Thrifting 101: Accessories

Posted January 8, 2012 by in Shopping

I know firsthand that shopping at a thrift store can be a scary experience, especially if it’s not something you normally do. If you’re a little wary about trying it for the first time, start out by shopping for accessories before you attempt clothing. In fact, belts, purses, jewelry, and shoes are some of my favorite things to shop for at thrift stores. It’s easier because you don’t need a dressing room and accessories usually cost less than clothing.


Thrift stores have a surprising amount of belts, only costing between $1 and $3. The deals are so good that I almost never buy new belts anymore unless it’s an awesome deal — I can’t justify it when I know Goodwill has an identical belt for a quarter of the price.


Purses are really fun to thrift for, especially if you can get your hands on something vintage. Most purses at thrift stores are usually well-priced, but you need to make sure all the zippers and closures work and that there aren’t any stains on the inside.


You’d be amazed by the jewelry you can find at thrift stores. Among the cheap plastic bracelets, beaded necklaces and rhinestone earrings, there are bound to be great pieces (sometimes vintage!) hiding underneath all the crap. You just have to dig. Once you get your hands on that amazing vintage cocktail ring, you’ll know what I mean.


Shoes are a little more difficult to shop for, but totally worth it. Like most things at thrift stores, I usually find the best shoes when I least expect it. Every time I thrift, I skim over the shoes just in case something catches my eye. If you find a pair, don’t forget to try on both the left and right shoe and walk around in them a bit before you buy.

These are some of the shoes I’ve thrifted recently:

Above, the brown Italian leather oxfords were $5, the black leather boots were $12 and the red suede Sam Edelman heels were $3. If you’re still on the fence about thrifting, give accessories a chance first. Then, after you get the feel for thrift stores, move on to clothes!

Be sure to tell us what other tips and advice you’d like to know in preparation for your first trip to the thrift store! Share your questions in the comments below!