Shopping on a budget? Thrift Flipping 101

Whether you love vintage, are looking for a bargain, or just care about the planet, saving is the answer. The secret to getting the most out of your thrift stores? Savings rollover. Here are some easy thrift store tips that can guide you in customizing your clothes!


First, what to look for in a thrift store. Watch this video from bestdressed for a detailed explanation of the basics:

Key takeaways from the video:

  • Filter the thrift stores around you according to what you are looking for (vintage, contemporary, etc.)
    • Saving online is also a good choice!
    • If you’re looking for a really good deal, head to the thrift stores (bring gloves!)
    • Don’t forget garage sales and real estate sales
  • If you are a beginner, take the time to take a good look. all Single article and all sections
  • Refine your choices by color and material
    • Create a mental note of your favorite color palette
    • Materials that age well in thrift stores: silk, cashmere, denim (100% cotton), jersey, cotton
    • Avoid: fast-fashion polyester, acrylic knits, suede that needs cleaning
  • Take advantage of the fitting rooms!


Here are some easy-to-modify items:

Quarter Zips, Hoodies, Sweaters

An easy flip is to simply crop them. All you need is a pair of scissors and a marker to mark and cut. You can either leave it there or hemmed it for a neater finish. Plus, you can tie an elastic at the bottom for an extra look. If it is plain, you can also try dyeing it!

Midi and pencil skirts

Simple enough: cut the skirt to your preferred length and sew on buttons, attach a zipper or chain, or do embroidery for customization.

Vintage Patterned Dresses

With a cool pattern, all you need are a few modifications. You can change the sleeves (e.g. long sleeve, short sleeve, sleeveless), adjust the size further or cut a leg slit. Depending on the dress, you can also transform them into blouses, skirts or both!

High waist jeans

If you’re looking for the perfect mom jeans, you’ll find it in the men’s section. To ensure a high waist, try bringing a tape measure to measure the inseam (about 11″ is ideal). Look for high quality denim that is thick and strong.

High waisted jeans are also great for making a pair of shorts. Whether it’s shorts or pants, you can try distressing, bleaching, embroidering, adding holes, painting (with fabric paint!), adding patches, and more!


You can literally do anything with a used t-shirt! Take some of the ideas listed above and try them on a shirt. You can crop, adjust sleeves, fade, bleach, tie-dye, embroider, split, iron on print, sew elastic, add zipper or chain, etc.

For more ideas and inspiration, watch these videos:

There you have it, thrift flip 101. Have fun and get creative!