Thrift Store Finds – Eight items worth buying at your local thrift store
Above photo credit: pixeljones
New is nice. But when a budget is ultra-tight, it’s not always necessary to be the first owner of an item. Thrift stores and flea markets don’t seem like the most stylish places in the world, but you’d be surprised at what you can find there. And short of picking something up off the side of the road for free, the prices literally can’t be beat.
Sure they can be haystacks, but there are basic and classic needles stashed inside. Know what you’re looking for, don’t expect to find something each time you walk in, and understand that your going to have to see your tailor and dry cleaner before you wear any of this stuff. Here’s eight good looking items that you shouldn’t be too difficult to find at your local thrift or secondhand store…
1. Outerwear: American Apparel Trench Coat – $12.75
Almost every thrift store I’ve ever stepped in has always had an abundance of overcoats and trench coats. Even in the dead of winter when you’d think those things wouldn’t stay on the racks that long. When you’re thumbing through the coats, take a look at the tags. I’ve seen everything from J. Crew to Woolrich to the trench you see above made by American Apparel.
2. Blazers: 100% Wool Blazer – $7.50
Remember that most thrift store blazers have huge potential. All you have to do is get them tailored. Stick with the 100% wool ones, and make sure they’re not packing major shoulder pads. Also check to see how far down the buttons dip in front. They used to make some blazers with a ridiculously low button stance back in the day.
3. Sweaters: Gap Merino Wool V-Neck – $4.50 a piece
Yes there are tons, TONS of v-neck and crew necks at your local thrift store that are only good for bad sweater parties. But every once in awhile you can stumble across a GAP or Banana Republic merino wool V-neck like one of these. For under $5, I’ll pick up either a medium or a large. Great for layering and pretty durable.
4. Ties: Austin Reed 100% Wool Tie – $2.50
Like sweaters, 98% of the ties you’ll find are neck-wear abominations. Nothing worse than searching through a pile of ties only to accidentally hit the “on” button on a singing Christmas tie, and have the sh*t scared out of you by the sudden playing of Jingle Bells. It’s worth it though, because every once in awhile you’ll find an old, slim, wool one like this Austin Reed.
5. Casual Button Downs: Old Navy Button Downs – $3.50 each
Man cannot live in dress shirts alone. The casual button down is what a lot of us reach for on the weekend, and looks great under one of those merino wool v-necks. Just check the neck and pits for stains.
6. Vintage Trim Fit T-Shirts: Fruit of the Loom 50/50 Made in the USA Tee – $1.50
We all have a favorite T-shirt. Here’s mine. It’s a 1996 Watertown (WI) Park and Rec softball t-shirt. It’s a 50/50 blend, insanely well fitting, soft, and has been washed and dried 50,000 times. It was also made in the United States once upon a time. They don’t make em’ like this anymore.
7. Glassware: Brandy Snifter / Old Fashioned / Double Old Fashioned – $0.50
Most of us have cupboards overflowing with pint glasses. If you don’t or need something specific (like a brandy snifter or short single old-fashioned glass) hit the thrift store. You can stock up for mega cheap. Check the rim of each glass for chips. The last thing you want is to slice your lip and end up with a bloody drink.
8. Cars: 1977 Chevy Malibu – $1700
When Grandma or Grandpa has to give up their ol’ grocery getter, it often gets sent to a thrift store with a car lot. Not all of those cars are AMC Gremlins. You can get a sweet vintage car for mega cheap at a thrift store lot, but… they’re sold as is and most of the time the guy doing the selling doesn’t know anything about the vehicle in question. Nor does he care to learn. If you don’t know much about cars, bring a friend that does. Preferably one that has his or her own classic that they work on.
Your turn. Ever find something incredible at a Thrift Store? Leave it in the comments section below.