I first have to admit – I actually didn’t become a thrift store shopper until after I had kids…I just never considered shopping at thrift stores until someone introduced me to them a few years ago. I always assumed that thrift stores were full of “rejects” – you know, like the stuff you find at a rummage sale when it’s over. And than I tried buying clothing at a thrift store…
Boy was I wrong! Well, for the most part. Many thrift stores are selective about what they sell, so there are many good or “like new” quality and brand name items (in addition to the “interesting” finds).
I still buy new clothing on occasion – but have mostly become a thrift store clothing shopper for these 10 reasons.
- You typically can’t beat the price (at least for adult clothing). I do feel some clothing items are overpriced even in thrift stores, but most of the time you’ll find clothing for a fraction of what you’d find elsewhere. Go shopping on a sale day and even the higher priced items are a great buy.
- Selection is abundant. At least where I’ve shopped, like at Savers and Unique Thrift Stores. It can actually be overwhelming. I’ve never browsed through all the clothes I wanted to in a single visit. It’s just exhausting!
- The selection is always new and changing. Not just seasonally. Daily. Sometimes, even while I’m shopping, the staff will be hanging up new items that just came in.
- Sale days! I love that pretty much any holiday that the stores are open, all the clothing (and many other departments including home linens) will be 50% off. If you’re a store’s email subscriber, you’ll get email notifications of upcoming sales, many of which are not publicly advertised.
- Many of my favorite clothes were purchased at thrift stores. Seriously – I’m not kidding. A few years ago I found an “Express” sweater at Unique Thrift Store that I absolutely LOVE and wear on cold days. My favorite work pants are a “Nine & Company” pair of trousers that I bought at Savers. They are more flattering on me than any other pair I’ve worn and have survived many washes. In fact, all of my pants are from the thrift store – and they’re all familiar brand name pairs. I have several favorite cardigans, tank tops, lounge pants, blouses and even a winter coat from thrift stores. And that’s just me – I haven’t even covered my kids’ clothes!
- Everything I wear gets stained at one point or another. I think one kid or the other has spilled ketchup or some other dark liquid on every clothing item I’ve ever worn. And of course, there are coffee stains (I guess I can’t blame the kids for those – at least not directly). Being a mom means being a walking magnet for falling food and beverage spills. And if I’m going to be such a magnet, I may as well be wearing clothes I didn’t spend a pretty penny on.
- Kids grow out of clothes ridiculously fast. Let me repeat that. RIDICULOUSLY fast. You just don’t want to throw away money on many new items that are going to be worn for, in many cases, only a few months. Though many of my kids’ clothes were hand-me-downs and from rummage sales (where I have to admit the prices ARE better), we’ve found some GREAT clothes for them at thrift stores. Shoes, coats, and accessories included. At the rate kids grow, it only makes sense to buy their clothing at thrift stores.
- It’s actually an educational experience. I know – that’s a weird statement about thrift stores. But I have learned a LOT about what brands work for me and which ones don’t. When you have such a huge variety of brands thrown together in one store, you’re bound to learn that some actually work better for your body than others do. For example: I don’t know why, but Dockers pants and capris usually look and feel good on me. I wouldn’t have learned had I not started shopping in thrift stores.
- Halloween and other seasonal and specialty items! Thrift stores have a great selection of costumes and pretty much everything else you need for trick-or-treating. My kids have always gotten their costumes used but in great condition. Plus, you can get fancy dresses, maternity clothes, scrubs for medical employees, winter coats, boots, and other accessories, and MORE! All of these can be VERY expensive new, so it pays to shop for them used if you can.
- Minimal cleaning maintenance. Well, you WILL find items that are “Dry Clean Only” or require other special care. But at least if you do damage the clothes you buy, the items probably weren’t so expensive that you’ll have lost a lot of money. I don’t have time to iron, hand wash or drop off clothes at the laundromat, and am just fine tossing my clothes in the washing machine (even ones that DO have special instructions). Nothing I’ve bought at the thrift store has fallen apart yet.