Fashion, Secondhand, Shopping

Thrift Tips

So I have talked an awful lot of what to thrift or items I want to thrift, the list goes on… However, I have yet to share my favorite thrift tips of how I actually get all of these items. As I’ve said before, I have been thrifting for what seems like forever, so I feel I am qualified to share some actual tips.

So here they are, my thrift tips *finally*

What to bring- A fully charged phone, backup battery, headphones, water bottle, and a snack. I make sure when I go thrifting to bring all of these things because I am fully aware, I could be there for a few hours. No joke.

When to go- Go as soon as they open. There are usually a few people who line up in front of the door, be one of those people. I hate getting up early, but if I have a good reason to, then I’m usually happier about it. I just add a cup of coffee to everything else I’m bringing.

What to wear- I usually wear a “real” bra (not a sports bra), jeans, shoes that are easy to put on and off, a cami or a T-shirt, and wear my hair up (possibly in a baseball cap). Makeup is debatable.

Go to the section you love the most, first– For me, it’s the shoe section. I love shoes. I am also a popular size, so that can make things difficult. What I also do is instead of looking for my exact size, I look for shoes I like, then check the size.

Smallest Size- When I thrift clothing, I start in the smallest size I am for tops/bottoms. I then work up to bigger sizes.

At least two sizes bigger- Look all the way from the smallest to the biggest size there is. Why do this? Vintage sizing. Vintage sizes are different from sizing today. Usually, your size in vintage is two sizes bigger than you wear now.

Look for colors, textures, and patterns- I am not a person who looks through every single item. I have a color pallet I stick to with my wardrobe. Therefore, I just look through those colors. From there I look for colors that don’t look faded or off-color. I also look for interesting textures and patterns.

If you kind of like it, put it in the cart- I have also made this mistake. If you kind of like it, just put it in your cart. You can always sort through the items you try on.

Take everything into the fitting room- I have made the mistake before of not brining in everything or not bringing the whole cart in. Some people go through other people’s carts. So if you can, bring in every item in your cart. If you have a certain number you can bring in 1. bring in your favorite items first 2. park the car directly outside your door 3. bring a friend, or ask someone in line if they can watch your cart.

Be nice to the cashier and the other employees- in a world full of rude people, don’t be one of them. Happy Thrifting.

Secondhand, Shopping, Sustainable Fashion

Things I Don’t Thrift…

So there are some things, I just don’t thrift. There, I said it. I have already told you all, that I don’t thrift undergarments, except if it’s something like a brand new sports bra, or brand new socks, etc. However, there are some things I just can’t thrift, even if I try really hard, and have to purchase brand new. This is a list of those items.

Snow boots- I live in Wisconsin; an awful and cold winter is inevitable. Therefore, you need heavy-duty snow boots. A lot of them that I have tried to thrift have cracks in them, are no longer waterproof, not my size or what I need. Since I have to buy them brand new, I invest in good boots so that I can have them for years.

Shoes- Shoes are weird. I can usually find some on sites like thredUp that fit, other times, I just have to buy them. I have a wide foot. I played soccer for a million years and I swear, my feet reflect that. So, for comfort and size, I have to buy shoes brand new. Since I do have to buy them brand new, I also invest in pairs I know I’ll wear for years.

Jeans- Jeans are also weird. I do usually buy jeans secondhand since I’m also on a weight-loss journey and jeans are usually the item that reflects that first. However, went I do down to a size I want to, I may buy some brand new because of the way they fit. I love American Eagle’s highest rise skinny jeans. They are actually tall enough in the torso so that they fit at my waist and now they come in “super short” which is my correct inseam–24 inches.

Hats, gloves, or mittens- Like I said, I’m from Wisconsin. It gets to be -60 degrees here, yes, that’s a negative sign in front of the 60. So most outerwear that I can thrift is made of wool. I have severely sensitive skin and it gives me hives. I still try and thrift pieces if they are not made of wool, but it doesn’t always happen.

Undergarments- No, just no. Unless it’s brand new, it’s not happening.

Overall, thrift first to see what you find. If you can’t find it, buy it new, but make sure it’s more of an investment piece– a piece you can wear for years.

Secondhand, Shopping, Sustainable Fashion

The Best Pieces I Have Ever Found

I have been thrifting for what seems like a million years. Which means I’ve come across my fair share of clothing… some uglier than sin but made a good laugh and others the perfect addition to my wardrobe.

Even after all these years, there are still some pieces that stand out to me as some of my favorite items. Most, I still own and wear years later–unless they are too small, then they sit in a box in my closet until I can wear them again. No Shame.

Here is a list of the best pieces I have ever found:

A pair of Tilt Jeans- When I was in middle school, all of the girls were wearing a specific brand of jeans from PacSun called Tilt Jeans. I wanted a pair of these so freaking bad, but they were too expensive. One day I was thrifting at Goodwill with my grandma, and there they were. Brand new, with the tags, still attached and in my size. I was so happy I almost cried. I wore these jeans until they ripped in half. Literally.

A vintage Anthropology Dress- I found this dress when I was just bumming around the Goodwill near my house in high school. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous. It didn’t fit that well in high school, so I never wore it but it didn’t matter to me. It lived in my closet for a couple of years until I tried it on one day, and it fit like a glove. I felt gorgeous. To this day, I still have this dress, the first dress I ever felt gorgeous in.

All of the vintage jeans by Levi and Tommy Hilfiger- I went to a city-wide rummage sale in Jefferson with my grandma in high school and found all of the vintage Levi and Tommy Hilfiger jeans a girl could want. (This was when vintage high waist jeans were just barely coming back in style.) I grabbed all of the ones around my size and the women were so happy to “finally” get rid of their old jeans. I paid $2 for about 5 or 6 pairs of Levi and Tommy jeans. Yup. $2.

Even more vintage Levi Jeans- I was thrifting at Twice Is Nice one day and stumbled upon a lot of vintage Levi jeans. I was so excited because I, like most people, gained weight after high school. So I bought all of the pairs around my size.

A suede L.L.Bean Coat- I have spoken about this one before, but I found a like-new L.L.Bean coat at Twice Is Nice for under $12. I loved it, but I have no idea what happened to it.

Secondhand, Shopping, Sustainable Fashion

Pieces I’m Looking For

Since my last post was about pieces I can never find, I wanted to tell you about the pieces that I am looking for. And can hopefully find. Because I am in the midst of the semester when everything is due at the same time and then exams will be coming. I will be stalking thredUp to find the pieces I want to add to my wardrobe.

I am also in the midst of rebuilding my wardrobe, so most of the pieces I’m looking for are basics. But I would like to find some blouses to hopefully go on some dates in–well, a girl can dream anyway.

Anyways… here is the list of the items I’m hoping to find on thredUp:

  • A Gray Sweater- I really want a basic gray sweater to dress up or down. I feel like this piece would go far in my wardrobe since it will match the color scheme I stick to.
  • Leggings- I just need ones that aren’t see-through.
  • Dressy Black Booties- I have two pairs of black boots and am looking to replace 1 pair and add another. I feel these are a must when dressing up and living in a cold climate because they are close-toed.
  • American Eagle Highest Rise Skinny Jeans- These jeans actually have a high enough rise to sit at my waist– I have a long torso and short legs.
  • Date Night Blouses- I just want some blouses to boost my confidence when I go on a date. Who doesn’t?
  • Basic Tops for Layering (tanks, Tshirts, Longsleeved Tshirts)- All of mine have holes in them and just need to be replaced.
Secondhand, Shopping, Sustainable Fashion

Things I Can Never Find

There are some things I can just never find. At all. It doesn’t matter what thrift store I go to, which is why I usually thrift these pieces on thredUp. But sometimes even they don’t have what I want- well in my size anyways.

I will say that it is much harder to find items you like when you are over a size 8 and over a size Medium. After that point, it seems like there is a lack of styles and clothes to choose from when you are “mid-size”… so anywhere from 10-14 or Large to XLarge.

Anyways, here is the list of items I can never find in my size:

  • Jeans that fit like a glove… I know this is a laughable dream. I can find jeans that fit, but the problem is I’m short. I’m barely 5’2 and my inseam is about a 24″. Which means I have to pay for alterations on top of paying for the jeans themselves. I was super excited when the frayed hem became popular because that was an easy fix.
  • Black Faux/Leather Motorcycle Jacket- I am forever in love with this style of jacket–thanks, Sandy. I have like a million pins of girls wearing this style of jacket. I love it so much, but I can never find one!
  • Black Over-the-Knee Boots- I’m not talking like Pretty Woman boots, but just a pair of faux/suede boots that go over my knee. That’s all I want.
  • Just about anything designer- Not that I care about labels, but it would be cool to find a designer purse or a clothing item. Although, I did find a pair of Mother denim jeans for $10 and for whatever reason, I left them at the thrift store. Yup. I left them

I’m sure there are plenty of other items I can’t find at the thrift store. But these are the ones that irk me considering I see other people finding them by the cart full on Instagram.

Secondhand, Shopping, Sustainable Fashion

Things to Always Buy Secondhand. Always.

Going off of my previous post about what to avoid while thrifting… there are some items you should always thrift. These items are usually in an abundance- in all sizes and cuts. Like, I mean 9 times out of 10 you can always find these items at the thrift store- any thrift store. I can’t even tell you the number of times I have been in a pinch and the thrift store has come through.

The items that I can always find are:

Slips/Shapewear- I swear, every thift store has these. Every one. Which makes sense because many of us have them for just one specific item or we have them and by the time we need them, they don’t fit. Sound familiar?

Khakis- I feel like the thrift store, especially Goodwill, is where all khakis go to die. I can 100% this is where all mine have ever gone. I am not a huge fan of khakis, and if I ever had a job where I needed them and then quit that job, they are the first thing to start the donate pile. I feel like I am probably not the only one who has done this because there is always racks on racks full of khakis.

Dress Pants- These have a lot in common with khakis, where again, Goodwill always has these. I am fairly certain, I have only ever bought dress pants here. No, I lied, every time but 1 time- which was an emergency.

Workout clothes- When I finally decide that I need to start working out again, I typically have to get new workout clothes. Usually, because I have gained too much weight to wear my previous ones. Then, when I lose the weight, all of them get donated. It’s a vicious cycle.

Printed Items- Okay, if I am looking for a certain print or want to add some print to my wardrobe, I always thrift it. At a thrift store, one of the first things I notice is that there is a sea of prints amongst the racks. Therefore, I just pick out the ones I’m drawn to so I don’t have to look through all of the clothes. I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s how I get through the racks faster.

Secondhand, Shopping, Sustainable Fashion

What I Avoid While Thrifting… Well, Kind Of.

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GIF Courtesy of

Now that we’ve discussed where to thrift, I want to share what I avoid thrifting, kind of.

There are many items that I am thrilled to thrift or get secondhand- tops like blouses and tank tops, sweaters even if they don’t contain wool (I’m allergic), jeans, especially jeans- I just make sure that is no wear in the inner thighs (thicc thighs save lives, right? well, they sure as hell don’t save my jeans), jackets and whatnot. Sure, this seems normal, like duh Alysha who wouldn’t thrift these items.


Where I draw the line is shoes, swimsuits, bras, and underwear- yes, a lot of these places sell used, I mean, secondhand underwear. NOPE, NOPE, NOPE, NOT FOR ME. Hard pass. You never know where they’ve been and what they’ve gone through. Just the thought has me cringing.

However, to all of these no’s, there are exceptions…

Shoes- This one truly depends on the pair of shoes because I have bought numerous pairs of shoes from all of my favorite thrift stores. I have bought new ones with the tags still attached or ones that have been gently used. I always, always, always disinfect them before I wear them. Why they are in the list of things to avoid is because it depends on your feet and how worn the shoe is.

*Some people could experience back pain from wearing other people’s shoes that have the previous owner’s footprint in them.

Swimsuits- I have bought a swimsuit or two from a thrift store. Goodwill particularly is a good place to find brand new ones with tags attached. But I have also bought one that was barely worn- it didn’t reak like chlorine- because it was high quality. However, that suit was also washed in hot water.

Bras- There have been times where yes, I did by bras from Goodwill. They were brand new with the tags on or some sports bras that looked brand new. They all just got washed in hot water. No big deal.

Underwear- Not this one, read the two exceptions above.

*Even if they were still packaged or had tags on them… I don’t know if I could do it.

What I am saying is that it all depends on the item and just how squeamish you are.

Secondhand, Shopping, Sustainable Fashion

Castaways Thrift Shop

*Review is of Castaways Thrift Shop in Janesville exclusively

Photo Courtesy of

Like Twice Is Nice, I love shopping here for its vintage-y charm. I also admire that again, like Twice Is Nice, Castaways has dirt-cheap prices that I, as a broke college student, can afford. I rarely leave here without a bag full of goodies, which also includes some knick-knacks.

If you haven’t gotten really into thrifting or how to navigate thrift stores yet, I would definitely pop into Castaways– it’s quaint, so you won’t feel too overwhelmed and you can also check out actual vintage pieces that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Here are the pros and cons of Castaways Thrift Shop:


Selection- I love being able to get vintage pieces here and they have the cutest knick-knacks. I once found a vintage Fossil purse here that had $15 in it! Double score!

Clean- I’m sure you get it by now.

Cheap- I would say the prices are comparable to Twice Is Nice… even the vintage Fossil purse was only like $7.

Quaint- It’s adorably cute because it’s so small, but that doesn’t mean I won’t spend a few hours looking at everything. However, if you were in a time-crunch you could easily look through everything in an hour.


Cash Only- Just remember to bring cash. Enough said.

Picked Over- Occasionally, I have come in and there was almost nothing on the racks. I guess I was the only one who didn’t know there was a sale that weekend. If this ever happens, come back the next day and you’ll have the first dibs on all the new stuff. It happens.

Secondhand, Shopping, Sustainable Fashion

Agrace Thrift Store

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*This review is of the Agrace in Janesville exclusively

I don’t often go to a lot of curated stores because I like to search for the best items myself. However, I do enjoy coming here when I don’t have the longest time to thrift or feel like rummaging through numerous racks like at Goodwill. I feel like I can always find something here and the quality of the items are basically brand new so what could be better? (other than thrifting in your pajamas, in bed… I mean sometimes, you just have to leave the house to thrift, okay?)

Agrace is set up like a cute little boutique and offers other items besides clothes and accessories, like dishes and furniture. You truly feel like you’re shopping in a higher-end store. It’s adorable and quaint.

Here are the pros and cons of Agrace Thrift Store:


Selection- I do appreciate that their selection is curated and the fact that everything is in great condition. I really can’t complain about that, especially when their white T-shirts are actually white and not stained. I also feel that this is a great place to start if you’re just getting into thrifting or shopping secondhand.

Clean- This is just a given by now. Agrace is set up like a little boutique so of course, it’s clean.

Rewards Club- Agrace has a punch card and for every $10 you spend you get a punch. It takes 10 punches, so $100, to get $10 off your next purchase.


Pricey- I adore this place but sometimes, being a broke college student, some items are still a bit pricey, but on the other hand, they’re basically brand new. So is that a con? You tell me.

Secondhand, Shopping, Sustainable Fashion

St. Vincent De Paul Review

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Photo Courtesy of MapQuest

*This review is of the St. Vincent De Paul of Lake Mills exclusively

Yes, I am fully aware this place doesn’t look like much from the outside and you may have some preconceived notions. But if you’re into labels this is your place!

I always find name brand items here, and sometimes they even still have the tags attached. I have even picked up some vintage Gap jeans that had all of the tags attached and they were only $10. I know that may sound a bit pricey, however, $10 compared to brand new jeans elsewhere is still a pretty damn good price.

I also come here for the books, so if you’re still into reading paper copies, I highly recommend looking in their book corner.

Here are the pros and cons of St. Vincent De Paul in Lake Mills:


  • Clean- I think we all know by now that I only shop at clean places. Nothing new.
  • Selection- As I mentioned above, they have a decent selection of name brand items in both men and women’s clothes.
  • Student and Senior Discounts- On Tuesdays, you can receive a discount on your purchase if you are a Student or a Senior Citizen. I believe the discount is between 10-20% off.
  • Sales- They normally have a colored tag sale per week where you can get items with the selected tag for a discount.


  • Pricey- I hate to say it, but this place has gotten a bit overpriced in the last couple of years. I can understand charging a bit more for brand new items with tags on… but charging $10

*except for the jeans I mentioned above, after all, those were at least vintage.