1 Year of Thrifting: What I Learned

Today I wanted to do a post about how it has been 1 year of thrifting (almost exclusively) for clothes! Last January I decided to try to shop secondhand all of 2020 after realizing how much money I could save, the fact that I could get better quality clothes, and it is more ethical that buying from places like Shein and Forever 21.


Outfit Details:

Sweater: consignment store | Top: thrifted | Leggings: Aerie | Boots: Madden Girl | Purse: Forever 21

Did I follow through 100%? No. I did end up purchasing 3 items new throughout the year. One was a GMG dress that I couldn’t pass up during their closing sale. One was a pair of leggings to replace a pair that I had ripped while moving a piece of furniture. And one was a dress from Target that honestly was just on clearance and I loved. My goal isn’t to only thrift stop forever, but just limit what I do buy new to essentials or things I truly love. So I am happy with my total of 3 new clothing pieces this year!

One thing I actually found easy was not buying new shoes. I typically wear the same 3-4 pairs in the summer and then switch those out for a few boots in the winter. Some of them are getting a little worn, so I am pretty sure I will be replacing at least one or two pairs this year. But it was surprisingly easy not to just keep buying more pairs at stores just because they are cute. I have actually never thrifted a pair of shoes and that is still one thing I find slightly gross. Maybe 2021 will be the year I get over that, or maybe I will just stick to thrifting shoes that are new.

In a way, it kind of helped that we were in a lockdown for part of the year. I am not a huge online shopper to begin with, so I only made my GMG dress purchase during quarantine. And then moving away from most of my friends also helped since I wasn’t just going shopping as an activity with friends. I actually don’t even want to buy most things when I am in malls now because I am so used to thrift store prices! I was in one a week or two ago and found a really cute top that I liked, but then when I saw the $40 price tag I suddenly hated the top haha. In my mind I thought about how I could find that piece thrifting for under $5.

I also learned that it isn’t that hard to recreate trends you see using thrifted pieces. If I saw someone wearing something I wanted on social media, I would add it to my thrift list. And usually within a month I could find something pretty similar. It also saved on impulse purchases because sometimes I would think I liked a certain piece that I saw someone wearing, but when I would try on something similar at the thrift store, I would hate it on me. Or I would just decide I didn’t like a trend enough before I could find something similar. Though on the other hand, sometimes I would try a trend and love it, so it was a cheap way to get a piece that I might only wear for a year or two.

This also challenged me to thrift outside of what I normally look for. For clothes, I usually just go for tops and dresses. It is still hard for me to find pants or skirts I like while thrifting, but I did manage to find a few last year, which I count as a win! And I started looking at accessories more, which has led me to buy some fun things like a hair scarf and one of my new favorite rings.

Am I going to keep it up? 

Yes! At least for the most part. Like I said earlier, I will buy a few pieces new each year if it is something I truly need and/or love. But honestly now that I have started thrifting so much, it would be hard to stop! I moved to a town that has some amazing thrift stores too, so it has just become a fun hobby of mine to hit them up after work or on the weekends. And I even ended up furnishing a lot of my apartment with thrifted furniture and decorations, which was a fun process as well!

If you want more thrifting blog posts from the archive, click here!

Tell me in the comments if you ever go thrifting or what your favorite thing to thrift is!

xo, Scarlett