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Are Thrift Stores Good for T-Shirt Shopping?

June 20, 2022 4 min read

Are you in need of some new t-shirts but have a very tight budget?

If yes, then you need to head straight down to your nearest thrift store.

Known for their amazing bargains, thrift stores provide a great alternative to high street stores and offer a whole host of low-cost clothing items such as t-shirts, joggers, sweatshirts, dresses, and so much more.

Need a little more convincing?

Read on to discover are charity shops good for t-shirt shopping? Find out how you can utilize your local charity store to buy t-shirts and many other great secondhand items of clothing!

Are thrift stores good for clothing?

The biggest seller across all thrift stores is, without a doubt, clothing. In fact, clothing sales account for over 30% of all revenue generated in the thrift store industry.

What does this mean for you as a bargain hunter? Basically, if you are looking for some high-quality clothing items without hefty price tags, then thrift stores are the place to go.

In particular, women’s clothing is available in abundance, with dresses, tops, t-shirts, pants, and footwear all on offer. However, children’s and men’s clothing items can also be snapped up for less.

What type of t-shirts can I get at thrift stores?

Depending on the thrift store that you go to, you can get lots of different types of t-shirts, including branded t-shirts, vintage t-shirts, and graphic tees. While you may think that thrift stores only sell cheaper brands of t-shirts, you will be surprised at just how many people donate designer clothes and accessories – although you may have to trawl through a few dozen racks to find them!

How to shop for t-shirts at thrift stores

If you are new to thrift stores, it can be good to learn a few tricks of the trade before you start shopping. Because, although there are lots of bargains to be had, if you don’t know what you are doing, you could end up spending more than you need to.

Do your research

If you are tempted to just head to your nearest thrift store, this could be a mistake. The quality of clothing available can vary massively from one charity store to another, so it is a much better idea to scope out the best stores before you head out.

You can use the Thrift Shopper Store Directory for this or head to the Goodwill website.

Set a spending limit

It can be all too easy to spend too much when you are surrounded by bargains, so you should always set yourself a spend limit before you go thrift store shopping.

Ideally, aim for between $10-$20 per store, depending on your budget and how many thrift stores you intend to visit.

Donate old clothes

Before you buy new t-shirts and other items of clothing at a thrift store, you might want to get rid of any unwanted clothes from your wardrobe. Not only does this allow you to do your bit for charity, but it also makes space for new items if you choose to get rid of old clothes.

Check labels

When it comes to checking labels on t-shirts and other items at thrift stores, there are several aspects that you need to pay attention to. Firstly, where the item was made. Ideally, you should be looking for a tag that says “Made in USA” or one that says what state the item was made in.

You also need to check the brand name on the label. If you do not recognize it, then you may want to check if it is listed on Vintage Fashion Guild’s Label Resource.

How to find vintage tees at thrift stores

Thrift stores are a great place to find vintage tees, but you do need to know where to look. You also need to be willing to spend some time going from one store to another if you want to find the hidden gems.

That being said, the Salvation Army is known for its immense t-shirt selection, so their thrift stores are a good place to start your search.

What to do with thrift store t-shirts

Whether you have been lucky enough to pick up a bulk collection of t-shirts or you have been gradually stockpiling vintage or graphic tees from thrift stores all over town, there are so many things that you can do with thrift store t-shirts.

Make a t-shirt blanket

If you collect vintage t-shirts such as rock band shirts or old TV show or movie tees, then you could make a t-shirt blanket. Providing the perfect way to transform your favorite t-shirts into something that you can use every day, a t-shirt blanket can be made at home, or you could choose to send your tees off to a t-shirt blanket company.

Not keen on making a blanket? Why not make a wall hanging using all your thrift store t-shirts instead?

Make a throw rug

If you feel crafty and have lots of colored t-shirts that you don’t want to wear, then a t-shirt throw rug is a great idea. Perfect for low-cost or low-quality tees that would otherwise have been thrown away, a crochet rug is not as hard to make as you might think.

Ideally, use t-shirts that are 100% cotton, have little or no print on them, and are lightweight, as these will make the most effective throw rug.

Upcycle into a new item of clothing

If you regularly go on Instagram or TikTok, you will no doubt have seen videos of people upcycling basic tees into brand new tops, dresses, scarves, and so much more. In fact, some people have even taken old t-shirts and made them into a cute cat tent!

There are literally thousands of online tutorials that provide step-by-step video guides for those who don’t know where to start when it comes to upcycling clothing.

Upcycling is a particularly good idea if you have bought t-shirts that don’t fit or that have succumbed to wear and tear. Plus, all you need are the t-shirts themselves and a pair of scissors, and you are good to go.

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