I’m always amazed at what I can find at the thrift store. Here are my top ten thrift store classic style finds to look for, including clothing and home items.
I have found so many of my staple, go-to decor and clothing items at the thrift store over the years. Of course, there are some pretty tacky things, but I can almost always find some great stand-the-test-of-time classics hiding in there too. I’m actually not a super regular thrift store shopper, and I usually only manage to pop in once every few months, but I’m still amazed at what I can find, even with my very casual attempts at treasure hunting. Since thrift store shopping can be a bit overwhelming, I’ve developed kind of a standard list of classics that I look for every time to help keep me focused and help me come out with the types of items that I’ll really be able to use and love, instead of just junk. So here are my top ten thrift store classic style finds to look for, for both home and clothing.
Favorite Thrift Store Classic Style Finds
I will always stand by my statement that thrift store cashmere is the best cashmere. Not necessarily that you always find the most beautiful, highest quality, but what you do find is still softer and warmer than anything else and, when it comes from the thrift store for $5, you take the preciousness right out of it and you actually wear it. So instead of your $400 cashmere sweater being only for special occasions, now you can just throw it on like a sweatshirt on the weekend and just feel great any time without worrying about it.
Filling your shelves can be a dauntingly expensive endeavour if you’re looking to buy all your books brand new, which is why I think that a lot of homes sadly don’t have a lot of books in them these days. Of course, you have a lifetime to fill your shelves and you can take all the time you want filling them with your favorite volumes, but you can also really speed the process along by finding some great cookbooks, beautiful literary classics, and coffee table books at the thrift store.
Handbags and Luggage
This is not something I’ve always looked for, but after walking by the racks of bags and having a few really beautiful pieces jump out at me over the years, this is definitely an area of the store I visit every once in awhile. I’ve found some great classic work style totes, weekender bags, and even a really cute leather backpack. Things that I might not necessarily feel were priorities to pick up at full price, but still really love to have.
Brass Frames for Photos
I inherited the nicest little collection of old black and white family photos in brass frames and I just love them. Such a timeless look and so easy to find at thrift stores! Look for brass frames with a bit of aging to them if you can find them, but you can easily mix in some thin, shiny frames as well for a beautifully collected look.
I don’t really understand how this happens, but it’s incredibly common to find really high-end shoes and boots at the thrift store in brand new condition. $700 ankle boots! $900 Italian loafers! All it takes is having an eye for quality and a phone for googling brand names you don’t recognize to see if you’ve really hit the jackpot. Of course, if you love them, it doesn’t really matter how much they originally sold for, but it’s kind of fun to have confirmation that you’ve stumbled upon something really fancy. 🙂
Ceramic Vases and Vessels
I find that the good ones can seem a bit elusive, and there’s a lot of junk to root through, but then one day there it is, just waiting for you on the shelf: the perfect vase. The one you’ll rely on for years for displaying flowers and branches during every season. Quite a few of my most-relied-upon vases actually came from the thrift store.
Blue and White
Blue and white ceramics are timeless and I firmly believe that every traditional room should have a touch of blue and white somewhere, whether it’s a ginger jar, a little bowl, or an umbrella stand tucked in a corner. Because of their long-standing appeal, you can almost always find some little blue and white piece at the thrift store.
Wool Tartan Blankets
At one point, my collection of these blankets got a little out of control because I just couldn’t leave them behind when I found them. You can find some great blankets with classic appeal and they’ve come in so handy for picnics, the beach, soccer games, the porch and all those other occasions where you want something nice, basic, untacky, but unfussy as well.
Coats and Jackets
Definitely worth spending the time to check this section. I’ve found things like a classic Levi’s jean jacket and a nice linen utility jacket. Again, things that are nice to have in your closet, but that I might not seek out normally. But for $10, why not if you have a bit of space available in your closet? And there are a few wool coats that I’ve left behind over the years that I’m still kicking myself about.
Ideally, I always say that your wardrobe should be about 50% thrifted. It’s an easy goal to achieve and it’s just a good practice for the environment and your wallet. Chances are that the exact piece you’re looking for already exists and is out there floating around just waiting to be found. Scarves are something that are generally pretty basic and straightforward and styles don’t change much year-to-year, so this is an area where I’d say where I’m at more than 50%. Every once in awhile someone seems to drop off a huge collection of classic plaid scarves and I stock up. :))
MORE IDEAS LIKE THIS
- Thrift Store Decorating: What I Always Look For
- Top Ten Thrift Store Home Decor Finds
- Thrift Store Organizing Finds
- Top Ten Dollar Store Christmas Decor Finds
- The Creek Line House Decorating Archives
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.