I graduated high school in 1995 and I remember the stigma around ‘Goodwill clothes’ as a teen. Back then it was not considered cool to thrift shop. You were singled out as ‘poor’ or teased for wearing worn clothing. You felt that not only was name brand what you needed, but it was also where you bought it. Had I known back then the tips to thrift shopping, no one would have ever known where I bought the name brands I was wearing. Today is different!
Today, thrift shopping is trendy. That is because the styles are lose, colorful and a step back to the ‘Stranger Things 80’s’. Recently, Anthony and I attended a media fashion event at our local Goodwill store. This invent included teen models and aspiring fashion students who were able to talk to Mom’s about the in’s and out’s of todays fashion and how Goodwill offers the choices needed to put together your child’s style. From ripped jeans to Converse, we saw it all there.
So, how do you thrift shop? We were not caught dead in a thrift store 25 years ago and now our kids style tells us to shop here. It can be overwhelming to step inside a thrift store to racks and racks of clothes. Where do you start? Anthony and his school friend paired up with a College student for the shopping experience at our local Goodwill. Here is what he (and I) learned.
You will find what you are looking for! Because donations come in daily, the clothing arrives on the racks daily. If you become a frequent Goodwill shopper you will find yourself coming back more than once a week at times because you realize how quickly new stuff arrives on the rack. If you have a list of wants and needs for your kids, you can get it all and keep checking back to fulfill their lists.
You save more than you think you would! We all know that thrift stores prices are low due to the clothing being pre-owned and sometimes never even pre-worn. We found a lot of items with new tags still attached on the racks. On top of the everyday thrift prices, they have tag sales. When we were there Goodwill had 2 different tag sales – a yellow .99Cent and a red 50% off. On top of lower thrift prices and tag sales, most Goodwill regions offer discount calendar days like Student Sundays, Senior Tuesdays, Military Wednesday and Fan Fridays for additional savings on most items. It doesn’t stop there! Our local (South West Washington) Goodwill stores have a Denim BOGO (buy one, get one) coupon runs Aug 19 – Sept 1 (and) a BOGO mug for college students that expires Aug 17 (Coupon).
Thrift shopping relieves daily pressures! If you have older kids you may realize that as they move through high school and into College their style changes. It almost relaxes. They hit years of harder homework, tighter deadlines and now jobs and having to spend their own money so suddenly cheap and comfy is in. It is in because it is easy. They stayed up all night getting that assignment done and nothing feels better than a favorite pair of sweats and hoodie in the morning to head out the door. Goodwill is a place to offer these options for your older teen. Comfy, big and worry-free from high prices.
Thrift shopping teaches a budgeting lesson! What is that lesson? There are options with your money. At age 15, all parents are ‘loaded’ and wanting the big brands at large department stores is no skin off their back because they have no clue. If you walk into a thrift store and hand them an envelope and challenge them to check everything off their list and stay within that budget it is fun to see what they can put together. If they really want ‘name brand’ head to the mall after the thrift store and hand them the same envelope (as a tool) and challenge them to spend the same $50 or $100 there). These are teens, they don’t get it until they see it actually drawn or played out. Reminding them they are getting 2 items at that department store versus 10 is the difference that opens their eyes. It did for Anthony.
The last reason for thrift shopping is that your clothes are already worn in! No multiple washing or the discomfort of new and stiff. Whether you find a great pair of jeans or new jacket, it has the break in already and nothing feels better than a great, relaxed pair of jeans ready to bring you comfort all day right from the start.
These local teens made thrift shopping fun and cool! One of these gals has even been noticed by the European fashion community for her tips and topics as she makes finding trends in Goodwill enticing. You now see celebrities and Instagramers thrifting and it is now OK to be seen in Goodwill, so take advantage of that. You’re wallet will thank you. Make sure you sign up for the deals and offer announcements.
One more way to save that I forgot to mention is to donate! Bring those old items in and grab your 30% off 1 item so that when you find that piece you like and it is not currently on sale you have a coupon.
Looking through displays like our Goodwill store has of outfits and styles is great inspiration like the ones in the above collage that our student models picked out around the store. They found styles from the Skater, to the Stranger Things 80’s, casual and the soft female. Don’t forget the backpack, dorm supplies and school supplies while there. They have it all and Goodwill has a Back to School DIY page for inspiration.
1 lucky Western Washington reader will win a $50 Goodwill Gift Card. (see this store locator to see if your area qualifies, note Seattle and North does not qualify). Giveaway ends on 8/27. Enter below and good luck!$50 Goodwill Gift Card