Everyday Emily

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A Thrifter's Guide to Goodwill

Top: Goodwill! 

One of my favorite things to do is go thrift shopping. In fact, I'm not ashamed to admit that I visit my local Goodwill probably at least 3 times a week. I don't remember exactly when I picked up the hobby as I have shopped thrift stores for years and years, but it wasn't until the past year and a half that I started regularly going to collect items for my house. I started a new job in January that's located just a few minutes from a Goodwill close to a wealthier part of town. I go the majority of days on my lunch break to get out of the office and do something that I really enjoy doing. I've gotten a LOT of really nice clothing from that specific Goodwill, and updating my wardrobe with thrifted pieces makes me so happy!

I've learned so much over the past year or so about thrifting. A lot of people aren't opposed to buying things from the thrift shop. They simply just don't have the time and/or patience to dig through the racks, know what brands to look for, and keep track of items they need or want but don't want to spend a bunch of money on! I'm going to break down everything I know to make thrifting easier for you today, and I hope it inspires you to get out and visit your local thrift store. My favorite part is that you never know what you might find! 

A Thrifter's Guide to Goodwill

No. 1 - Don't give up if you have days where you find nothing. I have them all the time, and while they can be a bummer, don't let it stop you. Part of thrifting is the thrill of the hunt - it's all dependent on what people are donating, so good finds are mostly pure luck and consistent searching.

No. 2 - Know your brands.  This comes somewhat naturally for me, because I've always been a brand girl. I love keeping up with the best places to get nice things, but that doesn't mean I have to pay full price for items from my favorite stores. For instance, I know I pretty much love everything that Loft has ever made, so I always keep an eye out for that. I also will frequently take the time while I'm in Goodwill to Google the brand if I'm unfamiliar with it. I recently found a cute cardigan from Goodwill, and I looked up the brand and was so excited to find it was sold at Anthropolgie.

No. 3 - Take a browse through every section! Even if you wear a size Medium, look through every size to see if you find anything you like. There might be a gem in the wrong place, or you might find a top in a different size that fits you perfectly. You don't know if you don't look!

No. 4 - Don't get sucked into the overpriced new Target goods. This is a hard one for me because I love Target - who doesn't?! But my Goodwill overprices their NWT items from Target, and it drives me crazy. You could probably get those items at Target for cheaper, so don't let them fool you. I will say that my Goodwill prices their brand new Target clothing items the same as they do their other clothing, so in that case, I would say it's a good deal! 

No. 5 - Keep a list of items on your phone that you're looking for. I have a running list on my phone of items I've been wanting to find for my house at a thrift store. Whether it be a new vintage pyrex, the perfect basket, or a cute throw blanket, keep a list so you can go into the thrift store focused on the items you want.

No 6. - Try things on! I can't stress how important this is. As with any brand, clothes can look good on the hanger, but at Goodwill, its' easier to see rips, snags, and stains when it's on your body. Just today I found the cutest JCrew army green field jacket that I wanted to buy, but it wasn't until I had it on that I saw some grease stains on the sleeve. My Goodwill has a decent return policy, but avoid the hassle and just try things on.

No. 7. - Do NOT buy thrifted items just because they're cheap. This is a hard one for me that I've had to learn through the process. Just because you find something cute at the thrift store does not mean you need to buy it. My goal is not to accumulate a bunch of clutter that I got for a good price. Only buy meaningful items that will serve you a purpose in your home! Unless it's milk glass. If I see milk glass and I don't have that specific piece, I buy it! :) It's a weak spot.

No. 8 - Shop out of season. You'd be surprised how many adorable winter pieces you'll find at the thrift store in the summer. This is shopping smart. People are naturally going to be looking for summer clothes when it's hot, so there will be more gems in the winter clothes section. Don't forget to look for them and save them for the next season! I have been wanting a fur vest for a while now, and just a few weeks ago I found the cutest fur vest that would retail for at least $50 at my local Goodwill. Such a great find!

No. 9 - Look to Pinterest for inspiration, but try to find it cheaper. I do this all the time. For instance, I recently saw this picture on Pinterest, and I would love to have this little arrangement in my kitchen. I know for sure I can find baskets, jars, and wood utensils at the thrift store. Just today, I picked up two wooden spoons to start my collection to recreate this look. You don't have to shop Williams Sonoma all the time, just to get the look you love on Pinterest!

So there you have it - a regular thrifter's guide to Goodwill. I hope you'll give thrifting a try, and be sure to stay tuned for a thrift hall 

Easy Summer Dresses

We live in a hot and humid climate, so summer dresses are a necessity. They're the perfect way to stay cool but still stylish. I'm all about that in this southern heat. I picked up this little ruffle sleeve daisy t-shirt dress at Old Navy last month for less than $20! Below I've linked a few other options that would be perfect for summer.