Book Giveaway: The Secondhand Wardrobe

I’ve got another giveaway for you this week. The Secondhand Wardrobe is a written by expert thrift store shopper Cheryl Gorn.  The book shares the ins and outs of making thrift store shopping productive while addressing the various issues that challenge the inexperienced shopper.

I personally love thrift stores. A few weeks ago I found a really fun jeans jacket for a cool $10.  Another recent find of mine was a brown jersey skirt that goes with all sorts of tops– $4. Love it.  (Clothing finds like these make my shoe habit at least a little more affordable.)

How about you?  Do you like thrift store shopping?  Enter to win a copy of this book by telling me what you find difficult– or delightful about thrift store shopping.  I’ll be picking a winner on Saturday!

{ No Comments }

  1. I LOVE a good thrift store find! I always try to go in with an open mind .. maybe I’ll find something great, maybe I won’t. Last week, we found 2 skim boards (we live 5 minutes from the ocean) for $4 a piece. My 8 and 10 year old boys were thrilled and I was happy to reinforce the lesson that good things can be found in thrift stores!

  2. I am addicted to thrift store shopping ever since I found a beautiful smocked dress for my little one for $4. I love getting her clothes at a thrift store because she grows so fast, it’s hard to justify retail prices….and most of the items look brand new! And my purchases help support a good cause. What I find most difficult is LIMITING my purchases…just because it’s a steal doesn’t mean we need it.

  3. I love thrift shopping for my family. The thing I don’t like is when the clothes are all hung randomly, not by size. I don’t like taking time to look through everything for the correct size. It worth it in the end though when I get the big bargain!

  4. I like thrift store shopping because there is enough on the planet already. I prefer, and find it more responsible, to reuse, rather than buy new.

  5. I love just about everything about thrift store shopping. I love all the different books to look through. It is so much fun to find an old loved book from my childhood or a new find. I like to buy my kiddos play clothes there (and I have found lots of nice church clothes also). I find many skirts there that can’t be found in retail stores. I love that I can pick up a 50 cent toy for my preschooler and he is happy all day playing with it.

  6. katherine says:

    my biggest challenge to thrift-store shopping right now is time. i have two young children (about to have another!) and thrift shopping with littles is even more difficult since you can’t just walk in to get what you want/need.

  7. I would love a little extra insight into thrift store shopping. I do shop at them from time to time, but often leave empty handed due to my lack of inspiration.

  8. Christy M says:

    I used to go to thrift stores all the time. I’m with Sophie – it’s responsible to buy things used than buying new and trashing old stuff. My husband for some reason doesn’t like thrift stores, but buys things off of Craigslist all the time. I don’t see a difference.

  9. My mom is a great thrift store shopper, and when I visit her, that’s when I shop:) Now I have a daughter, so I need to learn my own shopping skills to pass on to her.

  10. Sue from Buffalo says:

    What I find difficult in thrift shops is the same thing that I find difficult in other stores. Finding dresses that fit and don’t highlight my fat. lol. I’m not a size 12 anymore but I sure wish I was.

    I would love a copy of this book. Thanks for having this drawing, Mary.

  11. I love thrift shopping! It always gives me such a high when I find that perfect item for a fraction of the cost. My husband finds it hilarious that I tend to go as far as finding the clearanced items at the thrift store, lol. It can be a little time consuming to get all the good stuff since you have to go often in order to not miss anything, but I find it so worth it. This book looks wonderful! I am always looking for more tips!

  12. i enjoy thrift store shopping especially when i find something great. i have taken crew neck sweaters and made cardigans out of them for next to nothing. finding fun dress up clothes for the girls is fun also. another source is a consignment store. we have one in an upscale part of town that has great brands ~ banana republic, j. crew, anthro, and others that i would not buy full price. some things are pricey but finding banana republic or j. crew pants for $5 is a steal.

    i participate in a huge children’s consignment sale twice a year (200+ consignors) so in addition to making money selling my children’s clothes i am able to spend very little on their clothing needs. it’s rewarding clothing three children for what most of my friends spend on just one! friends are buying mall brands for their kids and i am getting talbot kids at the consignment sale for $4 for a uniform shirt.

    i love a bargain!

  13. Katy-Anne says:

    Honestly my biggest struggle of all with thrift store shopping in my local area is, at the Goodwill, the manager. He’s a nasty piece of work absolutely nasty to both his staff and the customers. The environment is so toxic I can’t stand to be there for long. It never used to be that way.

    At the other thrift store my frustration is they’ll sell you a floor puzzle as a “12 piece puzzle” and you find out it’s really a 24 piece but they sold it as a 12 just so they could claim they had 12 pieces. And this is a “Christian” store!

    I also find it terribly hard to find my size because in pants etc I need petites, but I have that problem at regular stores too. Oh, and I do find it hard in this area to find relatively trendy items there.

    I still shop thrift stores though because once in a while I find an absolute bargain. I found a size large formal dress (size large are hard to come by in formals) that looks great on me and I’m comfortable in and that I need to wear this weekend for just $3. I found new pants for my husband that he needed badly, too.

    This sounds like my type of book!

  14. The hardest part for me is going through the messy racks to find something worthwhile while keeping my children from destroying things in the store.

  15. I’ve begun shopping thrift stores for my oldest daughter and sometimes for my husband. I’d love to learn the ins and outs, though, because we’re at the point where we *need* to start relying on the thrift stores more. I don’t often make time for clothes shopping – about one week per season is all I can stand! So I need to make the most of it when I go!!

  16. I used to get kind of creeped out by other people’s clothes, but then became a convert. I’ve found some great stuff, and haunt several local shops regularly. My kids love thrift shop clothing because “it’s already soft”! 🙂 Plus they grow so fast that it’s ridiculous to pay retail prices for new clothes. ($30 for a child’s shirt?????) After we lost our jobs, the savings was a Godsend too.

  17. I’m not a patient shopper, so I have trouble taking the time to look through all the racks.

  18. I don’t do all that well in actual thrift stores, but I have found some great finds at consignment tag sales as well as at consignment shops for the kids. I personally don’t look for myself, but do scout out deals and items for my children. It has saved us so much money as a family!!

    I hate the lack of lighting in some stores or tag sales though – you buy what you think looks clean and then come home and see a stain. Usually I don’t pay much, so I just throw it in a donation box or trash it, but its frustrating to me.

  19. I really like the idea of thrift stores, but can’t seem to make it work for me. I’m not a “shopper” so I only go when I’m looking for something in particular, and usually with limited time. That doesn’t seem to work too well in a thrift store.

  20. I love the “idea” of thrift store shopping but feel like I could learn a lot more about how to do it effectively.

  21. I don’t enjoy spending hours weeding through stuff, so thrift stores are frustrating to me. Then again, so is regular store shopping! I have a hard time finding things that fit me, so even once I sort through everything to find the few cute things mixed in with the “homeless people won’t even wear that” stuff, I usually end up walking out empty handed. Men’s clothes seem easier, though. Most of my teen son’s current wardrobe came from the thrift store and he’s perfectly happy with it.

  22. I love a good thrift store, but I can’t always find my size. I get most of what my boys need though.

  23. I love thrift stores but you need to have time and be willing to make a trip and not buy anything. My favorite things to buy at thrift stores are handmade art, books, sweaters and tshirts for boys/men.

  24. I love thrift store shopping but I find that it takes more time than shopping a department store/Target if I’m really determined to find something worth buying. However, I do love the hunt.

  25. By far, the most difficult part of thrifing, for me, is that I can’t find clothing that fits! To be fair, with my height and inseam/really long arms, I can hardly find *new*/retail clothing that fits (I buy most clothing online because you cannot find my size in stores). This is starting to become an issue for my eldest who is built like I am.

    But for my other children, it is not an issue, and I love the cute things that I can find, without creating more stuff or supporting big-box retailers, and all at an excellent price!

  26. I enjoy it, but all the ones in our small town have a horrible clothing selection and NO changing rooms. 🙁

  27. I couldn’t imagine clothing my children without thrift stores. It is an incredible saving in our family. I get very excited about finding great deals on brand name clothes.

  28. The thing I find most difficult about thrift store shopping is that I always have my 5 boys with me and am currently expecting so I have a hard time seeing everything as I am usually going as fast as I can through the store!

  29. I love never knowing what I might find!!

  30. I’ve recently gotten tuned in to thrift store shopping and could fine myself becoming addicted! The challenge for me is finding the time to go. I prefer to go without my 2 preschool children and my husband travels a lot. So it’s hard to find a time when I can go and really look through things. Plus my favorite thrift shop is only open 2 days a week for limited hours.

  31. I love thrifting! I often use large sized clothing as yardage!
    Our goodwill has $1.29 sale on Mondays, gotta get there early, tho’ it’s a popular place!

  32. I enjoy thrifting. My problem with it, though, is location! I used to live in an economicly diverse area where I could find lots of great stuff. Now, I live in a retiree and low-income dominated area, and don’t find much at all. Since it takes so much effort and time to find anything around here, I’ve mostly given up.

  33. Hmm. I would be very interested in hearing some thrift shopping tips. I am a shopper – love, love, love shopping – and that includes some stores (Winners/TJ Maxx type places) that others find overwhelming. BUT, I detest the ambiance and (usually) fruitless outcomes anytime I check out a second-hand store. One problem for me is that I am tall, and end up giving away/donating half of my clothes after they’ve been washed, because legs and sleeves end up too short. So…lots of second-hand stuff has already suffered the shrinkage effect, and doesn’t work for me. I also really don’t tend to find anything I like at all. However, we have recently adopted three kids, and I plan to work as little as possible once my parental leave is over, so it has occurred to me that second-hand shopping, at least for the kids, could be a good plan, if I can make it efficient (which in comparision to ordering everything online from Old Navy, could be tricky).

  34. I love thrift store shopping. Sometimes I can’t handle the smell. Love when I find brand name stuff for the teenagers for CHEAP! What’s not to love about that? They love it too.

    • Charlotte, One of my favorite quotes from this book was from the daughter of the author. Upon walking into the thrift store, she sniffed deeply and said, “I love the smell of bargains!” I liked her idea of reframing the less-than-lovely smell into something that meant good things for her.

  35. I have an odd shape partially due to breast cancer surgeries. Tops with darts of any kind do not work for me. I like to use the thrift store as a source of clothing that was made a few years ago when blouses were looser and did not have darts. However, I have found the odor of scented laundry product and perfume impossible to remove and very offensive.

  36. I think it’s fun, as a kid I was embarrassed we had to, but now when i can with my 3 toddlers I venture in with the adventure of it!

  37. I found all my oldest son’s clothes at a local thrift store when we lived in Anchorage. I would come home with about 10-15 different combinations of outfits for him for around 7$. It was so nice having to not have to go to the bigger stores. We now use the same clothes for boy #2…they are still lasting. 🙂

  38. What I find difficult about thrift shopping is sorting through the sheer VOLUME of clothes. At the same time, I love shopping, so taking the time isn’t usually a problem.

  39. Jennifer Roach says:

    Last winter my youngest needed some warm weather clothes pretty bad and we just did not have the finances to get her what we felt was needed. So we went to a thrift store a co-worker had recommended and we found some really great things, as a matter of fact, some of them she will be able to wear this year again (PTL). That was our first real success at thrift store shopping. Otherwise I am overwhelmed and all the clothes so often look very worn (they have enough of that, most clothes we buy big so they can be worn the next year).

  40. I love thrift store shopping! I just got my 8 year old daughter a wonderful columbia winter coat for 6 dollars! It has been barely used and so, will most, definitely be able to be handed down to her sister when she out grows it!

  41. I love the element of surprise and the thrill of the hunt. You might go once and find nothing, but on your next trip you might find a whole cart-full of things on your list.

  42. I’d love to thrift shop more. But I don’t know how….I pick up a few items, bring them home, then can’t pair it with anything. The only thing that is a sure thing is Kids puzzles. I NEED THIS BOOK !

  43. I too love the thrill of the hunt. My favorite store benefits a charity I appreciate. That makes it even better. Lately my favorite thing to hunt is super huge, nearly new, solid color t-shirts because I can make them into comfy, cute jersey skirts for me OR dresses for my little girl. I also hunt really cute bed sheets. I like to sew too, but I don’t like paying retail for fabric any more than I like buying new clothes. So refashioning stuff from the thrift store is double fun!

  44. I buy my two-year-old’s clothes almost exclusively at thrift stores (mostly consignment). I like that it is arranged by size so I can look at ALL the 2T pants at once and choose the best ones. At retail, I usually see a rack of something I love and then they’re out of the size I need. The challenge is just the time it takes to sift through everything (especially women’s shirts) and that if something doesn’t fit quite right, you can’t go back and get the next size from the rack. I usually schedule a whole afternoon to go to a town 40 miles away that has 3 great consignment stores (Rock Valley, IA) and GO ALONE!

  45. I live in an area that only has ONE thrift store of any type. I love to go there, but would love more variety!

  46. I too hate sifting as my fave is sorted by colors and not sizes. UGH- Although when its half price day for everything, memorial and labor day, Ill definitely look;). I’ve found great xmas presents for the kids such as a marble run- that if they dont like it, im pretty sure I can recover my cost plus on it- so its a win, win!

  47. Juli boyd says:

    I love shopping at and donating to thrift stores. It is one of the ways we save money so we can adopt kids:)

  48. I have found some great stuff at thrift stores, especially baby clothes when my kids were babies. I don’t usually have the patience for them, though, and I don’t like shopping enough to make the frequent trips that are necessary. However, last weekend I finally checked out the shop run by the Junior League in my town and got some great stuff. Cashmere sweater for $20, Talbots wool jacket for $10, a winter jacket for my son for $10, a few other choice finds for $5 each. And the shop was set up perfectly for someone who doesn’t love shopping. I wanted a black cardigan, and women’s clothes are well sorted by size and color, so digging was minimal. Would love to get some pointers from this book!

  49. I love thrift store shopping! I have a number of favorite items that I bought for a great price and they seemed brand new when I purchased them. My greatest frustration when shopping at a thrift store is not being able to try on pants. I’m short and it’s already difficult to find well fitting jeans even in stores where I can try them on. We have one thrift store here w/ dressing rooms, but it has much higher prices-isn’t that always the way it turns out? 🙂

  50. I love thrift store shopping!! I usually pick up high quality baby clothing for pennies on the dollar of retail prices. Our new little one, due this January, already has a wardrobe