Looking cute on a thrift store budget

I am not a clothes horse or a fashion girl. Oh no. I have to make a conscious effort to look nice everyday. 

That's why it was really no big deal when I decided to get rid of half my clothes last year. However, I did replace a few of the things I donated with pieces I love and wear often. 

And the best part was most of them were free or less than $5 per item.

Thanks to credits at places like Schoola and ThredUp and shopping at my local Goodwill. 

Both Schoola AND ThredUp are offering $10 credits. when you sign up. 

SO I thought I would show you some of my frugal outfits and tell you how I came up with the outfit pairings. And give you some tips on how to look great while shopping at Goodwill and beyond.

Here are some tips when shopping at thrift: 

Look for things that are "NWT" new with tags.

When searching online boutiques like ThredUp put NWT into the search function to find thrifted items that have never been worn. 

When at a thrift or second hand store check the labels.

Don't pay $3.99 for something you could get for the same price new on sale. Instead, look for name-brand, top-quality items. 

Look for fabrics that look expensive.

These fabrics are heavier or have weaves that are thick. Just because you paid $3.99 for it doesn't mean it can't be or look high end.

If you can't tell try the scrunch and pull test. 

Don't forget: 

  • Check for tears, pulls or loose threads. 
  • Choose patterns that are vibrant and fabrics that haven't faded with wash and wear.
  • Choose items that have a clean lines and simple silhouettes.

If buying shoes or hand bags look for simple and basic and don't have a lot of chains, buttons or designs.


I got this Ralph Lauren sweater at Goodwill for just $3.99 and I paired it with my thrift store jeans ($4.99) and my Goodwill scarf ($1.99). Throw in my $2.99 JC Penney shoes and that outfit cost me less than $14. 

A photo posted by LydiaSenn (@thesennfam) on

Not bad for an outfit that is 90% thrift!

I know a lot of you are probably thinking "my Goodwill isn't that great." I understand, I really do. But keep looking, keep digging through those racks and you might just be surprised. 

What about you? How do you find cheap and cute clothes?