Thrift Store Fashion Trends to Be on the Lookout For This Summer  

If you want to celebrate the change of seasons with a few new outfit ideas, why not give your wallet a break and head to a thrift store near you? This past year may have made it hard to show off our favorite finds, but this summer is the right time to turn it all around.

One of the best parts of fashion is that the world is constantly changing things up, looking for new and different ways for people to express themselves. Bringing old ideas back into style is just par for the course. We’ll look at the trends you should be on the hunt for and how you can strategize your search if you’re going to thrift it.

A Quick Note

Part of the fun of thrift stores is that you never really know what you’re going to find. This is certainly excellent for those high-yield days when you stumble upon something you didn’t even know you were looking for, but it’s less encouraging when you leave with nothing.

This is why it’s so important to have the right attitude when you walk through the doors. Even if you don’t end up spotting the latest trend, you can still have fun combing through the racks. At the very least, you’ll know the store that much better when you’re ready to come back.

And as you wander through the many (many) options that you’ll undoubtedly find at a thrift store, remember that you don’t have to accept anything as-is. At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we see clever crafters buy clothes simply because they like the fabric. After which, they’ll dye it a different color and then cut it all down to their liking. Some shoppers are inspired to turn men’s pants into pleated skirts, while others get their kicks from stitching scarves together into a unique top that’s all their own.

For the Ladies

The trends for this year are fun and funky with plenty of flair.

Ruffle Skirts

All ruffles scream summer, and they’ll look particularly engrossing during a gentle summer breeze. Ruffles create movement and make for an interesting visual contrast compared to smoother fabrics. This year, the trend is for hemmed skirts, whether they’re above or below the knee.

Matching Suits

A suit set, whether it’s purchased that way or paired with a little help from your own ingenuity, is definitely in for this year. Maybe it’s because we’ve all been so cooped up that we long for something besides sweatpants or maybe it’s because suits can just add a lot of style to any event.


Online searches in 2021 were up for this clothing item, more so than they have been for many years now. Some people might attribute this to what’s on Netflix, but it’s more likely an indicator of the cyclical nature of fashion. Corsets may seem too risky or daring, but you might be surprised at how many versions are out there these days.


You can see this retro trend pop up all over the internet, particularly after crochet became a more popular activity when no one was allowed to go anywhere. From hats to bags to tops, the airy nature of crochet makes it particularly right for summer.


New platform sandals look a lot like their older counterparts, meaning no one will be able to tell the difference. You might even find that the older versions are a tad more comfortable. Giving yourself a little lift has never been more stylish, which is great for those who want to wear their favorite maxi dresses.

Bucket Hats

The peekaboo effect of bucket hats makes them an all-time favorite for many people. They’re functional enough to keep the sun out of our eyes and stylish enough to be paired with some of the more fashionable events you’ll be invited to this year. Available in all kinds of colors, you can keep a few on hand so you can tie it in with your signature look.


Solid colors just aren’t the rage for summer 2021, which is greats news if you want to pay homage to a more psychedelic era. Whether you opt for wavy lines or big bold patterns, prints for this year are getting ready to make their mark on summer outdoor events and gatherings.

Halter Necklines

Halter tops during the summer are often your best option when you want to beat the heat. Made to give you all the freedom you need to move around, halter tops also manage to add a lot of drama to any outfit. Again, after the year we’ve all had, it’s no wonder we’re ready to do away with anything boring.

Silk Scarves

There’s something about silk in summer, particularly when you could use a cooling fabric against the scorch of the sun. Adding a silk scarf to your outfit can give it a lot of extra pop, no matter how (and where) you tie it.

For the Guys

The summer trends for the guys are all about comfort without becoming quite so casual.


Lightweight and breathable, chambray looks a lot like denim but it’s actually a plain-weave fabric. It makes it perfect for slightly more formal events, especially if you want to stay cool, calm, and relaxed.


Short-sleeved henleys can help you switch up your wardrobe when you want something different from a standard t-shirt. The few buttons at the top give you a little extra room to play around all while adding a little more character to your outfit.

Summer Pants

Summer pants are basically just a seasonal way of referring to pants that fit a little looser on your frame. For nights out when you can’t really get away with shorts, this can be a nice compromise. If you can’t find summer pants, you can opt for lightweight jeans for this year.

Jean Shorts

This somewhat controversial item is making a bit of a comeback. And while fashion is always a matter of personal taste, guys should feel free to rock denim shorts for summer 2021 if they feel like it. Pair it with a classic white button-down and give yourself a little extra confidence at an outdoor barbeque.

Woven Shoes

Any canvas related will help your feet stay dry this summer, a must for staying comfortable. At Goodwill, we recommend keeping the fabrics light and the colors even lighter to give your feet a breather on those sweltering days.

Visit Your Nearest Goodwill

To know your local Goodwill is to know your options. Some people shop here because they don’t want to be dressed in the same outfit as a friend at a party. Some people shop here because they want to save a little dough without having to give up their style. Creativity goes a long way here, whether you want to keep up with the 2021 trends or not.

Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona is here to supply everything you need to change up your look or keep it going. When the last thing you want to do is drag out your old clothes and figure out if they still fit, we’re here to make shopping a lot more fun (and affordable).

Exciting Events this Week!

Amazing things are always happening at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona! Whether you are looking for a daily special or want to participate in one of our job training events, we have something for you.

*Daily deals are valid at select Metro Phoenix, Prescott, and Yuma locations. Please check with your neighborhood Goodwill for details. Dollar Day pricing adjustment goes into effect on Jan. 5, 2023.

Discount valid on used merchandise only. Not valid on food or drink, new goods, seasonal or holiday items. Not valid at Goodwill Clearance Center.