One of the winners of our recent Sneak Preview Grand Opening shopping contest admitted that she was a complete novice thrift store shopper.   She was quite elated about winning the contest and having us help her shop for several reasons, #1 she has lost 85 pounds this past year, and #2 she recently lost her job.  Needing a new, smaller size wardrobe, but also staying within a very tight budget, she was anxious to learn how to shop at a thrift store.

Here is her amazing before and after photo!

before after thrift store makeover

We wanted to help her find clothes that she felt confident in, and that also showed off her new figure.   Knowing she was working with a limited income, we came up with a plan for some wardrobe basics, the building blocks, that she could mix and match and that would give her the most bang for her buck.

Our first tip was to decide what your style is and assess your environment.  What is your typical day like, does it require professional or casual dress, or are you a stay-at-home mom who needs more practical, yet still stylish clothing?

Wardrobe Basics that Everyone Needs

  • A great pair of jeans (both dark and white)
  • Crew-neck sweater
  • Cardigan sweater
  • Well-fitting blazer
  • Quality white tee shirt
  • Versatile dress in a solid color
  • White button-down blouse
  • Pencil skirt
  • Trench coat
Focus on your core wardrobe pieces, then build the rest of your wardrobe around that with fun, colorful, modern and less expensive items.
  • Find style inspiration with Pinterest or magazines
  • Come up with a color palette
  • Choose staple pieces that you can change throughout the season
  • Shop with a list of items that will help you expand your wardrobe
  • Look for quality pieces
  • Re-style your classic items
  • Add a statement piece of jewelry or a scarf to change it up
  • There are many options to save money while shopping: thrift stores, online trading sites, eBay, garage sales and closet exchanges are just a few

A great resource for thrift shopping is  The next time you want to find a new thrift store in your area, or anywhere else, just enter the zip code on  The site lists all of the stores in that area, complete with their hours, location, how to sign up for their mailing lists, and even reviews from other shoppers.

For more tips and tricks, check out our “11 Thrift Store Tips”.

Remember, this whole process takes time so have fun!

Interested in signing up for our next shopping contest CLICK HERE