Before the pandemic forced many stores to shut down, I had a standing weekly thrifting appointment at my local Goodwill that I rarely ever missed. If you haven’t been thrifting recently (past few years) then you probably have a negative perception about purchasing someone else’s new or gently used clothing. To be honest, I did too. Growing up I always thought the Goodwill only sold the clothes of dead people or musty tattered garments. Whenever someone told me they purchased something from a thrift store I would immediately think they were in need of financial assistance because only people struggling to make their ends meet shopped there – right? Absolutely incorrect! Some of the most stylish fashionistas with padded pockets thrift regularly and you should too! I guarantee once you’ve gotten the taste of saving on what should be a pricey item, you will never want to pay full price again.
So for all of my non-thrifters, this blog series is for you. I’m going to share some of my favorite finds from my local Goodwill that will instantly complement your current wardrobe and encourage you to start thrifting! First up – Shoes.
This is my absolute favorite section to shop when I visit my local Goodwill. Even as a size 9.5 (watch ya mouth) I’m always able to find shoes that are new or gently used so that’s a huge plus in my book. I love this section of the store because it really resembles a shoe section of a department store. The shoes are always very neatly stacked and arranged and gives me more of a boutique feel than a local thrift store.
With so many options to choose from, I like to follow my own three-step check when perusing the shoe section.
1 – Always determine what’s trending
In the spring, taupe or neutral tone pumps and flats will be on trend so it’s likely I’ll find more of these styles available during this time. If these styles are trending, scoop them up because oftentimes additional discounts will be added to their final sale price. I explain this a bit more in step 3.
Pro tip – Between January and April, a lot of people will donate a large amount of clothing to thrift stores to receive a tax write off. During this time you’re likely going to see a range of shoes from sandals to boots. Although we’ll be entering into the spring and summer season, don’t overlook getting a jump on purchasing boots for the fall or winter seasons. I purchased a pair of knee-length Guess boots, a furry pair of North Face boots, and a pair of water-resistant Timberlands for less than $50 combined!
2 – Check for wear and tear
I always check the bottom of the shoes and their heels to determine their wear and tear. Most times there is very little, like these nude Steve Madden heels, but sometimes you’ll come across a pair that is pretty worn. However, the sales team is really great with making sure they only put out quality merchandise so this only happens every once in a while. What I love about my local Goodwill is that they carry a lot of shoes that are brand new. It’s not uncommon to see the original $79.99 tag on a pair of Jessica Simpson heels with an $11.99 Goodwill sticker right next to it. I love it when that happens because I get to brag about how much I’ve saved without sacrificing the quality of the product!
3 – Check the color of the week
Some Goodwill’s will have a weekly sale called, “The Color of the Week”. Each item in the store is tagged with a color – blue, orange, green, purple, or yellow. At the start of the week, the store will decide which color will be the color of the week, and all items that are tagged that color will receive an additional 50% off. So a pair of shoes can quickly go from being $9.99 to just $5! But to make these deals even sweeter, some stores like my local Goodwill will offer 75% off of an item in a specific section that is tagged with the color of the week. So while all store items that are tagged with a blue sticker are 50% off, blazers tagged with a blue sticker would be 75% off.
Pro tip – Shop the color of the week early! If the new color is revealed on Sunday, make sure you’re at the store when they open or shortly after. If not, you’ll find that many of the items remaining are not the color of the week and therefore you will not receive additional discounts off of the items.
So after completing my three-point check, I’m usually good to go with my choice(s). I’ll try them on to make sure of the fit, add them to my cart, shop a bit more in other areas, and finally check out.
I hope this post was able to dispel the notion of what thrifting is and shed some light on its fashion and financial benefits. Thankfully, with stay at home orders slowly lifting in many states – a lot of people have made huge donations to Goodwill across the nation, so if you haven’t been thrifting in a while or if you’re looking to get started now would be a great time. So get thrifting and make sure you hit me up after you do! I want to know what you’ve found because one, I want to know what great deal you’ve gotten and two, I want to know what store I need to hit next… LOL.
What other Frugal Fashion Finds at the thrift store would you like me to cover? Dresses? Blazers? Jeans/Pants? Children’s? Come on, give me a reason to shop… LOL. Comment below with your suggestions and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram – @WithLove_Meek. There you’ll be able to view more of my Frugal Fashion purchases in my IG-Story Highlights.
~With Love, Meek