Refashioning 101: Refashionista Thrifting Tips

November 9, 2015Sheri Pavlović

Shopping second hand, reusing and thrifting are the easiest ways to begin creating an ethically sustainable wardrobe and there are loads of tips online for those wanting to find out how to score a stylish charity shop outfit at a bargain price but what about thrifting specifically to refashion and upcycle?

Refashionista Thrifting Tips header

As I only use pre-loved items in my projects I’ve become quite savvy at discovering potential in the secondhand gear that others (thankfully) disregard while thrifting. Take a peek at my Refashioning 101: Refashionista Thrifting Tips and let your imagination run wild during your next trip to the charity shop.

refashionista thrifting tips fabrics

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1. Size is never an issue when thrifting to refashion. Scan the racks for fabrics that speak to you, if you love the material of a garment but the style/fit doesn’t suit you it can easily be transformed into something that does.

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2. Check absolutely every section. I’ve discovered fabulous prints in the kid’s area that can be chopped out to create groovy appliques or patches and menswear is marvelous for muted tones and classic fabrics.

refashionista thrifting tips textiles

3. The textile department is chock full of awesome material. Amazing projects can be created out of those wonderfully patterned and embroidered table cloths, bedsheets, curtains, doilies and handkerchiefs!

upcycled brooch bracelet tutorial

4. Have a sift through the piles of quirky costume jewellery. Those tacky bits of bijou can easily be upcycled into fantastic one of a kind accessories.

Refashionista thrifting tips

5. If the shoes fit get them! Finding comfortable footwear is always a challenge so if you’re fortunate enough to discover the perfect fit, a not-your-style look is easy to fix.

6. Get to know your charity shop staff, a smile and friendly chat about thrifting and upcycling can most definitely bring you some awesome deals + a peek through the back room treasure trove!

I’ve heard so many silly and just plain illogical reasons from anti-thrifters for NOT shopping secondhand that I thought a wee bit of an educational video was in order. Meet my amusing cast of characters and discover why thrifting and reusing should be an important part of everyone’s life:

Check out my entire Refashioning 101 series right here.

For loads of funky upcycling DIYs take a peek at my tutorial index and always remember to keep up your Passion for Refashion!

Comments (6)

  • Refashioning 101: Refashionista Thrifting Tips – Confessions of a Refashionista

    November 10, 2015 at 1:57 AM

    […] in the secondhand gear that others (thankfully) disregard while thrifting. Take a peek at my Refashioning 101: Refashionista Thrifting Tips and let your imagination run wild during your next trip to the charity […]

  • Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing and Crafting

    November 11, 2015 at 4:48 AM

    These are great tips and I agree with them all! Well, except perhaps the shoes. I was brought up always hearing that people, kids especially, shouldn’t wear shoes worn by others because the shoes take the shape of the foot. I’m not sure how true it is, but I can’t seem to get that out of my mind! :) Lisa

    1. Trisha

      September 28, 2016 at 10:45 PM

      Lisa,I definitely agree with you about kids shoes. They do take on the shape of the previous owner’s feet, I would consider buying secondhand shoes for myself, if they had little wear. And don’t forget to thoroughly disinfect the insides! Trisha btw I live in Canada and can’t get over the crazy low, low prices you pay in the States!

  • Michele

    December 15, 2015 at 9:26 PM

    Love your video, so funny and yet educational too. Love your quirky nature, It is nice to know that being smart, savvy and funny is so cool. Cheers, Michele

  • Kristi Stone

    March 18, 2016 at 4:57 PM

    Ok—I absolutely love you. All that you said in your video on reasons why we should thrift make so much sense. As a person who is just getting into refashioning thrifted clothing, I agree with you, and am thankful that you’ve got so much to offer me as I’m learning this skill. Thanks!

  • Aimee

    January 11, 2017 at 10:24 PM

    I recent lost about 20 lbs (yay!) and it meant I went from an 8 to a 4, sometimes a 2 (yay! Boo?)

    I had to replace ALL my clothes except for a few sweaters and socks. Everything.

    So I bought a new-to-me, much better-quality wardrobe almost entirely at Goodwill (I did buy brand new underwear and bras, but even those I got at a local discount store – Aerie brand bras for $7 each!). Goodwill is wonderfully hit or miss so I go every couple weeks and I come home with an enormous bag of gorgeous clothes for about $50. That would buy MAYBE one pair of jeans at the Gap.

    It is literally THRILLING for me to thrift shop. I am also an avid knitter and I have bought out-of-date sweaters made from high-quality yarn… I unravel them, wash the yarn, and make something new!

    My friends and family don’t understand my love of thrift shopping….. but I’ll never go back to “regular” retail…. boring!

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