14 Brands to Look For at Thrift Stores | ShopGoodwill.com — blog.shopgoodwill.com (2024)

Every thrift shopper knows how much of a treasure trove thrift stores are when it comes to finding quality second-hand items at a good price. Imagine finding a vintage piece in good condition, like a pair of denim pants from Levi's that's worth $150, and then getting it at the price of $15! Impossible? Not at all! Good deals like this are a normal thing in the world of thrift shopping, which is why many come back for more.

With that said, some deals are better than others, depending on the brand you thrift. We’ll dive into the various brands that make thrifting for clothes an exciting and sustainable adventure!

Here are 14 brands to look for when thrifting:

1. Patagonia

Eco-conscious Outdoor Gear:

When you snag a Patagonia jacket or vest from the racks, you’re not just picking up a piece of clothing; you’re embracing a legacy of environmental stewardship. Known for their commitment to sustainability, Patagonia items are a must-have for those who cherish the great outdoors and want their gear to have a minimal environmental impact.1 Patagonia finds always feel like a win for both your wardrobe and the planet. After all, that’s one of the many benefits of buying secondhand clothing.

Here are items to keep an eye out for:

  • Fleece Jackets

  • Vests

  • Outdoor accessories like durable backpacks and hats

2. Levi's

Timeless Denim Classics:

Durable, timeless, and stylish, Levi's jeans and denim classics show the spirit of American fashion.2 Spotting a pair of vintage Levi’s jeans, a true vintage brand, is like finding gold in the wild West of second-hand shopping. Whether you’re dressing up for a night out in New York or keeping it casual in San Diego, Levi’s offers that perfect blend of comfort and cool.

Look out for these treasures:

  • Vintage jeans

  • Denim jackets

3. Nike

Peak Performance Sports Apparel:

Just do it—thrift it, that is! Nike is known for its performance and fashion, making it a high-demand brand in thrift stores across the globe. Nike gear is perfect for the sporty thrifter looking to add some style and class to their workout wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Essential items you should find include:

If you happen to score a pair of Nike sneakers, check out our guide on how to clean used shoes to bring them back to life.

4. Banana Republic

Polished Everyday Fashion:

For those who enjoy a bit of style in their everyday attire, finding Banana Republic items in a thrift shop is a true delight. Known for their refined aesthetic that connects the casual and the professional, Banana Republic clothes allow you to look stylish without the splurge. It’s the go-to brand for pieces that are as suitable for a boardroom as they are for a Sunday brunch.

Classic pieces you may find include:

  • Workwear (i.e. blazers and trousers)

  • Casual tops

  • Accessories like belts and scarves

5. Lululemon

Stylish and Functional Athletic Wear:

Calling all yoga enthusiasts and fitness gurus! Lululemon is a brand for thrift shoppers looking for premium athletic wear. High-quality and stylish, Lululemon apparel supports your most ambitious stretches and poses, ensuring you look good and feel great, whether it’s during a coffee run or a Pilates session.

Here are the items you can thrift:

  • Yoga leggings

  • Sports bras

  • Other athleisure wear

6. North Face

Durable Outdoor Essentials:

For the adventurers among us, North Face represents rugged durability and outdoor appeal. Thrift store finds from North Face are often perfect for hiking or camping trips. Plus, scoring this brand at a thrift shop feels like conquering a mountain peak in terms of both savings and style.

Gear up for adventure with these potential finds:

  • Jackets

  • Footwear (i.e. sturdy boots for hiking and everyday wear)

  • Camping gear (i.e. sleeping bags and backpacks)

7. Columbia

Adventure-Ready Apparel:

Columbia sportswear is all about embracing the great outdoors. Perfect for those chilly mornings or windy evenings, Columbia’s jackets and boots are designed to keep you warm and dry, making them a top pick for thrifty outdoor enthusiasts!

Here's a list of items from this brand that you can potentially thrift:

  • Weatherproof jackets

  • Hiking boots

  • Fishing gear

8. Coach

Luxurious Accessories:

Elegant, timeless, and always a sign of sophistication, Coach handbags and accessories are luxury thrift finds. Finding yourself a Coach purse or wallet amidst the thrift store shelves is like discovering a designer gem at a fraction of the cost. It's a little luxury that goes a long way in boosting any outfit – perfect for those who appreciate the finer things in life but are cautious about their spending.

You can thrift these elegant pieces:

  • Handbags (from crossbodies to shoulder bags)

  • Wallets

  • Belts

9. Ralph Lauren

Classic and Elegant Apparel:

Ralph Lauren is more than just a brand – it’s a statement of class and timeless style. Whether it’s a well-cut blazer or a crisp polo shirt, finding Ralph Lauren in a thrift store, like other designer brands, is like striking gold. Ideal for both casual gatherings or more formal occasions, these items bring an air of elegance that’s hard to beat, making every thrifter feel like they’ve got a designer label without the hefty price tag.

Be on the lookout for these classic items:

  • Polo shirts

  • Sweaters

  • Dress shirts

10. J. Crew

Smart-Casual Staples:

J Crew offers that perfect mix of classic and contemporary that can brighten up any wardrobe. Their items are known for their clean lines and modern fit, making them a favorite among thrifters who are looking to add smart-casual looks to their collection. Whether it’s a chic skirt or a sharp button-down, J.Crew garments are all about bringing a touch of class to everyday wear.

Thrift these must-haves from J. Crew:

  • Fine knitwear (i.e. sweaters and cardigans)

  • Casual dresses

  • Men's chino pants

11. Madewell

Relaxed and Chic Fashion:

For those who cherish quality and effortless style, Madewell is a go-to at thrift stores. Their denim, dresses, and accessories often carry a casual but refined vibe. Madewell pieces are perfect for adding that laid-back, chic touch to your outfit.

Essential finds from Madewell include:

  • Denim jeans and jackets

  • Bohemian dresses

  • Leather bags and belts

12. Free People

Unique Boho Gems:

Free People is the brand for the free-spirited, offering flowing silhouettes, intricate patterns, and a bohemian vibe that’s hard to resist. Their items are perfect for those who love their clothing to reflect their adventurous and artistic spirit.

Thrift these must-haves from Free People:

  • Embroidered tops

  • Maxi dresses

  • Flowy skirts

13. Zara

Fast Fashion Favorites:

Zara may be a fast fashion brand, but finding their pieces in a thrift store is like catching them in a sustainable cycle. Known for their ability to quickly turn runway trends into ready-to-wear collections, Zara items add an urban edge to any wardrobe. It’s a thrill to hunt these pieces down, knowing you’re giving them a new life and a new story.

Here are Zara's chic items that you can thrift:

  • Trendy blouses

  • Blazers and coats

14. Adidas

Iconic Sportswear:

For those who live to move, Adidas is a famous brand offering sportswear that combines style with functionality. From iconic sneakers to practical athleisure wear, finding Adidas in a thrift store is a win for both your style and your wallet. Whether you're hitting the gym or just enjoying a casual day out, Adidas ensures you do it with both comfort and style.

Essential thrifts include:

  • Sneakers

  • Track jackets

  • Sports accessories (i.e. backpacks and sporty caps)

Score these Brands and More at ShopGoodwill.com

There you have it! Your guide to the top brands to look for at thrift stores. Once you start looking for these, you’ll know how to thrift like a pro. Remember, each piece you pick up isn’t just about making a good bargain – it’s a step towards a more sustainable and ethical fashion future.

And if you're looking to start your thrifting journey from the comfort of your home, dive into ShopGoodwill's online thrift store, where you can find second-hand items from these brands, among others! Thrift and join a community that makes a difference —one thrifted item at a time.

Sources:

  1. McKinsey & Company. (2024, March 30). Patagonia shows how turning a profit doesn’t have to cost the Earth. McKinsey. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/agriculture/our-insights/patagonia-shows-how-turning-a-profit-doesnt-have-to-cost-the-earth

  2. Fashionista. (2017, March 10). Fashion History Lesson: The Bond Between Ladies and Levi's. Fashionista. https://fashionista.com/2017/03/levis-jeans-womens-denim-history

14 Brands to Look For at Thrift Stores | ShopGoodwill.com — blog.shopgoodwill.com (2024)

FAQs

What brands to look for when thrifting? ›

What brands to look for while thrift shopping? Luxury labels like Gucci, Chanel, and Prada are worth seeking out. Also, check for high-quality mainstream brands such as Levi's, Nike, and Patagonia.

How do you find rare and valuable items at thrift stores? ›

How Can You Spot Valuables in a Thrift Store?
  • Check for Designer Labels or Tags. Valuable vintage items, like clothing, kitchenware or records, often come with a label indicating that it's valuable. ...
  • Go for Unique Items. ...
  • Check the Locked Display Case.
Jul 10, 2023

What is the best day to go thrifting at Goodwill? ›

While there's no “perfect” day to shop second hand stores, many regulars swear by shopping early on Monday and Tuesday. Homeowners tend to drop off garage sale leftovers on Sunday nights, making for new finds. Plus, the weekends are more crowded shopping days, so employees look to restock early in the week.

How to bargain at thrift store? ›

Thrift store prices are low, but that doesn't mean they can't go lower. If you think something is priced too high for what is, ask if they're willing to take less for it. Just be polite in doing so and don't be discouraged if they're not open to bargaining.

How to spot valuables at thrift stores? ›

Focus on one area of the store at a time. For example, you may decide to look for valuable kitchen items such as vintage enamelware or antique glassware. Other areas to look for valuables include the clothing and accessory aisles, the jewelry section and the furniture section.

What vintage clothes sell well? ›

The 10 most valuable types of Vintage garments
  • Vintage Chanel suits. ...
  • Vintage designer dresses. ...
  • Vintage Levi's jeans. ...
  • Vintage military clothing. ...
  • Vintage wedding dresses. ...
  • Vintage fur coats. ...
  • Vintage Hawaiian shirts. ...
  • Vintage cowboy boots.
Aug 20, 2023

What items sell best in a thrift store? ›

What items sell best in a thrift store? Vintage clothing, designer pieces, collectibles such as toys or mugs often have high resale potential. Textbooks and baby gear are also typically hot sellers.

What is the most valuable item to collect? ›

What Are the Most Valuable Types of Collectibles?
  1. Vintage Comic Books. Comic books are one of the most popular collectibles because of how much they can appreciate in value over time. ...
  2. Baseball Cards. ...
  3. Vintage Bakeware. ...
  4. Rare Coins. ...
  5. Vintage Toys. ...
  6. Stamps. ...
  7. Vintage Magazines. ...
  8. Antique Furniture.
Aug 21, 2023

How do you find out if an item is worth anything? ›

Visit a certified appraiser.

Once the appraisal is complete, you will receive a written report discussing the item, the procedure used to value it, and the current value of the item. Costs vary greatly depending on the appraiser and the item.

Do thrift stores wash clothes before? ›

Most secondhand stores don't wash the clothes before selling them. Donations are typically washed before they're donated, but we still recommend giving them a good cleaning when you get home. Even if the clothes are washed before they hit the thrift store floor, people will have since touched them.

Does Goodwill wash clothes before reselling? ›

Does Goodwill clean items before placing them on the sales floor? The majority of our merchandise is secondhand. While our employees do not wash clothing items, we do wipe down household items before placing them on the sales floor. Goodwill complies with all laws in regard to the resale of secondhand items.

What day do most thrift stores restock? ›

Fridays: Most stores get an influx of items on the weekends, when they have the time to load stuff in the car and drop it off. At the end of the week, there's not as much “good stuff” left, so wait until Monday or Tuesday after volunteers have had time to sort through donations and restock the shelves.

Why do thrift stores not have dressing rooms? ›

Why are fitting rooms closed? Keeping fitting rooms open, and maintained, requires additional staffing and expenses that we are not equipped to manage.

How to thrift shop like a pro? ›

10 tips for thrifting
  1. Create a budget. ...
  2. Clear out your closet in between trips to the thrift store. ...
  3. Keep hygiene in mind when giving away or looking for clothes. ...
  4. Get inspiration to help you pick the best items for you. ...
  5. Know what each store specializes in selling. ...
  6. Thrift with a friend. ...
  7. Wear something comfortable.
Mar 16, 2023

How do I flip my thrift store finds? ›

Here are a few tips to help you make the most profit from thrift store flipping:
  1. Buy low and sell high. ...
  2. Minimize your shipping costs.
  3. Sell popular items.
  4. Capitalize on your wins and cut your losses.
  5. Write good product descriptions and take great product pictures.

What are popular vintage clothing brands? ›

The most valuable brands for vintage clothing
  • Hermès. It is hardly a surprise that pieces from the notoriously expensive french fashion house keep their value on the vintage market. ...
  • Gucci. ...
  • Dior. ...
  • Vivienne Westwood. ...
  • Oscar De La Renta. ...
  • Yves Saint Laurent. ...
  • Comme Des Garçons.
Jul 10, 2023

How to start thrift flipping? ›

Here is a list of steps you can follow to flip items from a thrift store:
  1. Research various thrift stores in your area. ...
  2. Look for typically high-value items. ...
  3. Search for items you find online. ...
  4. Purchase items. ...
  5. Take pictures of the items. ...
  6. List the items for sale. ...
  7. Ship the items. ...
  8. Track earnings.
Jun 24, 2022

Who is most likely to shop at thrift stores? ›

Younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen Z, are at the forefront of the used clothes market.

Why is thrifting becoming more expensive? ›

The popularity of thrifting has created an inflation in the prices these thrift companies can get away with. The modern generation is also quick to blame TikTok and reselling apps for the rise of thrift prices. And, while not the main contributor, these apps have proved to be a threat to thrift stores.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aracelis Kilback

Last Updated:

Views: 5687

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aracelis Kilback

Birthday: 1994-11-22

Address: Apt. 895 30151 Green Plain, Lake Mariela, RI 98141

Phone: +5992291857476

Job: Legal Officer

Hobby: LARPing, role-playing games, Slacklining, Reading, Inline skating, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Dance

Introduction: My name is Aracelis Kilback, I am a nice, gentle, agreeable, joyous, attractive, combative, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.