I’m obsessed with Value Village. I’ve written about it here, here, here and that’s only the beginning. There’s something wonderfully satisfying about finding a good piece of clothing in a thrift store. It’s easy to find a jacket that’s both cute and cheap at H&M, but getting a beautifully structured wool coat for $12.99 at “VV Boutique” is incomparable. The only issue is that the dry cleaning fee is usually more than the jacket itself. Both jackets in this blog post are 100% wool and were found at Value Village.

Thrift shopping can be great, but it is a vastly different experience than that of the perfectly curated shopping malls we’re used to. Many of my friends say that it isn’t for them, but I’m a firm believer that with a little practice, knowledge and preparation, it can be fulfilling for everyone. Just wait until you find your first designer bag for $40. It’s worth it.

My Value Village shopping guidelines:

  1. My number one rule for shopping at Value Village is being well rested. I love the process and often lose myself in the racks for hours, but if I’m hungry or hungover there’s no way I will enjoy it.
  2. Wear something comfortable with a cross-body bag or backpack. The racks are always overstuffed, so it takes two hands to search adequately.
  3. Wear something you don’t really care about. I’ve gone into VV wearing my favourites silks before and all I could think about was how dirty they were getting.
  4. Use a shopping cart and fill it with stuff to go through later. There are thousands of items inside Value Village, so pile in the items and narrow down your selections in a corner later.
  5. Start with shoes. I don’t know what it is about shoes, but that’s where you’ll always get the best finds at VV. I think it’s because footwear shows wear and tear more than other types of clothing, so people feel less inclined to consign and will choose to donate instead.
  6. Next up, the outerwear. Jackets are such a classic item, so wool coats and blazers are my other favourite things to thrift for. I love the men’s section for this too. Wool coats are insta-chic.
  7. Finally, the knit section is another that’s not to be missed. I prefer the men’s section for this too. I love oversized anything.
  8. A little addition is to check for scarves if you’re obsessed with silk like I am. My silk scarf collection from Value Village is both substantial and amazing.

**** Insider tip: staff add new items to the ends of the racks, so look there first. If it’s in the middle, it’s old and likely not as awesome.

All in all, the thrift store items in my closet are some of my favourites. Not only does each one remind of the moment I found it amidst the chaos of Value Village, but they also come with the story of how it belonged to someone else. Some of my truly vintage pieces have the name of the original owner embroidered on the inside. How magical is that? I cherish these garments more than anything I buy new and hope that you find the same love too.

The outerwear in this blog post is from Value Village and both coats cost under $20. With this price point, you can probably imagine how ridiculously large my jacket collection is…

Coats: Value Village – Hat: Tilley – Backpack: Tilley

Glasses: Clearly – Plaid Shirt: Thacker – Red bag: Henri Bendel