Wardrobe Style from the Thrift Store

I don’t think I’ve ever had this many photos of myself in one post before. This feels rather weird for me. But I really wanted to share my thrifted finds with you!

I recently read Trina Holden’s new book, Embracing Beauty, and I’m so glad I did! I really needed that little extra help of a friend to sort through my closet and walk through the thrift store.

I’m constantly in the body-shape flux as I go through seasons of pregnancy, postpartum, and nursing. (That’s pretty much how it has gone since 2008, anyway.) Before that, I would experience regular fluctuations due to infertility side effects and symptoms.

So, I’ve always needed clothing items that worked for various seasons (or a stash of multiple sizes!).

There’s also the issue of parenting and work “hazards.” Trina mentioned this, suggesting that as mamas, we’re probably going to need to view our clothing as “disposable” to some degree during these years. (Which is a great reason to do most of my shopping at thrift stores!) In just the past week, I’ve had little hands smear sweet potato, tomato, boogers, paint, peanut butter, and more on my clothing!

Embracing Beauty

So, I am a regular thrift store shopper, as I replace essentials and update items to suit seasonal and fitting needs. To simplify my shopping, I was thrilled with the advice in Embracing Beauty to determine my “Personal Neutral” color. This was simple for me, because I have loved wearing a basic, bright turquoise/teal color for ages. I’ve dabbled in other colors at times, but this is the favorite.

(I also had a bit of an epiphany moment, when her targeted observation noted that just because I love a color for my couch’s slipcover doesn’t mean I should wear it!) The odd-shaped green shirt immediately went into the donation bag. I don’t know why I needed to have that pointed out to me in writing, but apparently I did. (Thanks, Trina.)

When I’ve had a sleepless night, and the morning is full of busy tasks (we work from our home), I don’t want to waste time standing bleary-eyed at the closet, saying, “I have nothing to wear!” I have the goal that most items in my wardrobe coordinate with each other, so that I can mix-and-match to create varying styles (or just quickly replace one piece, after the baby makes a mess on one!).

(One store I visited this week actually had shirts organized by color; I loved being able to focus my browsing, and not waste time searching every rack!)


I purchase pieces usually in the following hues: Turquoise/Teal, Rusty Orange, Cranberry, and Brown, plus occasionally Black, Cream, Navy, and Moss/Apple Green, along with Denim and Khaki basics. Rarely, there may be a hint of Pink or Coral. I stick with solids, instead of prints, usually; it’s easier to match outfits. Nothing really clashes, so it makes dressing simple.

While starting on my wardrobe decluttering mission, armed with Embracing Beauty, I sorted through my closet. I followed her steps, and ended up establishing what really fits, and is enjoyable to wear.

Then, I made notes on a list for my thrift store shopping. I followed Trina’s suggestion to check my Pinterest boards for inspiration, which allowed me to focus my shopping on a few basic items (helpful when browsing with a wiggly toddler!).

I know that I will be selecting from my favorite color range (so, I passed by that currently-popular mustard yellow often), and know that I like to add pops of color with feminine scarves, a new belt, and earrings. (I usually don’t accessorize with colored shoes, but just have a few quality classics.) I learned that I might actually like necklaces, and will keep an eye out for a fun one (maybe orange?) to add to my wardrobe.

I usually prefer solids over printed fabrics (so I also skipped the popular stripes), and like to layer clothing with ruffled vests, cardigans, or a denim jacket (with layering tanks underneath, too). I don’t really care for jeans, and prefer skirts, maxi dresses, or tunics and leggings. I like feminine textures of ruffles, lace, and embroidery, mixed with the stronger textures of denim or a cable knit sweater.

You can see from this selection of thrifted items in the photo, how it is possible to mix-and-match, with their complementary colors. The skirts and tops are mostly of stretch or loose, flowy fabrics to accommodate body changes & nursing (and a look I enjoy anyway).

Each outfit’s total cost is usually around $20-$30. I wear these throughout the day of baby care, homeschooling, scrubbing dishes, floors, and laundry, a walk out to the garden or chicken coop, or serving our guests. A cardigan or denim jacket makes it easy to adjust to temperature changes, and I wear leggings if it is chilly.

Are you feeling like you’re in a wardrobe slump? Does your closet need some decluttering? It is manageable even on a very minimal clothing budget!

I’m participating in the Embracing Beauty link-up today!

By the way, Embracing Beauty will also be included in the incredible Ultimate Homemaking ebook bundle next week! More details to follow.

This post contains affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase through my links. I loved the book so much, that I signed up to recommend this book to you. I received an advance copy of the book as part of the Book Launch Team.
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