How to Style and Shop For Thrift Store Clothes | Tips From the Pros  


Who doesn’t want to save a bit of money when buying clothing? What many don’t realize is that thrift store clothes are the best way to do it. Whether you need something sleek for the office or a fun dress for a date night, being fashionable doesn’t have to be so expensive. Instead, it’s about using clothing the right way and knowing how to choose the right pieces.

Here at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we have a few pro tips and fashion ideas that are perfect for making your money go farther without letting your look get too far out of line. For some help, we turned to Jessi Russell, a local stylist.

Have a Game Plan of What You Want to Buy

One of the best tips from Jessi is having a list of items or an idea of what you want to buy when heading in to check out thrift store clothes. She says, “I really recommend having a list of things that you want to be shopping for so you’re not just coming in, looking at everything, and having no idea where to start.”

That’s an important way to get what you need and to have an idea of where to go once you arrive. There’s no doubt a large Goodwill location is going to have much to offer and paging through rack after rack isn’t always something you have time to do. That’s why having a list of things you want to shop for – such as blazers or dresses – allows you to know just what to look for to fit your needs. You’re less likely to become quickly overwhelmed.

Another tip she recommends is shopping by color. Knowing what you want is important, and since many stores are all color-coded, this is an easy way to find just what you are looking for to fit your needs. This also makes it easy to skip over the sections that do not appeal to you or fit your desired look.

Of course, you may just see something that gives you some inspo in your favorite color, too! There’s always room to be creative when looking for new fashion ideas.

Fashion Ideas for Less – You Can Save Money on Fantastic Clothing Options

One of the reasons to buy thrift store clothes is because this is by far the best way to save money on clothing. However, when you shop at Goodwill matters. When asked about which day to shop for the best savings, Jessi has some great tips.

First, she says, check the tags. “When you come into Goodwill there’s a sign that tells you what color tag is half off that day – that’s every single day!” She also says to shop on Thursdays which is dollar day. On these days, a certain color tag is marked down to just $1. “If you are all about the deals and want better prices, you can come on one of those days,” she says.

A pro tip is also to not limit yourself to only those days. That’s because just about every day there is something on sale. While what that item is may change day to day, there’s a lot of savings involved in shopping here. Even if you’re not sure what you’re after, you’ll get a bit of inspo when you come in on a sale day and find something fabulous that’s just right – and just the right price, too.

Brand Shopping at Goodwill – What Should You Buy?

One concern for buyers is choosing items based on their brand. Which brands should you buy? Which brands are not worth as much and may end up being worn out too soon? There’s no doubt some items are not going to be as high in quality as others – many are used items. However, there are many pieces of beautiful clothing that are brand new, too. So, how do you navigate the options to ensure you get just what you want and expect?

“I like to grab things that catch my eye, kind of examine them to make sure they are still in really good shape, and then check the brand because sometimes you can find amazing brands. Those could be brands you know you can trust that are going to be quality pieces. Then you’ll feel great that you found a designer brand for less than $10” says Jessi.

It helps to have some idea of what a brand is like, but there are a lot of recognizable brands on the shelves here at Goodwill. That means you are sure to find brands that fit your needs as well as those that you may know are well worth more than the price tag on them – especially when you couple this with even better deals.

If you’re shopping for a specific brand, expect to find a range of options. That may include items from last spring, but also items that are nearly new and trendy. It’s also a lot of fun to find pieces that may be a bit older and have a more vintage feeling. When you are looking for your favorite chic brand, don’t overlook what’s available at Goodwill – often there’s something that is just right for you.

What’s the Greatest Part About Shopping for Outfit Ideas at Goodwill?

The prices – the selection – and the brands are all good starting points, but there’s one area that is even more enjoyable. That’s the hunt itself. Jessi says that’s her favorite thing about the process.

“You’re going to find those pieces that you were not expecting to find first of all and also it is such a great thrill to find something that’s an amazing piece for such a good deal.” That’s a big part of what makes shopping for thrift store clothes so enjoyable – it’s all about finding something special and then knowing that you don’t have to pass up on it because of the price tag. Unlike shopping at a big name store with a limited selection, you can find more unique items that are just right price-wise.

Another thing to love about shopping here is always getting a new look. You can get a whole new wardrobe every season without having to spend a lot of money to do it. That’s another key area that Jessi says makes shopping here so worth it. You don’t have to give up your whole wardrobe every season, but you can come to Goodwill to find the “extra pieces to make your wardrobe feel more seasonal.”

When shopping with us at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we encourage you – and even dare you – to come in to find something that’s perfectly suited to your specific needs. What’s even better about shopping here is that it can be a lot of fun. You can easily create brand new outfits that are fashion-forward, vintage, or just you without having to spend a lot of money to make that happen. There’s always something new and interesting on the shelves and racks that is likely to make this a solid buy for you. Find a store near you today and happy hunting!

styling thrift store clothes | Jessi Russell | Goodwill AZ

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 valid at select Metro Phoenix, Prescott and Yuma locations. Please check with your neighborhood Goodwill for details.

Discount valid on used merchandise only. Not valid on food or drink, new goods, seasonal or holiday items. Not valid at Goodwill Clearance Center. Our REDESIGN by Goodwill and Clearance Outlet are excluded. REDESIGN operates separate sales and discounts from other Goodwill stores.