Cultivated Wardrobe

Closet 101 | How to Thrift Quality Pieces for Your Closet, Part I: What to Look For

Hey it’s me again! I know, right? I’ve been seriously neglecting this space… Bare with me! I’m still figuring out how to juggle it all with the new little guy (who is awesome by the way).  I promise to be more consistent with posting  — and soon!!!

how to thrift quality pieces for your closet, part I- what to look for


So after posting my first all seasons capsule wardrobe early last week, I received several requests for a post on how to thrift for quality pieces. Or in other words: how in the heck did you get that $78 JCrew chambray top for $10.50?!?

I started writing. Got a little carried away in the word department. Reigned in. And then said screw it. Haha. I’m giving you #allthewords

But for sanity’s sake? I’m breaking it up into a short mini series (ooo that makes it sound like a killer special on TV!) — beginning with this post.  I’m not quite sure how many posts it will be just quite yet, but I expect at least three.


 chambray / graphic tee / white button down /gingham button down / cardigan sweater / blazer


Above are six pieces in my closet that I was able to score by thrifting. I can honestly say that there was/is no room in my clothing budget to have bought these pieces full price from their retailers — despite their quality and timeless (for the most part) nature. But with a little time, a lot of patience, some scouring of eBay, a few second hand store trips and a whole lot of self control — I managed to find and purchase these 6 great pieces.



1. Items on your list. Whether or not you subscribe to or even like the idea of a master list like mine walking into a thrift store (brick + mortar or online) is  DAN-GER-OUS.  No? Talk about being overwhelmed by the possiblities. Oo! Or falling victim to the statement “but it’s only $3!” In all likelyhood if you don’t walk in there with a strategy and a clear sense of what you really need, you’ll be walking out of there with not only some great deals — but some serious buyer’s remorse as well. #thumbsdown

2. Staple pieces. You probably noticed that all of the pieces I shared with you above are relatively basic, neutral and of the timeless variety.  This is not by coincidence.  High end brands are known for carrying high quality classics for a reason.  Because they are always “in season” or “on trend”  it makes them that much easier to track down when thrifting. There will naturally be a larger sea to fish in ;)

3. Brands you love. Maybe I’m just more of a sucker than I’d like to think when it comes to brand loyalty (as a marketer I like to think that I could never fall for marketing ploys…) but I really do find myself becoming partial to certain brands for both  style and business practices. Besides, have you ever walked into a Goodwill and been oddly attracted to everything Forever21? No, just me? Well let me tell you, developing an eye for a particular brand makes thrifting in second hand stores a breeze. And on places like eBay? That much more targeted.

I’m keeping it short and sweet,  for now ;)

Up next in this series will be How to Thrift Quality Pieces for your Closet, Part II: Where to Look.

Do you have any successful thrifting tips to offer? Let’s hear’em!

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  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I’ve been trying to thrift more lately by going to Goodwill or using the Poshmark app, And I always find myself picking up items from forever21 in the thrift store without realizing it haha

    • Reply
      May 1, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Well then, we’d either be each other’s best friend or worst enemy in a thrift store. Haha!

      • Reply
        May 1, 2015 at 2:37 pm

        Hahaha there should be a game show for who can find the most forever21 items in a thrift store ;)

  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Such good advice! My mom is excellent at thrifting clothing, me on the other hand, I can never find what I’m looking for! I’m looking forward to part 2, hopefully it will help me figure out what I’m doing wrong!

  • Reply
    Andrea Hartman
    May 4, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I love this! I have been working on a thrifting tips piece too, I guess great minds think alike! ;) it’s funny i never knew “how” to thrift well until I started working out of a capsule wardrobe!

  • Reply
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    Karin Rambo
    September 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Oh this is such a helpful series! I’m in exactly the same boat as you! Trying to create a high quality capsule on a very limited budget. Most of my pieces from this fall’s capsule are thrifted and consigned, but I still love hearing how other people do it!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    There is a store called “uptown cheapskate” near me. It is similar to a platos closet, but for more adult, slightly higher end items. At the end of the season, they do half off marked down items. I can’t even tell you how many things I have found from Loft, Jcrew, Anthro, RL, and other name brands for under 10 and under 5 dollars! I follow them on FB to be notified of their sales. Sometimes I even grab things that aren’t my size and sell them on Poshmark to make money for things I need! I can’t remember the last time I shopped retail :) E

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