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Thrifting 101: A Lookbook

By Megan Barbera

There is nothing cooler and more unique than a fully thrifted outfit. Thrift stores can be the perfect place to find both modern and vintage looks at ridiculously low prices. The only problem: how exactly do you find your perfect outfit in a sea of dated pieces and grandma prints?

As an avid deal shopper, I have definitely learned the ins and outs of finding unique and fashionable pieces at thrift stores. Here are my tips and tricks to finding your perfect thrifted outfit, as well as a lookbook featuring all my personally favorite thrifted finds.

Tip One: See every garment for what it could be, not what it is.

While flipping through the racks at Goodwill or Savers, I look at every piece for what it could go with, not for how it looks in front of me. That means getting creative with what you see, and envisioning what personal style you could bring to it.


That incredibly oversized sweater in the men’s section? Hello, new sweater dress! Those dress pants from the 80s? Add a crop top and a belt for a new modern look. Overalls? Rock it with one strap and your favorite top under for a cute laidback feel. You can always take matters into your own hands and cut or stitch up the clothes however you want (hello new favorite pair of ripped jeans!). Have fun with it and remember–it’s your style!

Tip Two: Never too much denim!


Thrift stores can be the perfect place to find quality, vintage denim (sometimes it can take some digging). Take advantage of that! There’s nothing quite like finding the perfect pair of mom jeans for six dollars and styling them to look fun and trendy.


Also, solid denim jackets are often hiding in the men’s section at thrift stores, you could either rock one as it is or add patches and rips to make it your own! Don’t be afraid to go oversized for a more laidback and chill feel.

Tip 3: Button Up!

You know that button up shirt your dad always wears to barbeques? Turns out that can be stylish too! Thrift stores are often filled with all sorts of old, men’s button up shirts, and they can be tied up, buttoned down, and an overall cool addition to any outfit (if done correctly). Don’t shy away from the fun vibe these shirts bring!

Tip 4: Try mixing vintage with modern.


You don’t have to have a full thrifted outfit to look vintage. The key is finding one major throwback piece, and mixing it with your favorite modern day pieces.


Look for sporty windbreakers from the 90s, and style it with your favorite shorts and a crop top for a sporty vibe. Want to look beachy? Thrift stores are typically filled with unique lace pieces and robes that can be used as a swim cover-up, or the basis of a fun, hippie look.


Don’t forget to accessorize! Add colored glasses for a party-ready look, or a vintage belt to bring the look together.


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