Thrifted Style

Thrift shopping has grown in popularity in recent years, and in 2020 more than 33 million people turned to second-hand retail for the first time, 76% of which say that they plan on continuing to shop at these types of stores. Because of this increase in popularity, the thrifted style is quickly becoming just as chic as any first-hand designer style. If you are thinking about updating your wardrobe with thrifted items, here is what you need to know about the trends and how you can build the perfect thrifted look. 

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What Is A Thrifted Outfit 

Simply put, a thrifted outfit refers to an outfit that is created using items from second-hand stores such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army. This style first became popular with the hippy movement of the 1960s and resurfaced in the 1980s among counter-culture teenagers. In the 1990s, the grunge scene, headed by bands like Nirvana, helped expand this type of fashion, making it even more popular among youths. 

As thrift store chic fashion entered the 2000s, it quickly became associated with musical movements such as indie rock and emo, eventually spilling over into the hipster movement of the late 2000s. While some people chose to shop second-hand in order to embody a specific look, others did so as a form of protest against the exploitation of third-world child laborers in sweatshops, a problem that is still prevalent in fast fashion today. 

With the stock market crash of 2008, thrift shopping saw a surge in popularity, and it became more accepted for people to shop and brag about the great bargain deals that they were able to find. This, coupled with growing awareness towards sustainability and eco-friendly lifestyle choices, made second-hand shopping more accepted than ever.

While the key to the thrifted style in the 60s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s was to create a fashion style that didn't look new or expensive, today there are many high-quality clothes that can be bought second-hand. In some instances, these can even be designer brands that still bear their original retail tags. The great thing about this is that there are style choices for everyone's tastes, and you don't have to be a counter-culture teenager to find something that you'll love. 

Thrift stores are also highly popular with people who enjoy being able to customize their clothes and create new outfits and styles using pieces that they found for cheap at a thrift shop. However, you don't have to be interested in fashion design to create thrifted outfits. With racks upon racks of countless styles, brands, and clothing types, you can mix and match pieces to create endless combinations that are both inexpensive and chic. 

How Do You Dress Thrifted

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When it comes to creating your own thrifted style, there is no right or wrong way to go about it. The style that you create will depend on what you need and the look that you want to portray. Some people who enjoy thrifting like finding eclectic items to piece together their own unique and quirky style. However, others stick to plain jeans and t-shirts for a more casual and laid-back vibe. 

When searching your local thrift store for the perfect items, be sure to take your time going through the racks. Hidden gems can be lurking where you least expect them, but with some careful diligence, you can find items that you'll love to wear. 

Usually, a thrift store will be divided up by clothing types, making the search a bit easier. For instance, jeans will be on one rack, shorts and skirts on another. They are also usually divided easily by size. Although you may just be on the hunt for a new shirt, it may be worthwhile to check out the other racks, just to make sure something else isn't hiding that you just have to have. 

How Do You Price Thrifted Clothing 

When pricing thrifted items to see if you're getting a good deal, you can first turn to online research of the brand name to see what similar items are going for. For instance, if you stumble across a name-branded handbag, a quick search of the brand can tell you what the usual retail price is for new ones. Using this, you can get a better idea of how much you'll be saving overall. 

Another thing to consider is the condition of the item. While most thrift store items are checked before being put out for sale, some will undoubtedly be in better condition than others. Start by examining the item for any visible flaws or minor imperfections. Some items you'll find may have some wear or minimal cosmetic damage, but they will still be usable if you're going for a more worn-in look.  

In many thrift stores, you will also be able to find rarer items that could be worth a good bit of money. Things like paintings, china, unique books, or vintage fashion items can often be sold at remarkably low prices and flipped for a nice profit. Although you may not be able to pay a mortgage by flipping thrifted finds, it can sometimes bring in a surprising amount of cash. 

When pricing an article of thrifted clothing, whether to see if you're getting a deal or to learn if it's worth re-selling yourself, consider both of these factors when determining what the overall value should be. 

Why Is Thrifting So Popular

Thrifting is popular for numerous reasons, the first of which is usually the low prices. Thrift stores are able to offer clothing and household goods at remarkably low prices due to the fact that they don't need to buy these items from a supplier. Instead, they rely on donations from people in the area. This means you don't have to worry about paying a mark-up to make up the difference so that the store can make a larger profit. 

These low costs make them great for being able to completely transform your wardrobe without needing to spend an exuberant amount of money. Some stores even offer discounts on purchases when people make donations. So, you can clear out your closet of the clothes you no longer want and essentially trade them in for all new items at an even greater discounted price. 

Another reason that many people are turning towards second-hand buying is eco-consciousness. Fast fashion can be detrimental to the environment, and a shocking 84% of all clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators when it's not donated or thrifted. This textile waste is a growing problem that is compounded by the number of resources it takes to make new clothes quickly. One cotton shirt alone can require 2,700 liters of water just to make, and it's estimated that about 20% of all industrial water pollution comes from the process of dyeing textiles. 

For those who are conscious of their environmental footprint, second-hand shopping and donating old clothing is a way to help combat this growing issue. 

Additionally, some people enjoy thrift stores because they offer the ability to find items that have either been discontinued or that they would otherwise never be able to find at another retail location. Thrift stores can play host to numerous unique items, some of which you would never have thought you needed until you see them. This makes shopping there almost like a treasure hunt, and the thrill of finding something unique keeps people coming back again and again. 


Thrifted style can take many forms, and there are many reasons why people love shopping at thrift stores. Although the style truly gained momentum thanks to the hippy and grudge movements in the 60s and 90s respectively, today it is a store for everyone with any style. 

Whether you're after great clothing at a discount, hidden treasures for resale, or just want to live a greener lifestyle, second-hand shopping is something that everyone can find something of value in.