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

  • 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 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.

  • Nice and informative article to read on. If you are searching for beautiful design dresses Information , then you can visit our web site.

  • 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!!!! 😛


  • 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 don’t think Australia has that many thrift shops… we have op shops is that the same?
    xo Emily @

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


    This song (I’m giving you guys the clean version) is amazing. It’s called ‘Thrift Shop’ and I’m in love with it.

  • I adore thrifting for jewelry!! I always have some unique pieces that no one can replicate. <3

  • I love thrifting! My last treasures are two man jumpers, oversize to wear with leggins

  • I LOVE thrifting! It is our perfect date! We went to Goodwill just last night. I scored an adorable new coffee cup for 49 cents!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

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

  • 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

  • I recently found this Red overnight bag at Goodwill, it’s so fantastic!

  • 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 🙂 Here is hoping. Love the pics on your blog.

    Michelle –

  • Awe, you both look cute but Emma looks like a cutie-pie in her pics. It must be the braids. Thrifting is one of my greatest thrills in life. My mom goes with me and I usually end up with fabulous pieces of furniture. It seems to be my fave for some reason. Cool pics!

  • I love Emma’s dress and outfit, super cute 🙂
    YAY for thrifting

  • 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.

  • One of my favorite things to do when I travel is visit all the neat thrift and consignment stores in the area. I never leave home without a list of shops to check out.

    Loving Emma’s bright yellow tights! 🙂

  • I don’t know what’s thrift shopping, but it seems interesting and cheap!

  • 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!


  • You gals look adorable as usual! Emma, I love your dress especially. So cute.

    Also, thrifting is amazing – hence the name of my blog. I’m always hitting up some thrift store. 🙂


  • I am pretty lucky there is an awesome thrift store right down the block from my house. I am always on the lookout in st.louis for more of them!


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

  • 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. 🙂

  • I love both of these outfits. Emma, your dress is perfect and Elsie your boots are great. I love the black and white pictures a lot. Black and white pictures are my favorite.


  • I love Emma’s braids and boots. Very Pocahontas! 🙂

  • Love Emma’s dress and tights, and Elsie’s jacket! 🙂

    XO Nat
    Nat in Love

  • you 2 look amazing 🙂


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


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

  • 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.

  • I’m a HUGE thrift fanatic so this post just made my day!

    Pretty much my whole wardrobe is thrifted and I document it here:

  • 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,

  • 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!

  • 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.

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

  • 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!

  • love those pictures! thrifting is always fun to do!

  • 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. 🙂

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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’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?

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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 went thrifting with my mom yesterday. Favorite finds: a $4 typewriter, $1 novels, and 25 cent vintage afghan tutorial magazine.


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

  • 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!!

  • 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

  • I love those fringe boots! Thrifting is probably one of my favorite pastimes. It’s a lifestyle.

  • I absolutely love both of the outfits you guys came up with! They look so great! xx

  • i LOVE thrifting.

    love the pop of color in those tights!

    Check out some of our high quality (and affordable!) vintage at 🙂


  • That Target jacket is so perfect!! Wish I could find one of THOSE at a thrift store! 🙂


  • I love Emma’s yellow tights with the dress. Super cute! I just found the cutest pleated navy skirt from the thrift store and vintage red kitten heels. Holla!


  • I thift for nearly everything. Whether it’s for a date, or a party, or a performance, I can find something that’s exactly right at the thrift store.

  • 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 love thrifting! I do an outfit post a week on my blog where at least one item was thrifted! 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • Katie, No. It’s only available on Click the button in my sidebar to see what is still in stock!


  • You have gorgeous eyes !!
    check out my new post:

  • I think you should have worn some thrifted clothes in this post, or showed off some of the items you’ve gotten thrifted. Hopefully next time!

    xo Jennifer

  • 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!

  • 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. 🙂

  • I like that pics and both of you look great like always. Have a nice day.

  • You two look so cute! Love both of your boots, and Emma’s braids are adorable.

  • 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 🙂

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

  • 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!

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

  • Absolutely love thrifting! My mother and I go all the time! Such good bonding 🙂

    juliette laura

  • It made my day when my eldest daughter finally caught the bug and asked to go to the thrift store. Emma, I love it when you wear braids! You’re both adorable, even while thrifting.

  • 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. 😉
    But I would much rather find an awesome deal on a cool piece at a thrift store than at a store.

  • just wanted to mention that i got that pretty scarf a beautiful mess collaborated with modcloth on and love it lots 🙂

  • My fiancé 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 décor, and a steal at 3 bucks for 6 items!

  • you two are adorable! 🙂 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?!


  • I love thrift shopping! I think my best finds lately have been silk blouses. I have one in navy blue with an adorable necktie-like pattern. I love it!


  • oh my god, thrifting is my favoriiiite!!


  • 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! 🙁

  • I have and always will love thrifting! I wish everyone understood the beauty behind it!


  • 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!

  • 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!

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

  • 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!


  • 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. 🙂

  • 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!

  • i LOVE thrifting!
    and i’ve actually been craving a good thrift shopping day…
    i’ll have to ask my sister when she’s free 🙂

    xo – heather

  • Yes I love thrifting! My sister and I went while she was visiting and it was so much fun!

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

  • 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

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

  • 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!

  • 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. 🙂

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

  • 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 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!

  • 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.

  • 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 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!

  • Hey Elsie and Emma, you have a very lovely blog and I am always happy when reading your posts 🙂 It makes me so much fun and inspires me a lot. Thanks 🙂
    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

  • 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!

  • 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.

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