Sister Style: Thrift Shopping

EmEmEmEmEmThrifting has been a habit of ours for a long time. Basically as soon as Elsie got her drivers license we would go thrifting a couple times a week. We learned to see past a little dust or a missing buttonβ€”that could all be easily fixed. It's amazing the kinds of deals you can find at a thrift store! We don't get to go quite as often anymore but we still own lots of clothes, home goods and items we use for projects you see here on the blog from thrift stores. We are probably going to be life long thrifters.

Emma's Wearing: dress c/o ModCloth, tights/Target, shoes/MinnetonkaElsie  Elsie  Elsie  Elsie  Elsie's Wearing: jacket/Target, jeans/Jessica Simpson, scarf/A Beautiful Mess for ModCloth, boots/FRYE.

Thrift   Thrift   Thrift   Thrift   We love thifting! Have you found any treasures recently? xo. Emma + Elsie

  • I was the same way when I got my license. I would grab my buds (I’m an only child so I never had a born and bred friend) and we would hit the markets on Summer in Memphis! Love those days. I don’t get to do it as much but went recently with my kids. We picked up some great treasures and saw a couple things we had donated which was kind of neat.

  • My mom always took me to second hand stores growing up and I remember dreading it because all the ”cool” kids had clothes from the big department stores! But now I thank her because I have a love for vintage and thrift shop finds. It is funny the things you repel in your adolescence that end up being a huge part of who you are!

  • Hey Elsie and Emma, you have a very lovely blog and I am always happy when reading your posts πŸ™‚ It makes me so much fun and inspires me a lot. Thanks πŸ™‚
    You look both very pretty! I love thrifting as well and have so many pieces from thrift stores in my closet. They are so unique and have their own story. That’s what I love so much.
    Bye, Melmo

  • I LOVE thrifting as well! I find little treasures all the time. Our Goodwill thrift stores carry items that Target can’t sell as well. So it’s awesome!

  • we called it “thrift hopping” when we would go around to stores all over our city in one day. Still love them! half my house is furnished with thrifted items.

  • I’m recently a big fan of thrifting and I love it! In fact, you guys have been my main inspiration for it. I’ve been getting lots of compliments from clothes I’ve found in Thrift stores and I’m always proud to tell them how much I actually paid for it. And lets be real here… it has also been wonderful for my budget.

  • I just bought 3 pairs of never worn bass shoes at my favorite thrift store when I was home visiting my mother. I looked online afterwards and it turns out I saved $240!

  • That’s how I pretty much got my entire wardrobe. Me and my boyfriend would go. At first he was bored now he has a very impressive book collection (he had to adapt!). I still make it a point to go thrifting at least once a week. (p.s. you ladies are adorable!)


  • I am a total addict. I have been thrifting for most of my life. It started off as a necessity (the only way to find sth cool and affordable in the post-Soviet country was to go to church sales etc), but over the years it has become an addiction. I just can pass a good deal and a thing with an old soul. Now I live in Madrid, Spain and here thrifting is not popular at all, so I miss it a bit (well, there are some second hand/vintage stores, but not many). However I did find a West German peplum dress not long ago and I adore it. πŸ™‚

    Ps. Have these photos been taken with the new camera (Canon EOS 5D mark III if I remember correct)?

  • Yes…just did a Goodwill Haul yesterday! I love it, and now that we have two little ones growing out of things left and right, it is an amazing way to fill in the blanks every season!

  • Love EmmaΒ΄s dress. I love thrifting too, but I live at a place where there are hardly any thrift or second hand stores.

  • In Europe thrifting is not that easy but I love to get to fleemarkets with my sister!
    It’s like a big family experiencce… we take our old VW Bus ans stuff it with as many chairs (I have a thing for chairs… dont ask why…. ) and stuff we can find!My last great find was a big Oriental carpet that is now covering my apartment

  • Thrifting is my favorite way to shop! When I go to “normal” stores now I always suffer a bit of sticker shock haha.

  • I’ve only attempted thrifting once. Here in Houston, thrift stores are just as expensive as buying something brand new! I’ve made it one of my goals to find something great though!

  • Emma, LOVE your blonde blonde ends in your hair! Cute! And love your outfits. I got a bunch of home goods kinda stuff thrifting last summer and have it all in storage. When I want a new project I go through it and pull it out! Some call it hoarding, I call it a hobby. πŸ™‚

  • I love the black and white picture of the whole outfit before seeing the outfit in color! It was such a pleasant surprise to see Emma’s tights were yellow!

    I actually started thrifting after I discovered your blog and I love love love it!


  • I wish we had thrift stores in South West England, I know of none! But maybe I’m not looking in the right places?

  • Thrifting is the best thing ever. I’m actually obsessed with both of your outfits, too. Both are great to shop in and both have AMAZING pieces and colors. This is SO great!

    xo Ashley

  • I love thrifting and most of my treasures and clothing are found while doing it. I think it would have been really cool if you guys would have worn outfits with at least a few thrifted items for this post. Also, I LOVE Emma’s dress. So cute!

  • I love to visit thrift and consignment stores- I’ve amassed quite a collection of vintage dresses! But my last find was a double breasted Ralph Lauren blazer in perfect condition and fit. It was only $5!

  • see I’d love to know where you guys thrift in America, because in England, charity shops are two a penny, they’re on practically every high street, but I think you have to know where to go in America because whenever we’ve been we can find superstores and malls and whatever else, but no thrift shops! πŸ™

  • you two are adorable! πŸ™‚ my boyfriend just got me a 1969 ceramic orange cat mug for my birthday, and despite my (many-many-probably-too-many) thrifted collections, it’s one of my absolute favourites.

    and i know you guys are out in springfield (i live in kansas city) – but if you’re ever in downtown KC on a sunday morning, stop by the community garage sale at city market. it’s obviously better in the summer, but there’s still people who set up during the winter, and you can find such awesome things! plus river market antiques is right up the street, and who can beat a four-story antique store?!


  • My fiancΓ© and I go thrifting a lot together. He loves being able to find the perfect thing for a great price. Probably one of the best things about him. My latest and greatest find was some vintage glass decanters and pitchers. Perfect for my wedding dΓ©cor, and a steal at 3 bucks for 6 items!

  • Thrifting is my favorite thing ever! I just don’t get to go much anymore because taking four little ones to a thrift store is not necessarily ideal. πŸ˜‰
    But I would much rather find an awesome deal on a cool piece at a thrift store than at a store.

  • Is anything from the A Beautiful Mess for ModCloth line available at Red Velvet?

  • I had THE BEST thrifting karma on my birthday. Among my bounty was a 1960s peach-colored lambswool and angora sweater dress with pearl buttons and puffy shoulders…for $8!!! It’s amazingly warm and cozy for Iowa winters!

  • I have only recently discovered thrifting/consignment shops… will definately become a habit. Elsie, I love your outfit!

  • I never find anything worth having when I go second hand shopping, but I don’t have a good eye for that kind of thing like you two do πŸ™‚

  • I found a slightly scuffed pair of rust-colored cowboy boots while thrifting. I got them for 7 bucks and found out that they are genuine hand-stitched leather and ostrich skin. Score! I wear them all the time. πŸ™‚

  • I kind of hate how adorable you both are! …wink… I love thrift store shopping! I just got my very own sewing machine for christmas, so I know I will be altering to heart’s content!

  • Thrifting is the GREATEST!! I’ve found brand new clothes (a $68 Anthro shirt, $150 Martin OSA jacket, among other things) at local thrift stores. You just have to have a little patience and an open mind πŸ™‚

  • Beautiful pictures!
    I love thrift shopping – sadly we don’t have that many good places to shop in Denmark but sometimes it’s possible to find some great treasures anyhow. My grandmother works in a thrift store and she often lets me go hunting in their storage room – so awesome!

  • I’m obsessed with thrifting. I just don’t have enough space for it all! I’m trying to prevent becoming a hoarder here. But I love to go and browse for fun too!

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

  • Thrift store finds?! Honestly, 5 in the last week alone. When I lived in Seattle I used to thrift at the Goodwill Bins in Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’ video. I would do thrifting there, pay by the pound, then sell it to Buffalo Exchange and make some good money! However, these days the thing I don’t thrift are books because of bed bugs. I don’t mean to scare you ladies, but here is an NY times article about it:

    Sifting and Thrifting,

    April Mae

  • I love Thrift Haven!!!! Best place to go. nothing bothers me more than overpriced used clothes. I’ve found some awesome stuff there!!! I recently found a bunch of crafting materials for super cheap. lace, ribbon, fabric, buttons, etc. Way cheaper than Michaels!!

  • thrifting is the best, just bought a vintage scarf and a cute guinness t-shirt this week!

  • Yes, I found a coffee canister without the lid. Coffee looks like it was hand lettered on the canister. I’m using it for my kitchen utensils. So cute!

  • I adore thrift store shopping. My fiance and I go pretty much every weekend. We are always on the lookout for fun, decorative things for the home…and clothes…and furniture! These days we add to the list wedding decorations. We’ve thrifted pretty much all of them so far! Great finds, girls!

  • I’ve been thrift shopping for about thirty years, and I still love it. A friend got me into it when I was about fifteen. I still have some earrings I bought from one of my first trips. Lately, I’ve been going to Goodwill a lot and I wore a skirt from there to work the other day–got lots of compliments.

    I thought you guys owned a thrift shop?

  • Yesterday I found a pastel green hand knitted cardigan and a navy blue enamel brooch shaped like a bird. I love, love, love thrifty finds!

  • I think that it’s appalling that you are showing us how you’re “thrifting” when you’re wearing clothing from Target, Modcloth, and especially Frye (hello! those are like a car payment). If you can afford Frye Boots you should be “thrifting”. Thrift stores are for those less fortunate that don’t have any other options but to purchase clothing that is used, donated, or otherwise in not perfect condition. By purchasing these items yourself you’re just being selfish by taking something that looks, probably, pretty darned good, from someone that could use it.

    You’re blog is VERY popular and I think that it’s your responsibility to show people the difference between shopping smart and “thrifting”. You can easily find the same goods at a Marshall’s or TJ MAXX or even Ross. You can even support your local vintage shops and get clothing there (as that tends to be more expensive therefore, you’re not actively taking something someone else might actually need, instead of want).

    Overall, I’m disappointed with this post and hope that in the future you consider what you’re purchasing and where you’re purchasing. Especially considering you have the means to do your shopping elsewhere.

  • Thrifting is most definitely my thing. I actually know about every single brand at Anthropologie so when I’m at Goodwill I freak every time I find an Anthropologie piece. My problem is that sometimes when I find a name brand item, I often want to buy it because it’s such a steal but I have to pause and think am I buying this for the brand and the deal or do I really need/want it and will it work with the pieces in my closet?

  • We were super poor when I was little, so I was raised on thrift stores. I have been out of the habit of thrift store shopping with working full time and school. But now I am going to be a stay-at-home mom and I fully intend to drag my babies to the thrift store regularly! It’s so much fun. A much better way to live than buying everything new, expensive, and made in China.

    Also, I have leggings in that exact shade of mustard. I wore them the other day and an old man stopped me at the store and told me I had Big Bird legs and he had never seen socks so bright! Haha. Gotta love people. πŸ™‚

  • Julia,
    I’m sorry our post offended you. It’s probably important to note that we donate far more to thrifts than we buy. I agree that it’s good to support vintage stores, we do that too.

    Have a great weekend!

  • I could thrift all day everyday! It’s the best guilty pleasure…that and donuts!

  • Thrift store shopping is so much more exhilarating than department store shopping. I have taught my daughters to always start with thrift stores and only look at dept. stores when you really can’t find what you need. My biggest joy was when they were both in high school and their father had given them back to school shopping money and they both exclaimed ” Can we go to the thrift store because we can get so many cool things there” I was overjoyed that they had an appreciation for making a dollar go farther and taking something old and making it new again.

  • It’s funny to see this now because I just got home from going thrifting with my sister, and we haven’t done that together in a year! So much fun and I got some great loot!

    We made it a pact to try to get together for this type of treasure hunting once a month. Hope we stick with our plan!

  • I have never gotten the hang of thrifting, I don’t think I’m cut out for bargain shopping as I just have zero patience and don’t like feeling as though I’m picking through people’s old crap. I really wish I was a thrifter though! I don’t like looking like everyone else. That being said, I of course love Elsie’s outfit as always – we have such a similar style so she is a great inspiration!

    Strive to Thrive,

  • Hi Elsie & Emma, I love reading your blog! You are both SO pretty and such an inspiration to me. I just got my license a few weeks ago and can’t wait until I can get a car and start thrifting whenever I feel like it. Haha.

  • All I did over Christmas Break was thrift shop! People get rid of such awesome things. Both of your boots are so adorable too.

  • My brother got a great blazer from Thrift Haven this weekend! It’s such a great place to find cheap treasures!


  • Yes, I realize we aren’t wearing “thrift store clothing”. Don’t take it too seriously. It’s just a sister style. We pick a different location each week and our outfits don’t always coordinate with the location. Actually- this shoot was supposed to be at a coffee truck, but it was raining. πŸ™‚

  • I was just enjoying a hot Friday night at the thrift store tonight. I take my girls and they love it.

  • I’m a big fan of thrifting too! I go almost every day, hitting my favorite shops on my way home from work. Over the years I have found some truly amazing stuff, which is slowly taking over my house. I have a weekly feature on my blog where I share some of my finds. Feel free to check it out!

    Thanks for all of your hard work in creating one of my very favorite blogs. I love reading it every day!


  • I love thrifting! My local thrift store has bidding…for a month …on various items. I have a $4.00 bid on 1950s pinking shears in the original box. Can’t wait til the last Sat of this month to see if I win them πŸ™‚ Here is hoping. Love the pics on your blog.

    Michelle –

  • I don’t at all agree with Julia’s post. Many thrift stores get their money by selling goods and then use that money to invest in helping non-profits or people in need. They aren’t trying to save the products for the poor, although that is certainly another bonus to thrift stores–many people can afford to buy there–but to make money and help people with it. I don’t think it’s even a little bit irresponsible to shop there–it helps the stores, the people they help, and your own budget. Seriously–get real and stop looking for ways to condemn people. Instead, shop a lot at thrift stores, especially those that help people. Even if they are not a charitable shop, it’s investing in small business, which is usually a great idea for the economy, for families, etc.

  • Love your outfits here. I don’t tend to go thrifting, though I think I would if we had any decent stores nearby. The only ones we have in our town are basically warehouses with piles of clothes you have to dig through for hours to even find anything in your size.. it’s not fun! x

  • Just a little message to say that girls, I love your blog so much ! It makes my day everyday πŸ™‚

  • Been thrifting since Jr. High (before thrifting was cool or trendy) – so that’s um……almost 30 years since I’m 41 now. Love those memories with my big sis, cruising into Houston in her ’69 Super Beetle with the top down, going home at sunset with bags full of goodies that NO ONE in our small, country, hick Texas town would own! They all thought we were so weird. I love being weird!!! But, now I live in a 3rd world developing country and thrifting to them means still driving your 30 year old car, buying whatever used t-shirts that came from the U.S. you can afford, and just plain making do with what you have. Moving back soon, though, so I am thoroughly looking forward to outfitting our entire home w/thrift store and antique store finds!!!

  • I live within a 5-minute walk of three different thrift stores with several more close by. It’s both dangerous (because I want to buy clothes all the time) and awesome (because of all the amazing deals). I have been on a huge thrifting kick for the last year, I’m trying to buy fewer things brand new.

  • Also love thrifting! But here in Sweden (I live in a small town), it’s just become popular to go thrifting! And in my town there aren’t many stores you can go, so there’s not much to find. I look mostly for books, CD’s and magazines though, and that’s always something to find for not much money at all!

  • LOVE the thrift store. I try to go once a week and I am always amazed at the fabulous deals I find in clothing, shoes, and housewares. Such a great resource.

  • Thrifting is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I think the last thing I bought was a blazer? I usually check accessories or handbags first (and homewares!) but my favorite finds tend to be dresses.

  • My best friend and I loved going to Goodwill in high school. We still go when I’m in town! I love your jacket Elsie!

  • both of you, always beautiful and inspiring me.. thank you for sharing with us..

  • i am obsessed with thrifting! some of my most recent finds include an old chippy kitchen table im going to use at our wedding and a sweet 90s blazer that has a hideous shape but the most beautiful black and white aztec/tribal pattern. i am thinking it is the perfect fabric to make a clutch out of!

  • I am not sure if it is thrifting or hoarding, but my boyfriend and I.. mainly me, have found lots of goodies by the recycling bin at my work which we have whisked away with great DIY projects in store for them!! Just the hard bit now, need to get on with it all asap or it really is hoarding!!!! πŸ˜›


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  • i just found some $300 charles david leather boots for $12, barely worn.

    people who think thrifting is “gross” or not worth the work are missing out.

  • We didn’t have much money growing up, so we went to thrift stores, and we almost always heard a ‘yes, you can get that’ from my mom. I’ve never stopped, and now when my mom has a day off, we hit our favorite spots, and I’m 39! In my 20’s I always got the most compliments on clothes I had thrifted- sometimes I still do!

  • I’ve honestly been searching everywhere for Emma’s coat!! What is the name of the company/where did she get it? Lovelovelove.