fashion,  Uncategorized

Thrifty Thursday: look for the labels

We all have our favorite stores and brands- ones that we love the design, color and cut of items.  The awesome thing is that so do tons of other people. And when those people lose or gain weight and their clothes don’t fit them anymore or they decide the  color or cut of a shirt doesn’t flatter them guess where it ends up: that’s right friends- the thrift store.

Think of how many times you’ve bought something that looks good on you in the dressing room only to get home and realize that it isn’t that great. You were in a rush or your friend convinced you that it really looked good when you didn’t actually feel comfortable in it. You intend to return it, but then life gets busy. Finally you stuff it in a bag with other items you don’t wear any longer and drop them off at the thrift store. And this is where you can benefit from women across the country who do this everyday.

There are certain brands that always look good on me and other brands that never seem to fit properly.  Levi’s and Gap jeans fit me better than Target’s Massimo jeans because I’m not built like a 12-year old girl.  I always shop thrift stores for jeans because they have a ton of them in lots of styles and brands. You can even go hipster with the retro-highwaisted, button fly, colored pair like my husband recently tried to convince me to wear. Sorry honey, not my style.

Usually I look for Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap, and Target dresses or skirts because it is typically basic enough that I can layer it with other things to make it more of a personal style with color or accessories. Nothing super fancy, just core items I can build an outfit from.

I’ve also found much higher end labels at thrift stores- and this is where you can really score big time saving hundreds of dollars on typically pricey items. Check out this cute Diane Von Furstenburg dress I found in a Pittsburgh thrift store for $3.50.  I know these aren’t the greatest pictures but hopefully you can still see the fun cut of the sleeves and the tiny polka-dot print.


A dress like this normally retails for $200-300.  And I ended up getting a much nicer dress for my money because I knew it was a great find! My husband also found this insanely gorgeous canary yellow Versace dress at Goodwill for $20.


Though I racked my brain how I could squeeze into it, any occasion to wear it to, or an appropriate situation where a minister like myself could wear a dress showing some massive cleavage, I ended up selling it on ebay for $700.  We made our tiny friends try it on to marvel at just how lovely it was. (Thanks Joyce and Amy :))

Since I know what to look for at thrift stores I often bypass random labels and brands I’ve never heard of (unless I’m looking for a certain item, like a pair of basic black pants).  You won’t always be able to find a particular shirt or dress that you’ve been eyeing in a store, but you can find one that is similar from a label you like.

What stores do you typically shop at? Is there a go-to brand for you that you love for their jeans, dresses or tops? What has been one of your best name-brand finds at a thrift store?


  • Tesha Bachman

    I’m at ahh with your Versace dress find?!?! WOW! I have looked at goodwill for jeans and i always find SO many brand names. I wish i could remember the brand i got but they are in the washer right now haha.

  • Kelly

    I love these Thrifty Thursday posts! Especially since I decided to get back into thrifting recently. One of my most complimented skirts is a mint midi I found for $0.50 at a garage sale in Michigan.

    I was at Goodwill today and found a BCBG dress for $3.00, but it was too small. Oh well. Maybe next time!

  • Melissa Brandt

    Jess! I have to say that I am really enjoying these thrifty Thursday posts. Thank you so much for sharing your thrifting knowledge and wisdom. I have been getting more into thrifting over the past few years and want to pursue this more. I am currently sitting here wearing a really great floral tank top that I found at goodwill last year for 3 bucks! So! I will be trying to follow you here and glean some of your fashion savvines!
    In answer to the questions above, I love American Eagle Jean’s-especially the stretch artist style. I used to swear by Hollister until they kept raising their prices. These brands just fit me well. As far as my favorite stores for shopping, I love styles from New York and Company, Banana Republic and have gotten some good finds from LOFT by Anne Taylor. I like to copy these looks with less expensive clothing/thrifting finds. I am just starting to figure out how to better layor and accessorize and recently invested in a whole bunch of cheap jewelry from forever 21 with hopes of jazzing up some outfits that would normally look plain. I am trying to build my accessory skills! Thanks for all the good tips.

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