Every Cool Item I Tried, Discovered, and Loved From a Week of Thrifting


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

One of my earliest and fondest childhood memories is scuffling through racks of musty old clothes at the local secondhand store with my mother. Back then, my recently widowed mom relied heavily on thrift-store finds (or charity shops as we call them in England) to settle us into our new home in the U.K., where we had moved to from my birth country, Paraguay. 

Rummaging through thrift and vintage stores was something we did a lot, and it's a shopping ritual I wholly believe lead to my enduring love affair with fashion. The clothes that enveloped me as I ran under the racks of hanging textures and colors were unique and of beautiful quality and told a story. But more importantly, we wore the heck out of the pieces we bought, and they were priced perfectly within our means.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

Today, my job as a fashion editor is about covering all things cutting-edge and new, but I still maintain a deep-rooted connection to thrifting. There is nothing quite like the thrill of finding a one-of-a-kind piece that you know no one else will be wearing. Moreover, I love the benefits of secondhand shopping. Not only does it maintain individualism, but it also offers affordable access to designer brands. (Below, see the Prada heels I found for just $40!) Not to mention, thrifting is cost-effective, favors quality over quantity, and encourages sustainability—a topic I've become more mindful of as I've matured.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

In an effort to slow down my fast-fashion purchases and get out of the habit of always shopping for the "new”, for the past week I dove into thrift shopping again—a little online, but mostly at my local thrift stores where I live in Santa Monica, CA—and honestly, it's been thrilling—and equally frustrating (especially when you find something you love, and it's not in your size!).

Take a peek below to see all the cool items I tried, discovered and loved after a week of thrifting along with the outfits I styled with the pieces I bought. And keep scrolling for a few tips if you're wanting to delve into online thrifting, then shop some of my favorite secondhand picks I've found recently.

Thrift-Store Finds

The beauty of thrifting is you never know what you're going to find. When shopping secondhand online, you can be a little more specific with your searches. For example, a "vintage red sweater" search brought up a myriad of options with varying prices. But since I mostly shopped IRL this week, I scored some unexpected pieces. While I went shopping with a loose game plan and specific trends in mind, I kept an open mind, and the fun part of the experience lay in the unpredictable fashion gems I stumbled upon.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

I found this cool striped set by Velvet by Graham Spencer at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop in Santa Monica and was drawn to its effortless, of-the-moment nature. It was $30 and supremely soft and comfy. 

Accessories, particularly earrings, are an item I always look out for when thrifting. I ended up getting the chic black-and-gold pair for just $7. 


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

As I mentioned earlier, thrifting is a great way to gain access to designer pieces for reduced prices. I was able to secure these chic black Manolo Blahnik sandals for just $40 at my local thrift store. The Givenchy gold necklace and absolutely stunning beaded bag were amazing finds, and I hope someone scooped them up because I was bummed I didn't! I did, however, get my hands on this Barbiecore-pink vintage suit for just $25.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

Special-occasion dresses are aplenty when it comes to thrift shopping. I found so many great ones, including this vintage Saks Fifth Avenue dress, which was priced at just $55.

These silver Ann Taylor sandals were a no-brainer from my local Crossroads Trading, which I picked up for $18. Metallic shoes are having a major moment right now, so it was an affordable way to get in on the trend.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

Did I buy this stunning vintage wedding dress? Why yes, I did. And yes, I'm already married. I absolutely could not resist. It was in immaculate condition, and the fabric and details were just too pretty to pass up. I'm not sure if I'll tailor it to a minidress or perhaps wear it for my 10-year anniversary, but this was actually my most exciting thrift find of the week, especially as it was half off that day and I managed to get it for just $60! 

Here are more amazing finds—these Prada slingbacks I scored on Depop for $40, a cute rosette satin bag that feels like it could have come straight off a Sandy Liang runway, and a few '80s earrings—all under $50. I was also stoked to pick up a mother-of-pearl necklace for $25. 


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

These boots are one of my favorite thrift store finds. They're made of buttery soft leather and I scored them for just $25 at my local Salvation Army. The heel height and silhouette is just perfect.

Elevated basics such as a white rib maxi knit dress, a chic striped button-down and cool wedges were more pieces that caught my attention while thrifting this week.

How I Styled My Thrift-Store Finds


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

These tall leather boots are super easy to integrate into my everyday outfits. I styled them here with a simple black mini, a white tank top, and relaxed blue stripe button-down for a perfect summer-to-fall look.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

I styled these blue striped boxer shorts (a fashion-person favorite right now) with a white tank, pearl necklaces, and prim ballet flats for a summer outfit for vacation, the farmers market, or brunch with friends.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

Perhaps it's the effect Barbiecore has had on me, but when I saw this amazing pink vintage skirt suit, I fell head over heels. While it's a little big for me (but easy to get tailored), it's one of those pieces I can throw on, and everyone will ask, "Where did you get this from?!" I styled the chic collarless blazer with a denim miniskirt, ballet flats, and silver jewelry to keep the look current.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

The perfect LBD does exist! This vintage satin minidress was such a score at just $18 from the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop in Santa Monica. The silhouette is very on-trend right now, and it's beautifully made. It's so chic when styled with black ballet flats, shades, and a chic black bag.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

This white DISSH dress currently retails for $160 and I was lucky enough to sift it out of a sea of dresses at my local Salvation Army—priced at $25! I'll style it simply with white thong sandals as we head into fall.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

When thrifting, I keep an eye out for colors that are trending from season to season. Fiery red is one of fall's biggest color trends this year, and when I spotted this vintage cardigan-jacket, I knew I had to have it for the upcoming season. I styled it with loose denim to give the vintage piece a fresh look.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

Silver shoes are having a major moment right now, so when I saw these pretty strappy Ann Taylor sandals at my local Crossroads, I immediately secured them. They add an elegant touch to any outfit. Here, I styled them with a chic black dress for a birthday party I recently attended.

Where to Thrift Online

While thrifting IRL is unquestionably thrilling, I'm not going to lie—it can also be extremely time-consuming and requires patience (with a capital P!). If you're more inclined to shop online, I've listed my cheat sheet of starter sites where you're guaranteed to find something to suit your taste and budget.


(Image credit: Who What Wear)

If you're looking for vintage pieces, in particular, here are a few of my favorite shops on Etsy.


(Image credit: Who What Wear)

With the secondhand market booming and such a wide variety of online sellers and sites catering to every taste, there's really no reason not to shop secondhand and sustainably right now. Depop's brand and marketing director, Steve Dool, gives me some insight: "The secondhand market, which is projecting $82 billion in sales by 2026, continues to see dynamic growth globally, but particularly in the U.S.

So what are people buying? "After an explosion of micro-trends and 'cores,' we're seeing fatigue from such fast-paced fashion cycles. Make no mistake: Trends still come and go. We're just not moving through them at a breakneck pace, as we have in the recent past. Depop's audiences are becoming more aware of their shopping approach, thinking deeply about what to invest in and mixing trends to play into complete looks that serve their closet as a whole. Overarching themes of sportswear and stealth wealth are still prevalent. Quieter, subdued versions of boho and sea-inspired trends are replacing glaringly obvious trendy pieces. Flowy, long skirts, button-downs, and denim along with sheer dresses, shell-inspired colors, and fun sandals make for easy summer dressing," explains Dool.

Shop My Current Favorite Thrifted Finds

Judith Jones
Senior Fashion Market Editor

Judith Jones is the senior fashion market editor at Who What Wear who specializes in shopping content and trend stories with high-affiliate impact. She shares the coolest, most desirable fashion market finds and brands for every budget. Previous to working in fashion, Judith worked as a TV host on the PBS travel show Globe Trekker (airing on Netflix and Amazon Prime) sharing her passion for travel and culture.