How to Thrift Shop for Outerwear + Salvation Army Coat Sale

Posted On Monday, October 3rd, 2016
Filed Under: Thrift Stores

How to Thrift Shop for Outerwear + Salvation Army Coat Sale {this weekend!}

A few days ago on Instagram, I mentioned the upcoming Salvation Army coat sale. I don’t use the word “epic” often, but it’s fitting for this sale! If you’re in the NYC area and in need of some outerwear, you’ll want to check this out!

Below are a few tips to shop the upcoming coat sale or any sale!

How to Thrift Shop for Outerwear + Salvation Army Coat Sale {this weekend!}

As you can see, the next sale is this Saturday {10/8}. If it’s anything like last year’s sale, there will be tons of furs {faux and real!}, trenches, wool capes, leather and more. Also, they tend to have a sizable collection of purses {be prepared to dig in bins for those!}.

I’m not sure what the prices are, but they vary based on length and material. Last year I scored a vintage fur for $22 { last photo, below} and the gorgeous Christian Dior wool and velvet coat above…for just $23!

Not going to lie, the sale can feel a bit intimidating due to the crowd. But here are a few tips to shop a coat sale to keep your sanity and find the best deals.

Ditch the Cart
The Salvation Army coat sale has a limited amount of carts and unless you’re first in line, you really won’t get one. And that’s not a bad thing! Instead, bring along a big Ikea bag {see the woman behind me in the pic below!} or duffle that you can throw your coats in. Because if you have to carry those heavy coats around, you’ll wear yourself out pretty quickly.

How to Thrift Shop for Outerwear + Salvation Army Coat Sale {this weekend!}

Arrive Super Early or Later
This one can be pretty tricky when shopping a huge sale. While you can arrive an hour before the sale starts and be one of the first to shop the racks, it’s also not a bad idea to show up an hour or two after the sale has started. This way, the initial rush has died down a bit and shoppers are starting to make their selections. Most people just grab everything they see, so as the early bird shoppers are putting items back, you might be able to score huge with their castoffs. This strategy has helped me score thrift store gems! Remember: just because someone didn’t select something doesn’t mean it’s bad. It might be the wrong size, fit or color for them, but perfect for you.

Play Nice
I know this might sound a bit cheesy, but seriously, in a crowded, high energy setting like a thrift store warehouse, it’s super important to be friendly. Well, even if you’re not super “friendly,” just don’t be a jerk! That means stay away from other people’s carts {I’ve seen folks straight up reach into a cart that’s not theirs!}, don’t push or shove and if you’re clearly not going to buy something, just let it go. Playing nice means that other people will look out for you. Though the Salv Army coat sale is intense, every time I attend I always encounter women who look out for each other. These are complete strangers who find coats, decide they don’t love them and then personally hand them to someone who it might be a great fit for! This only happens when you’re respectful to other people.

How to Thrift Shop for Outerwear + Salvation Army Coat Sale {this weekend!}

Bring a Friend
While playing nice with others is key, bring along a friend or two or three if you can. Believe me when I tell you, this will make the process so much easier and stress free. You can help each other shop but also give honest feedback about whether an item is a major yay or a huge nay. Also, friends can be a bit more unbiased and will keep you from just buying any and everything because it’s affordable.

Wear a Sweater
Have you ever taken into account what you wear when coat shopping? Well, you absolutely should! I love chunky sweaters in fall and winter, so I try to wear one when shopping for a coat. This way, I won’t buy a coat that’s too snug in the chest or arms and it will work with my bulkier tops.

How to Thrift Shop for Outerwear + Salvation Army Coat Sale {this weekend!}

Outerwear is really important for fall and winter {especially for us East coast folks!}, so even if you’re on a limited wardrobe budget, a fashionable and functional coat or jacket should be on your list!

Do you have any tips for buying affordable outerwear? Have you ever been to a major thrift store warehouse sale?

How to Thrift Shop for Outerwear + Salvation Army Coat Sale

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