Now, you all know I’m no fan of the must-have list. There is no one-list-fits-all set of classic items that will suit every possible body type, budget, and lifestyle. Plus, so many must-have lists overlook bodily diversity and try to shoehorn a huge array of body sizes and shapes into a single mold. Nevertheless, these lists can serve as good jumping-off points if you’re just beginning to build your wardrobe, or looking to take your style in a more conservative direction. And, of course, many “must-have” items are beloved by individual women regardless of their fashion-sanctioned status.
So here’s what I’m gonna tell you today: Countless classic items can be thrifted. Or, at the very least, nabbed for slightly higher than thrift prices on consignment. Here are just a few of the classic items that I see on a near-weekly basis at my local thrift shops.
Collarless Tweed Jackets
See those little J.Crew lovelies up above? They’ll run you $200 a pop. Similar styles can be found at Ann Taylor and Banana Republic at times and they, too, are in the $200 range. This style of jacket was hot for spring and will come back around again for fall and winter, guaranteed. I generally see between three and 10 in every thrift store I frequent, and most are $20 or less. Bought mine on consignment back in April!
Black Pencil Skirts
Some will be of questionable quality, but plenty will hold up to years of wear and tear. This style has been a classic for ages and has never truly gone out of style. But since women’s bodies and styles shift constantly, plenty a pencil skirt has been donated. And black is the most common color. I’ve seen them from size 00 to 28, too.
Skinnies have stuck around for more than a decade, but bootcuts were here first. And that means you can find them on the racks in every wash, rise, and variation imaginable. You can find them pristine and you can find them perfectly weathered. Bootcuts are fabulously thriftable.
YES. I know. They are controversial around here. But if you love ‘em – and I know I do – thrift stores are among the first places you should look. I may have bought two or three brand new button-fronts over the course of my adult life, but the rest are all thrifted. Prints, solids, cottons, silks, you name it.
Another style that’s never really gone “out,” and is therefore plentiful on the thrift racks! I’ve gradually phased out my sheaths, but over the course of the past six years have found them in every color from cobalt to navy to periwinkle, scarlet to brick to burgundy, classic black, winter white, and just about every other color you can imagine. I’d say that sheaths are the most common dress style on thrift racks.
Fellow thrifters! What other classic pieces have you seen in your secondhand haunts?
Images courtesy J.Crew