as an editorial member for HerCampus at Kent State University!
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