Thrifting Gems - My favorite finds + shopping tips!

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

Raise your hand if you’re a “browser” when it comes to shopping? A go-down-every-isle-er? A let-me-take-another-lap-around-the-denim-section-er?

I know I am!

And you know what rhymes with browsing… thrifting! Ok not really, but you get it.

There are tons of reasons why I think a little bit of thrifting now and then is good for the soul. To list a few:
- Shopping second-hand clothing is environmentally friendly.
- The little rush of excitement you get when you find what I like to call a hidden “gem” amongst all the tightly packed racks.
- The teeny tiny dent it makes in your bank account when compared to boutique/department store shopping.
… and so on.

Today I wanted to share some of my all-time favorite thrift store finds, and a few tips & tricks on HOW to navigate a thrift store and actually have a grand ole time. If you love fashion and styling outfits, but the thought of sifting through racks of dingy used clothing makes you wince, I am HERE to try to change your mind!

THRIFT TIP 1 - THE MENTAL PREP

Thrifting is like a skilled hobby - the more you do it, the easier it becomes. My first tip is to go on a day where you have no time restrictions, meetings, places to be or people to see, etc. Clear your schedule for a few hours, and go in with a REALLY open mind. Accept that you might NOT find anything you like at all, and make sure you know that’s ok. The less pressure you put on the experience, the more enjoyable it will be.

Also, do a bit of LOA (law of attraction) homework. On the way to the shop, visualize all the items you’d like to find - a little black dress, a trendy woven belt, an oversized blouse perfect for a swimsuit cover up, etc. Be really specific. I find that this not only gives me a sense of purpose and direction, but I swear to you, nine times out of ten, I find something eerily close to what I had envisioned.

THRIFT TIP 2 - START WITH ACCESSORIES

Walking into a thrift store is already overwhelming enough. I find that starting with the accessory section is a good way to ease into the process. It’s usually a much smaller section, and you can sort through things like belts, scarves, and handbags pretty effortlessly. Another reason why I love starting here, is because I typically always find at least one or two super cute accessories, and that small victory really gets me in the “zone” to continue thrifting throughout the rest of the store.

THRIFT TIP 3 - BE A CART HOARDER

If you see something you kinda-sorta like, throw it in your cart and keep moving. Since everything in the shop is a one-off, you’re better off loading up your cart with the yes’s and the maybe’s to avoid someone else coming along and grabbing something you’re on the fence about. Also, try on more than you think you need to. I like to do 2 rounds of try-ons, one after the first lap around the store, and one after the second lap. (Yes, that’s right, I take 2 or 3 laps around to make sure I didn’t miss anything.) Your odds of finding something you like the look AND fit of, is higher if you simply have an open mind and try MORE things on.

THRIFT TIP 4 - LOOK EVERYWHERE

For real. The mens section often has better graphic tees. And a lot of the time, super cute mini/slip dresses are placed in the pj or loungewear section by shop employees (you’ll see an example of this coming up). So, even though I wouldn’t purchase pj’s or lounge/intimate apparel at a thrift shop, I still browse the section with hopes of finding a cute summer dress or silky tank top that was misplaced in the wrong category during sorting.

THRIFT TIP 5 - BE PATIENT AF

My ultimate tip for finding thrifted gems, is to LITERALLY stand there and go through every single item on the rack. This is why clearing your schedule comes in handy. (Girl, you’re gonna be here a while!) This may seem excruciatingly painful to some, but I actually LOVE this process. I am 100% that psycho person who pushes each hanger over one by one revealing the item behind it, and saying “thank u, next” to each article of clothing until I find the one. This is almost therapeutic. I forget all about the emails I haven’t replied to, all the stuff pending for my business, etc. and I’m just completely honed in on this one task: find that thrift store GEM. I also try to have fun with it, if there’s a super tacky shirt, I laugh out loud. If there’s a shirt I’m on the fence about, I think of different ways to style it with clothes I already own, and so on. It can be super fun if you change your mentality and turn it into a fun game or “hunt”… and in the end, if I leave with ONE good find, I’m a happy camper!

Hopefully this inspired you to give thrifting a shot. And if not, maybe these finds will:

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

BONUS TIP - TRENDY ITEMS

If your goal is to hunt for trendy pieces that you can snag on a budget, have an idea of what’s trending now before diving into thrift shopping. You can always browse pinterest, instagram, fashion blogs, etc. to see what types of textures, colors, silhouettes, and prints are currently on trend. Chances are you will find something to fit “the vibe” while thrifting, without completely breaking the bank. Personally, I don’t find myself following every single new trend that pops up (sorry neon… it’s not you, it’s me!), but instead I try to find accessories or subtle prints that nod to the trend without standing out too much. If you already have an idea of what your favorite trends are, your eye will naturally gravitate towards those items on the rack while thrifting.

Here are some of my all-time favorite thrift store finds that I have worn so many times! All of them are from Goodwill (different Miami locations). Some of them have had their tags ripped off so the brand is unknown, but I try to find items that have good quality fabrics and construction details.

Of course, always wash everything before wearing and clean/wipe down accessories really well before using.

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
Photo Apr 19, 3 34 04 PM.jpgthrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

This sweater was found in the XXL women’s section. I purchased it with the intention of wearing it as an oversized sweater dress (since I’m only 5’1” it works out!). This powder blue color is so pretty but I was mostly drawn to the bold varsity stripes on the neckline and cuffs.

Sweater: thrifted (brand unknown)
Earrings: Forever21,
Necklaces: Ohhmygat & TJMaxx
Boots: Qupid Shoes
Handbag: Day&Mood
Scarf: Forever21

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

This red sweater is my FAVORITE and most worn thrifted find. I have washed it a million times and the fit and fabric are still perfect. It’s been styled with shorts in the summer, over swimwear, with jeans, as loungewear, etc.

Sweater: thrifted (brand unknown)
Hat: Forever21
Necklaces: Ohhmygat & TJMaxx
Shorts: Vanilla Star
Belt: Lucky Brand
Shoes: Steve Madden
Handbag: Day&Mood

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

This little ballerina style wrap sweater is another one of my lucky finds. I believe the brand was either Express or Banana Republic. I love the soft baby pink and how it reminds me of something my ballet teacher would wear over her leotard and tights. Because it’s pretty girly, I like to style this with an edgier bottom like black denim or a wide leg cargo pant to balance the look. When styling this outfit I also realized the PANTS are thrifted too! I wouldn’t include them here in my “all-time” favorite thrift finds because I don’t wear them that often, but they have held up really well, considering I’ve had these for over 12 years!

Sweater: thrifted
Earrings: Asos
Necklace: Ohhmygat
Pants: thrifted
Boots: Qupid Shoes
Handbag: Marshalls
Handbag Guitar Strap: Amazon

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

This sheer blouse is what I like to call “thrift shop BASIC” - there are SO many of these in tons of different colors and prints (I tend to stick to solid colors so they are easier to style with different outfits). This top has the perfect fit - flowy but still flattering. The upturned sleeves and v-neck shape are my favorite, and the little gold buttons go perfectly with the layered gold necklace trend.

Top: thrifted
Earrings: TJMaxx
Necklace: Ohhmygat
Jeans: Lucky Brand
Belt: Lucky Brand
Handbag: Day&Mood
Shoes: Steve Madden

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

My favorite thing about this blouse is the fabric. It is amazing quality, really soft, has the perfect drape and weight, and can be worn tucked in or tied up (like the previous top). I also love the muted navy blue color, and the little cap sleeves give a slight nod to the puffed up sleeve trend that I’ve been seeing all over the place lately.

Top: thrifted
Skirt: Shein
Earrings: Asos
Handbag: Day&Mood
Shoes: BCBG

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

This sundress is another perfect fit. I didn’t love the print at first glance, but when I tried it on it took on a whole new life. This dress is originally from Old navy, and was in perfectly new condition. I found this in the dress section hiding between 2 hideous maxis. (This is why you have to be patient and go through every single item - these gems are hiding!). I think this totally looks like something a pricey brand like Reformation would sell. And the midi length summer dress trend is one of my current faves!

Dress: thrifted
Earrings: Forever21
Necklaces: Ohhmygat
Handbag: Day&Mood
Soes: Soda

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

This little black dress was found in the women’s tank top section. It was obviously misplaced because this is definitely a dress. It is a simple silhouette that can be dressed up or down. The quality and ribbed texture on the fabric is what really makes this an all-time favorite. And best of all, it was only $5!

Dress: thrifted
Hat: Sun N Sand
Earrings: Forever21
Necklace: Ohhmygat
Tote: TWG Designs
Shoes: Steve Madden

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

I mentioned earlier that it’s important to browse every department. This dress is a great example of a hidden gem. It was placed in the pj/loungewear section, even though it’s actually a super cute little summer dress from Forever21. I don’t typically love the prints on these little cami slip dresses, but this floral was an exception! The fit and length is perfect and I can already foresee this is going to be my 2019 summer dress.

Dress: thrifted
Visor: Cappelli
Earrings: Asos
Necklaces: Ohhmygat
Handbag: Day&Mood
Shoes: Old Navy

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

Another trendy find! Stars and star prints are a major trend right now, and I was really excited to find this crop top in the women’s activewear section. Again, clearly not activewear, but yet another example of why it’s a good idea to browse all the department. This top pairs really well with so many different outfits, and the print is a great scale to mix+match with other prints, like leopard, stripes, and small florals. I’ve been wanting to style this with a leopard skirt or a striped headband.

Top: thrifted
Earrings: TJMaxx
Handbag: TJMaxx
Jeans: Levis
Shoes: BCBG

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

Moving on to the accessory department (t’s often hit or miss), here I rounded up some of my favorite finds: handbags, scarves, and a woven belt.

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

I’m loving the woven texture on this brown one on the left, and it’s a great size and shape. The scarf tied around the handles is one of my favorite accessory tips. It just elevates the look! This scarf is originally from Banana Republic and is really great quality. I also love the classic, neutral, and geometric print.

The smaller handbag on the right is totally fitting in with the new “mini bag” trend. I actually wore this during my Euro trip last year and it surprisingly holds a lot more than it looks like it would. To me, it looks kind of 1990’s model-off-duty and I love the black and brown color combo.

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

One of my favorite thrift gems is this satin black structured bag. These types of structured purses are really on trend at the moment, and the woven texture makes it look luxe and expensive, even though I only paid $3 for this little baby!

This woven belt can be worn in many different ways. Since it doesn’t have holes, you can wear it around the hips or waist and it’s a one-size-fits-all. I’ve worn this to cinch the waist on a flowy dress, over skirts, and with denim as shown here. I love the soft cream color and the simple gold buckle, which is also a major trend on belts at the moment. This was also only $3 - did I mention I love thrifting?!

thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy
thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy

And lastly, this green bandana print square scarf is my #1 all-time favorite thrift find! The color is so pretty and I love the intricate print. It’s also the perfect size! I’m not sure what the brand is because it didn’t have any tags, but I’m always on the lookout for pretty scarves at thrift stores now!

Check out this post to see how I styled this scarf 8 different ways!

I hope this inspires you to check out a thrift shop and hunt for some goodies! While it’s not the most time efficient way of shopping, it’s definitely more of a “thrill of the hunt” situation… which I love!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Xx Laura


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thrifting tips and tricks thrift store shopping find fashion haul styling ootd clothing accessories the weekend gypsy.jpg