Thrift-Store Shopping How-To’s From a Nordie’s Gal!

mebeauty & fashion

Dress Silk Thrift Store Shopping Thrifting Friends I am proof that you can swear undying devotion to Dillard's and still rock it when it comes to thrift-store shopping. What's the key to my success, you ask? My uber stylish friends (USFs) who just so happen to love all things vintage and make sorting, frugality, and thrift-store shopping an amazing art instead of the crazy chaos I thought it would be.

Looking to find a stylish steal of a deal and have fun while doing it? Don't take it from me, learn a few tips from the pros, my USFs—Allison from Petit Elefant or @petit_elefant, Carina from Jet Set or @jet_set, and Melissa from Isly or @melissapher.

Here is what I learned this past weekend while thrifting in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah!

1. Get Organized and Connected!

Friends Girlfriends Shopping Thrifting Thrift Store Shopping Salt Lake City Utah While the actual shopping was fun (yes! I admit it!), the whole thrifting experience would have been void without friends. Sharing your finds is half the fun, so having one person organize the event—invite people, create a schedule, e-mail information—was extremely helpful. Before the outing, I loved knowing who was going, getting pre-shopping tips, organizing carpools, and chit chatting back and forth on e-mail to generate excitement.

(From left: Allison, Marie, Emily, Carina, and Melissa)

2. Prepare an Itinerary.
Receiving a schedule of the thrifting events was awesome, because it gave us a play-by-play of the day's activity. That way, if we had to arrive late or leave early or only had a certain amount of time we could be there, we could plan accordingly.

3. Provide Pre-Shopping Tips.

Jack in the Box For non-thrift-shopping gals, receiving a few helpful pre-shopping tips like these made the whole experience easier:

  • If you're looking to buy furniture, measure the space in your house and bring the dimensions with you so you don't buy a piece that is too large or small for the space.
  • If you're looking to buy clothes or shoes, wear clothes that can easily be removed and put back on.

4. Choose Vintage Stores Close in Proximity But With a Variety of Products.

When shopping with 10+ gals, especially on a snowy day, make sure to schedule your stops close together. We went to several stores within walking distance and then drove to another two also within walking distance. I loved the diverse mix of products in each of the stores. I bought a red hat in Retro Rose and a cute silk dress at The Green Ant. Other stores sported bottle collections, furniture, a vintage Jack-in-the-Box, and extensive jewelry collections.

5. Tempt the Palate.

Creme Brulee Dessert Bakery Gorandies Salt Lake City Utah What's an outing without food? Starting and ending on a delicious note not only kept everyone's tummy's full and happy, but also provided an extra opportunity for socializing.

Choosing the eateries also played a role in both setting the tone and wrapping things up in savory style. We went foreign for breakfast with Belgian Waffles from Bruges and to Gormandise Bakery "famous for its spectacular desserts" for lunch.

6. Open Your Mind and Your Pocketbook, But Not Before Haggling.

Being a non-thrifting gal myself prior to this event, part of its success for me was simply being open minded. I didn't think the silky number would fit and wasn't in the mood to try things on. Peer pressure got me into the dressing room and out of the store with a cute dress perfect for me at a great price ($20 folks!). Of course, I had to be willing to pull out the pocketbook. Frugal isn't free! But, I did learn the price is always up for negotiation—a little friendly haggling!—one thing I wouldn't dare do at Nordie's.

7. Capture the Event!

One of the funnest parts of the experience was taking pictures as we went from store to store. Check out the entire activity on Whrrl by clicking here!

A seasoned thrifter? New to the game? Leave a comment with your tips, questions, or advice.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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