Learn how to bargain hunt from these Pittsburgh thrifters

Ready to find a good deal? Grab your cart, bring some cash, and get ready to scavenge for treasures because it’s National Thrift Shop Day! In a time where the fashion industry contributes to 1/10 of the world’s carbon emissions (a number greater than all international flights and maritime shipping combined), […]

Ready to find a good deal? Grab your cart, bring some cash, and get ready to scavenge for treasures because it’s National Thrift Shop Day! In a time where the fashion industry contributes to 1/10 of the world’s carbon emissions (a number greater than all international flights and maritime shipping combined), we wanted to celebrate some local people and shops that help us live affordably, be good to the planet, find our unique style, and make Pittsburgh a better place.

Laura Everhart, She/Her 📍Lawrenceville (📸: Courtesy of @thriftstoresandscores.)

When did your love for second hand shopping begin?

I got it from my mom and a church lady who guided her to some amazing places in Houston, TX, where I grew up. We never looked back!

When did your love for second hand shopping begin?

I got it from my mom and a church lady who guided her to some amazing places in Houston, Texas, where I grew up. We never looked back!

What are some of your favorite places in Pittsburgh to go thrifting?

Clothes Minded, Goodwill, Red, White and Blue, antique malls, Neighborhood Flea.

Can you share some of your greatest/most favorite finds?

Vintage Coach crossbody at Red, White and Blue for $30. Also, all of my sequined tops and coats — I have almost the entire rainbow! And my collection of 10 pairs of vintage Doc Martens. I have a number [of shoes] from Clothes Minded as well as Buffalo Exchange and Instagram sellers.

Why is secondhand shopping important to you?

Not only is it environmentally friendly, but I have also found that my style is able to be completely unique. I never see anyone else with my outfits! I enjoy marrying vintage pieces with modern styling and showing that so much beautiful fashion never goes out of style.

Do you have any thrift shopping tips for our readers?

Always check the fitting room and go-back rack — there are often treasures back there that didn’t fit someone else. Always take the time to look through the men’s section for good flannels, and don’t pass up the pajamas section. I have found some beautiful vintage nightgowns!

Want to shout-out any of your other fav thrifters in the ‘Burgh?

Always the Thrifty Yinzer! Also, LulaThrift!

You can find Laura on Instagram at @thriftstoresandscores and [email protected]

Shekinah Noelle Brown, She/Her 📍Highland Park (📸: Courtesy of @noellebrown_.)

Shekinah’s answers are transcribed via a video submission to The Incline.

When did your love for second hand shopping begin?

My love of thrifting came a little bit after high school when I was more comfortable wearing my own style and not feeling like I have to conform to the trends. 

What are some of your favorite places in Pittsburgh to go thrifting?

Second Harvest Thrift, which is new in Sharpsburg. And Thrift King in Penn Hills.

Can you share some of your greatest/most favorite finds?

I have two of my favorite finds with me to show you guys. This dress [Shekinah holds up a thin strap summer dress] I got on the North Side on Ohio River Blvd. at the Red, White, and Blue store. This was only $10. And then I got this beautiful, blue pantsuit from Thrift King in Penn Hills.

Why is thrift or second hand shopping important to you?

Thrifting is really important to me, and not only to me but to a lot of people, because of the toll that clothes and consumerism takes on our world. So I think it’s great that people are starting to thrift more because it’s great for our environment, and it doesn’t pollute the ocean as much with so many dyes while making clothes because you can just buy someone else’s.

Do you have any thrift shopping tips for our readers?

I would say some tips for thrifting would include not being scared of the size. If it’s too small or too big, just go with it and see how you like it. And don’t be afraid to try something new because you could always turn something that you would deem ugly into something that’s really cute. 

Want to shout-out any of your other fav thrifters in the ‘Burgh?

Another person I love in Pittsburgh that thrifts a lot is my bestie Ryan and @stylingbychi

You can find Shekinah Noelle on Instagram at @noellebrown_.

Tracy Travaglio, She/Her 📍Dormont (📸: Courtesy of @traceofcool.)

When did your love for second hand shopping begin?

When I was in junior high, clothes weren’t made to fit girls with curves, so I often found myself drawn to vintage styles. I’d spend hours scouring the racks of my hometown’s Goodwill, Salvation Army, and single vintage store, and I’d also surf eBay for pieces that I knew would work well on my body type.

What are some of your favorite places in Pittsburgh to go thrifting?

I’m a vintage-loving girl. Three of my local favorites are Three Rivers Vintage, Highway Robbery Vintage, and Jackie Whoa Vintage

Can you share some of your greatest/most favorite finds?

My junior prom dress was a vintage find. It was a 1940s black Greecian-style gown with a silk slip and chiffon overlay. I remember being thrilled that it fit like a glove and I only paid $40 for it, while other girls were spending hundreds on their prom gowns. I also have a relatively rare folk-art purse made from folded 1940s cigarette boxes that I found in high school. 

Why is thrift or second hand shopping important to you?

Beyond the obvious environmental impact that shopping second-hand can have, I also love breathing new life into a piece and giving it another chance to shine. 

Do you have any thrift shopping tips for our readers?

If you’re new to thrifting, arm yourself with a plan or a specific focus or else you’ll get overwhelmed. Do you want to focus on finding a dress? Fall clothes for your kids? Concert tees? Head to that area of the store or that corner of the seller’s website. If you’re shopping online, make sure to know your measurements, and don’t be afraid to ask the seller for measurements on pieces that you’re interested in purchasing. 

Want to shout-out any of your other fav thrifters in the ‘Burgh?

Christen of @thriftyyinzer and Adrienne of @wanderlustandwardrobes are both great and have been in the Pittsburgh thrifting game for a while. One of my favorite newcomers is @amandajanethrifts

You can find Tracy on Instagram at @traceofcool.

Laura Whitman Dy, She/Her 📍Mt.Washington  (📸: Courtesy of @lulathrift)

When did your love for second hand shopping begin?

I grew up going to the thrift stores and yard sales with my mom, aunt, and cousin. I used thrifting to fit in during my high school years (lots of Hollister and Abercrombie) and then truly discovered my personal style when I went to college, when I felt confident to wear whatever I wanted.

What are some of your favorite places in Pittsburgh to go thrifting?

The Goodwill Outlet (bins) in Heidelberg, the Goodwill in Lawrenceville, the Red, White, and Blue on Saw Mill, and I also love checking out local estate sales!

Can you share some of your greatest/most favorite finds?

I feel like my answer to this question changes all the time because I am always finding great things! However, recently I just found a vintage floral lounge beach chair at a church sale for $4, and I am obsessed with it. I am also a sucker for a good 1950’s/1960’s purse and I just found an excellent one at a St. Vincent de Paul while on a thrifty roadtrip with some gal pals. It was only $1.50 — can’t beat that!

Why is thrift or second hand shopping important to you?

It has given me the chance to be creative and connect with people in real life and on social media! Plus, thrifting allows me to be more environmentally and fiscally responsible.  

Do you have any thrift shopping tips for our readers?

Go often new things are being added every single day. Think outside the box and how an item could be used or styled. Shop every single section there are hidden gems all over. And be nice to thrift store staff!

Want to shout-out any of your other fav thrifters in the ‘Burgh?

Raphaela of @thebinsqueen, of Christen @thriftyyinzer, Laura of @thriftstoresandscores.

You can find Laura on Instagram @lulathrift.

Christen Malone, Aka The Thrifty Yinzer, She/Her 📍Beechview (📸: Courtesy of @thriftyyinzer)

When did your love for second hand shopping begin?

Growing up, my parents were very frugal. For school shopping every year, my mom took me to a combo of secondhand stores and new stores. I feel like I was always able to get a new wardrobe each school year because of this! I wore everything from shoes to prom dresses that were secondhand. I remember one year, I had this amazing blue metallic dress (it was 2001, don’t judge me!) that was secondhand. I don’t think I’ve gotten more compliments on anything in my life! 

As an adult, I’m glad that my mom instilled this sense of frugality and mindfulness in me, because looking for things used before buying them new is definitely second nature to me now. A couple years ago I was invited to be on the executive board for Goodwill of Southwestern PA. It’s been an amazing experience so far, and I love being able to help them promote secondhand shopping! 

What are some of your favorite places in Pittsburgh to go thrifting?

Obviously a shout out to Goodwill of Southwestern PA! I love all of their locations in the Pittsburgh area. But beyond Goodwill, when I’m looking for a more curated experience, I like shopping consignment stores or buy/sell/trade places, such as Savvy Fox, Clothes Mentor, and Avalon Exchange. Not to mention, a good ol’ garbage picking adventure is always on my agenda! 

Can you share some of your greatest/most favorite finds?

This is a tough question because I feel like my “favorite” always changes, but one of my all-time favorite thrift finds is a Mid-century modern buffet table that I keep in my dining room. It set me back a whole $12! 

I also love a lot of the vintage and funky toys I’ve found at Goodwill. I have a 3 year old, so being able to easy and cheaply rotate out toys is great! Recently, I thrifted a vintage Little Tikes washer/dryer playset that I had as a kid! My daughter loves it, and it’s very nostalgic for me. And, since you asked, my favorite recent garbage picking find is an Ikea kids table and chairs that my daughter uses every day!

Why is thrift or second hand shopping important to you?

I’ve always been an advocate for living frugally from a budgetary standpoint, but as I learn more about the environmental impact of clothing and plastic production, it’s become more important for me to lessen my carbon footprint. Clothing is the second biggest polluter to the planet (fossil fuels being first.) Every year, the amount of textiles that are going into the landfill increases. We cannot continue to live like this, and I strive to display a lifestyle that is both stylish and fun, but extremely mindful of the environment. Secondhand shopping does just that. 

Do you have any thrift shopping tips for our readers?

Take your time! If you’re looking to thrift, say, a yellow sweater, don’t get discouraged if you don’t find a sweater in that perfect shade of yellow at the very first thrift store you visit! If you give yourself time, you’re bound to find everything on your wish list by shopping secondhand. Don’t limit yourself to just thrift stores, either. Visit consignment stores, yard sales, and online platforms like Ebay, Poshmark, and Mercari. I also love online groups such as neighborhood “Buy Nothing Projects” where members offer up free things or ask for items they’re looking for!  The thing you want is out there, I promise. 

Want to shout-out any of your other fav thrifters in the ‘Burgh?

Shout out to Raphaela of @thebinsqueen, Laura of @lulathrift, Alex of @alexandra.yargeau, Jess of @thriftingthe412, and Nicole of @This.was.trash.

You can find Christen on Instagram @thriftyyinzer and listen to her podcast, Trash N’at.

Chi Ilochi, She/Her 📍The Northside wearing a  thrifted outfit, plus a blazer from one of her favorite local boutiques, Sashay Renee. (📸: Courtesy of @stylingbychi)

When did your love for second hand shopping begin?

I found my love for second hand clothing during my teenage years. I went thrifting with a good friend of mine and immediately fell in love. I loved the endless possibilities and creative energy thrifting sparked in me as an individual and stylist.

What are some of your favorite places in Pittsburgh to go thrifting?

My favorite place in Pittsburgh to go thrifting is Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania in the Northhills area. Their manager Kevin always makes shopping there an enjoyable experience. I also love to thrift at Thriftique Pittsburgh, their manager Patricia creates such a pleasant and fun vibe for thrifters!

Can you share some of your greatest/most favorite finds?

Wow, the greatest find I had while thrifting was snagging a colorblock dress for one of my clients for less than 30.00. It was such a happy day for me!

Why is thrift or second hand shopping important to you?

Thrifting is important to me because it allows me to give back to my community, save my environment, and express myself in ways I’ve always struggled to. Thrifting allows me to be my authentic self in a world that is always trying to get me to change.

Do you have any thrift shopping tips for our readers?

I would advise readers to thrift with intention. If you go thrifting and buy everything because it’s $2,  you’re kind of contributing to the fast fashion mentality. Go into your favorite thrift store with an idea of what you want and need, that way you aren’t buying unnecessary pieces, overwhelmed, and hoarding clothing because it was a good price. 

Want to shout-out any of your other fav thrifters in the ‘Burgh?

Yes! I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today if it weren’t for my favorite thrifter, Jahlil Washington. This thrifter has helped me step out of my comfort zone in my personal style for as long as I can remember, and I will always be grateful for that. I am blessed to have him as a thrift inspiration and friend, it’s people like him that have brought out the best in me as a person and stylist.

You can find Chi at her Instagram @stylingbychi or StylingByChi.com.

By Francesca Dabecco



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