Winter Thrifting Tips

Winter can feel like a crummy time to thrift. We’re sluggish and uninspired, so the prospect of digging through the racks may be overwhelming. But in my opinion, thrifting is a four-season sport and there are many great bargains to be had even during the dark, cold months. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you hit the secondhand circuit this winter:

Winter CoatLayering items

The fine art of layering without lumps requires us to have some close-fitting underlayers. Why spend $10 a pop at Target when you can plunk down a dollar or two for tanks, tees, and long-sleeved shirts at the thrift store? Since these pieces won’t get close scrutiny and since they need to fit tightly enough that they may not be appropriate for stand-alone wear, scrimping on them just makes sense.

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Coats of all kinds

As the winter progresses, the coat section will become picked-over. But keep checking back. Coats are generally pretty durable items, so they’re good bets for thrifting at all times. And throughout winter, you’ll catch a few batches of fresh donations for heavier coats, but can also get a jump on spring jackets in leather, denim, and twill.


You might not find loads of sunhats and sarongs for your tropical getaway, but year-round staples like belts, handbags, and jewelry? Definitely. Like coats, accessories are durable goods so they tend to last longer than clothes, making them prime thrifting targets. And, of course, thrift stores are among the best resources for scarves! Winter is high scarf season, so now is the perfect time to thrift up a few silk squares and begin incorporating them into your outfits. Need help tying them? Try this post on accessorization basics.

Crafting supplies

Wintertime brings out the crafter in many people. Nasty weather and early evenings mean we spend loads of time indoors, and cooking up DIY projects can help make that cooped-up time feel more productive. Thrifted garments can turn into experimental sewing projects, supply cloth for smaller endeavors, or get refashioned into updated versions of themselves. Hit the accessories, jewelry, and housewares sections for craft supplies, too. If you need some inspiration, pop by I Spy DIY.

What will you be thrifting for this winter?



Sally McGraw

Sally McGraw is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer, blogger, and communications professional. She has contributed writing to local newspapers, magazines, and websites throughout her entire professional life, and is an ongoing style features contributor to the Huffington Post and Minneapolis Star Tribune. In addition to writing her popular daily style and body image blog Already Pretty, she has published a style guide titled Already Pretty: Learning to Love Your Body by Learning to Dress it Well which is available via Amazon. Sally offers personal shopping and style consultation services, both in person for clients living in the Twin Cities and via e-mail for clients worldwide. She firmly believes that style is a tool for self-love that should be accessible to everyone. Including you.


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