I Work at a Thrift Store—People in NYC Are Getting Rid of These 5 Things

For the past few weeks, I have been in an extreme state of closet clean-out. Living in a small New York City apartment is never easy when you're an avid shopper, and I've hit my limit. I have a hard time letting go of things that I once loved or never got around to wearing, so this has led to multiple rounds of self-interventions. My first round of cleaning out my closet was very light, and I quickly realized I had gone too easy on myself when I still did not have the room for the winter coats that I'll need to move into my home sooner rather than later. This entire conundrum led me to visit my local consignment shop more often than I ever have before.

During one of my recent appointments, one of the store managers explained to me the process of deciding whether they would be able to sell something or ask the customer to take it back with them. As the team members explained their process to me, I realized that this was something worth reporting on. Our most recent conversation included illuminating revelations, such as the death of Yeezys and the obvious fact that a lot of skinny jeans have been dropped off as of late. Below, you'll find the five things that Buffalo Exchange employees told me were making their way past the selling point and into the donation bins. Let's see if you can guess what they said.

Selling: Skinny Jeans

Buying: Anything But


(Image credit: @cocobassey)

Not to my surprise, the first item I was told was on the outs was skinny jeans. Hearing the store manager say that "people are trying to get rid of their skinny jeans because they haven't been wearing them a lot" didn't come at much of a shock because I've noticed a major shift toward looser or wide-leg styles. 


Selling: Costume Jewelry

Buying: Timeless Fine Jewelry


(Image credit: @emmaleger)

Remember those plastic rings people were obsessing over maybe even less than a year ago? Say farewell to those. "A lot of the jewelry people are selling is costume jewelry. … The plastic, beaded jewelry trends from Shein are going away, but gold and silver, plus any fine jewelry, are doing very well," they told me.


Selling: Lightweight Cardigans

Buying: Oversize Knits


(Image credit: @discodaydream)

I recently asked fashion editors what they're into right now, and a lot of them mentioned oversize sweaters. People cleaning out their closets clearly agree. "A lot of people are getting rid of their thin cardigans. They're more into that big, chunky knit style," the manager said.


Selling: Trendy Sneakers

Buying: Timeless Footwear


(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Maybe think twice before buying into a hyped-up sneaker trend. The manager told me, "I see a lot of sneakers. Everyone's getting rid of them, especially their Yeezys. A lot of people have been selling their regular Air Force 1s and Jordans too. People who aren't really into sneakers buy them to see how it feels, and they end up not being a sneaker person, so they sell them."


Selling: Micro Bags

Buying: Functional Totes


(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

I have been struggling with my love for a micro bag because, honestly, it's not practical. According to thrift-store employees, it looks like I'm not alone: "Most of the bags that people are [selling] are smaller handbags. Plus, a lot of people are getting rid of backpacks."


Up Next: Fashion Buyers Are Expert Shoppers—They Know Better Than to Buy These 4 Things

This post was previously published and has since been updated.

Associate Editor

Sierra Mayhew was always destined to work in fashion, but she didn't know it at first. Growing up with no choice but to wear a rotation of school uniforms and activewear, her love for fashion really blossomed when she moved away for college and was able to finally define her very own personal style. Shortly thereafter, she interned at Elle magazine and instantly knew that editorial was for her. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she worked for ShopBazaar, contributing regularly to Bazaar.com, and finally made her way to Who What Wear, where she is an associate editor. When she’s not working, you can catch her always trying to catch a flight, rollerblading through New York City traffic, or exploring the latest luxury vintage boutique.