Getting Your Inner Thrift On {Be Thrifty with Emily}



I’ve spoken to so many girls who ask me, “how in the world do you find good stuff at thrift stores?! I never do!!”.


The trick? Patience.

I know, I know. And of all people I probably lack patience the most. But it can be worth it when looking through racks & racks of clothes!


Ultimately: don’t expect to go thrifting and find a gold mine! Sometimes you do but most times you don’t! It’s always hit or miss:) And it’s totally okay to only walk out of there with one or two finds!


Here are a few things I’ve learned over time…

>>> Prepare to waid through a bunch of junk to find the treasure!

>>> Keep your eyes open for the unexpected and don’t be afraid to branch out a little from your usual style.

>>> And don’t necessarily put something back you love just because there is something you don’t like about it– if you know you could change that part.

>>> At the same time, don’t fill your closet with things that need a little altering but you’ll never get to! I learned that the hard way! Only take it home if you have a purpose and plan to refashion it soon.

>>> That also reminds me to point out- don’t be afraid to pass something up if you don’t *really* love it. Cause otherwise you’ll just end up with a closet full of things that you *kinda* like but rarely wear.

>>>   Look for quality pieces of clothing… just like you would at a normal store.

>>> It’s okay to be choosy! {Also learned this the hard way!}


So let’s talk refashioning tips for a minute. For the longest time I would get so frustrated because nothing ever fit! I’d find cute skirts but they’d rarely be my size. Shirts were always too short or stretched out or too big. Pants would be too long because I’m short. Then I started to learn little tricks to make things work when I didn’t feel like altering the piece of clothing. {click the hidden/yellow colored links to see inspiration for the looks I’m suggesting!}


For skirts: If it already has a few pleats or some fullness, typically you can get away with safety pinning the waist in the back as long as you wear a wide belt or long cardigan over top.   Maxi skirts too long? Wear as a dress >> cinch in the waist with a belt and maybe add a cardigan!

For shirts: If they’re too big >> Tuck. Belt. and tuck some more!  And if you layer pieces it really helps with this. or go with the relaxed oversized look which also looks great tucked half-in. or (my personal fave for graphic tees) twist & knot the shirt at your waist.

For dresses: Too short? Tuck it in to jeans or a skirt and make it a top. Or add just the right skirt underneath to extend the hem temporarily.

For jeans: Rolling/twisting up the hem a bit is the perfect way to make a pair of too-long or too-short boyfriend/skinny jeans look cute.

For shoes: sadly there’s no help here. they either fit or they don’t!!


Obviously each item of clothing is different and these tricks won’t work on everything but it can’t hurt to try. Layering pieces can play a huge role in making something work but try to avoid bulkiness with all your pinning, tucking and belting! That’s never classy! You want the pieces to look natural! I’m not always successful here either so keep trying!!


a few more thoughts…


>>> Some local thrift stores (for us, it’s Goodwill), purchase a load of clearance from Target or other department stores once or twice a month. Ask which days those goodies are typically put out on the floor and then enjoy shopping on those days & finding brand new pieces for your wardrobe for just a few $’s!


>>> I know it seems a bit rediculous to shop sales at an already cheap thrift store… but don’t be afraid to do so! My sister and I rarely go to Goodwill anymore unless it’s the first Saturday of the month (50% of entire store) because then it’s more worth our time to scour through all the racks & shelves.



I hope this post was helpful and encouraging {you can have a great wardrobe and not spend much!}! Remember this is a process… and one that takes continual refining to fit your style and the way you do things. Things rarely happen overnight and they certainly didn’t with me:)  I’m all for spending more on investment pieces (clothing you know will stay in your wardrobe a long time) but have fun at the thrift stores!

Feel free to send more questions my way and I’d love to know what tips  you have for thrifting!





{image credit : Best of L.I.}


May 31, 2013

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  1. {Be Thrifty} A Little Outfit Post »

    August 23rd, 2013 at 1:12 am

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