My Top 5 Thrift Store Finds

Thinking thrifting isn’t for you? You might be surprised what you find with a bit of patience. Here are my top 5 thrift store finds (and I’ve been thrifting for over a decade). Some are fancy and others are just serendipitously fun, but they’re ll fabulous to me.

Top 5 Thrift Store Finds

Several people recently asked me how I got started in this eco-friendly living “thing.” I didn’t grow up in a house of crunchy tree huggers by any means; sustainability wasn’t really on our radar.

Almost ten years ago, I got curious about thrifting clothes and the related ethical and environmental consequences of our fashion habits. I started perusing thrift shops when we lived in Chicago, found a few gems, and was hooked. One thing led to another, and my interest in sustainable fashion seeped into all aspects of my life.

Thrifting has its share of skeptics. Some people think it’s gross. Popularity among younger people has been helping it shed a bit of its social stigma. But I think as people start to see the unique gems and functional finds hiding in plain sight in the charity shops, more people will get on board with this shopping practice that reduces waste and saves money.

On that note, let me share my top 5 thrift store finds in the last decade of scouring secondhand shelves. Maybe you’ll be convinced to give thrifting a try.

My Top 5 Thrift Store Finds

I had a hard time picking just 5 items. I have so many things from thrift shops that I use ALL THE TIME. Is something my favorite because it’s amazing, high end and I scored it for next to nothing? Or is it my favorite because it’s basic and functional and I use it every day? I couldn’t decide, so I chose a few of both. Let’s dive in.

New With Tags DVF Dress for $17 – I still have it!

I think I’ve had this dress for over a decade. I can still tell you what the store looked like and where I found it. I picked it up during one of my early thrifting adventures in Chicago. As I scanned through the racks, I saw the new-with-tags Diane Von Fuerstenberg dress in a size that would normally be too large for me. But in good thrift store fashion, I tried it on anyway and it fit like a charm!

I haven’t worn it in a long time (partially because it doesn’t fit that well – hello, having two kids!) and I don’t wear many dresses these days. But that fabulous find makes it hard to give up. So for now, it holds a place in my closet for its well-earned and well-timed appearance in my life.

Yellow Tahari Sweater

Good thrift shops carry far more brand-name items than you might expect, such as this yellow Tahari sweater in nearly-new condition I found at Goodwill. As is my habit, I skimmed the racks for colors I liked and fabrics that felt high-end. This sweater stuck out immediately. I tried it on, brought it home, and now it’s a staple among several goldenrod gems in my closet (all of which are secondhand).

Toybox Printer Food

There are certain things I would NEVER expect to find in a thrift shop simply because they are so niche, and these rolls of compostable 3D printer food were just that. I had already purchased a Toybox 3D-printer for my son for Christmas.

Just a few weeks before the holiday, I happened to see two rolls of Toybox printer food for the exact machine I got him sitting in the art supply box on a shelf at a local Goodwill. What a coincidence?! I popped those bad boys in my cart and now they are in our art supply cabinet.

Black and white striped crossbody bag

It’s not super fancy, but it’s been uber-functional. When I saw it on the rack at Savers, I debated making the small investment. The bottom had a few salt stains, a common issue in Minnesota (where I bought it) from the heavy salt picked up in winter weather.

Ultimately, I decided to give it a shot. I brought it home, gave it a good scrub, and then a rinse through the washer. It was as good as new! I’ve used it almost every day since then as it’s just the right size to carry my arsenal of gear as a mom.

Gallery Wall Frames

I couldn’t choose just one, but the whole collection is quite a feat I was pumped to gather. Most of them came from local thrift shops (though I got a few for free in our Buy Nothing group). But none of them are new, so I saved a ton of money building this gallery wall with cheap or free frames.

We have so many items in our home that are thrifted, and with practice, it’s gotten easier to find what we need and know what to expect. Much like anything in life, thrifting is a skill you can hone with practice. What’s your favorite thrift store score?

If you like this post, you might also like

New Life for Thrifted Jeans with DIY Visible Mending

6 Tips to Find the Right Fit When Shopping Secondhand Online

Size Doesn’t Matter | My $20 Brand New DVF Dress

Jen Panaro

Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and advocate for sustainable living for modern families. To find her latest work, subscribe to her newsletter, Stepping Stones.

In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.

You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.

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