My Dresses From Thrift Stores

If you’ve been reading this blog for any time (BIG SHOUT OUT to all the newest subscribers–THANK YOU!–and thanks to all my other subscribers; luv ya!), you know that I come from the philosophy that life doesn’t have to be financial suicide. Not only do I furnish my house with thrift store goodies (like my latest project, my thrifted craft room! Have you seen it yet?), but I also love to scout out some pretty thrift store clothes to add to my so-called wardrobe.

I’m not a fashionista by any means!

So when I found this dress at a thrift store in Hawaii last month while on vacation to the Big Island (yes, I go to thrift store while on vacation–I’m weird like that!) I had no idea if animal prints were “in” or “out.” But I just knew I liked it! And it even had–GASP!–pockets. Brilliant!

$8.00 thrift store animal print dress


That’s my crazy friend, Angela, that I met with my group in Hawaii. She loves all things crafty and thrifty like me, so she was down for a little thrift diving, too! 🙂





So last week I emailed that pic to her and asked, “How would you accessorize this dress?

Her response??

“I wouldn’t. Animal prints are played out.”

Say WHAT?!

When did that happen?

So I knew I needed to ask my Thrift Diving Facebook friends, and you all were AWESOME and overwhelming agreed that my friend didn’t know ANYTHING (lol) and that animal prints NEVER go out of style and is classic! You gave some great suggestions, like pairing leopard prints with black accessories, fitted blazers or cardigan, black tights, maybe loafers or pumps; some said YES for pairing with red, some said NO WAY with red. Also, you guys said animal prints are fine as long as you do one print at a time (not, like, the whole sha-bang).

I tried to work with what I already had in my limited closet, and this is what I came up with.

Whuddya think?


Thrift Diving thrift store clothes animal print dress6.jpg

I paired this dress with whatever I had in my closet. Wasn’t much! Just some knee-high boots I have had forever…..a black blazer….and a thick belt. But  I like it! I just have to make sure I don’t bend OVER! ‘Lil short for a woman of 35…. LOL

This $8.00 thrift store animal print dress would look great with a black sweater, too!

This $8.00 thrift store animal print dress would look great with a black sweater, too!


Thrift Diving thrift store clothes animal print dress3.jpg


I wonder if big, bushy hairdo’s ever go out of style?

If so……then I’m in trouble!


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Thrift Diving thrift store clothes animal print dress5.jpg

Sometimes just a silly face makes you look good, no matter what you’re wearing. LOL

Thrift Diving thrift store clothes animal print dress2.jpg


And just this past week, I went to MY thrift store (the one I get everything from) and was digging around through racks and racks of frumpiness, and–SCORE!–saw this clingy black dress that felt….what’s the word….NOT CHEAP. I mean, you could tell from the material that it was good quality. I didn’t even try it on. I just assumed the “M” size would fit.

Later, when I looked up the name, Rachel Pally, sure enough–these designer dresses go for $160 – $260! WHOA!

Thrift Diving thrift store clothes dress Rachel Pally3.jpg


The twisted, knotted bodice is so flattering and feminine!

Thrift Diving thrift store clothes dress Rachel Pally9.jpg

I loved how the back scooped down. I wore this dress to work on Friday and got a nice compliment from a cute Neurologist that works on my floor. 😉 Hubby said, “Hmph, don’t let it go to your head.” But who doesn’t love a nice compliment from a man! A CUTE one, at that??

Thrift Diving thrift store clothes dress Rachel Pally5.jpg

Thrift Diving thrift store clothes Rachel Pally7.jpg

Trying to have a mini-fashion shoot in the basement with your kids around can be a little challenging, but I had to take a moment to take some cute pics of my 14-month old, Kojo.

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Don’t you love how toddlers always seem to lose one sock and walk around with the other one all day? Awwww…….

Thrift Diving with the baby.jpg

Anyhow, this next dress also came from that Hawaiian Goodwill. I love this one, too! I knew with a belt, it could be fabulous!

And, you guessed it– $8.00. Seems $8.00 is the magical number for thrifted dressed, eh?


Thrift store clothes spring dress


And it even complimented my backside, which, in my opinion, is a MUST when you buy clothing!


Thrift store clothes spring dress


So I tossed on a belt with it, which is the ONLY light-colored belt I own (LOL), and I think it looks good. What do you think?

I absolutely LOVE the turquoise and lime green! Just wait until spring comes…..!! A pretty little dress for work!

Thrift Diving thrift store clothes spring dress2.jpg

I still love those pockets!!!

Thrift Diving thrift store clothes spring dress.jpg


Thrift Diving thrift store clothes spring dress3.jpg

Here’s another dress I bought from my own thrift store some time ago. It 100% silk, and was $10!

Thrift Diving thrift store clothes silk dress.jpg


And last but not least, here’s a cute little (you guessed it!) $8.00 thrift store dress I picked up in Hawaii, also. I LOVE IT!!!!!!! I can’t wait until warmer weather!

Thrift store clothes_Blue Summer dress


And Just For Fun…..

Here’s a look you WON’T find me rockin’. EVER. lol…….

I wonder if a cute belt could transform it….HA!

P.S. Notice the little sexy off-the-shoulder strap? HILARIOUS!

Thrift store clothes_pink nightmare


Your Turn!

I want to hear from you all!

So what dress did you like most?

Have you found any awesome dresses at the thrift store for $8.00, too? 😉 Please consider leaving a comment and share your great stories and comments. I read them all 🙂



There’s still a little time to sign up for my “Introduction to Furniture Painting” class! There are 6 slots, and 3 have been filled. It will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9th, from 1 – 4:30 p.m. Come sip wine with us while we paint furniture and talk thrift stores :). Email me for info on how to sign up.










About the Author ()

Hey there, I'm Serena, a 38-year-old working mom of 3 young boys who can't get enough DIY! If you actually made it to the bottom of this post to read this, it means you're really enjoy my blog. That means SO much. If I can inspire just one person through my passion and energy for DIY, then I'm fulfilling my life's purpose. Thanks for joining me, and I hope you'll subscribe so we can keep in touch! ~Serena

Comments (20)

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  1. Clara Mason says:

    Looking gorgeous!!! Great outfit feels so cool. Thanks for sharing your pics

  2. Beverly says:

    Love the leopard print dress! I think it would look really cute dressed down with a jean jacket and sandals or flats.

  3. I love your comment on wearing your hair natural. It makes me sad when I see black women wearing wigs to hide their hair. There is nothing prettier than a black woman wearing her own hair and flaunting it. Serena your hair is gorgeous and you wear it so well. I hope other women find the courage from your example.

  4. I also love shopping at thrift stores for clothes. So much cheaper!

  5. Chris says:

    Very nice black boots, super! I love it:)

  6. Gwen says:

    Hey Serena, love your site. On another note regarding HAIR….heard you mention something about it. Just wanted to exclaim that beginning tomorrow, I will be going la-natural (transitioning)…Yay–Funny thing, once I made the commitment in my mind to do so. I gained this surge of new energy and sense of new-found authenticity…sense of liberation. Can you relate? …Had to share this somewhere…hope ya don’t mind.

    • Serena @ Thrift Diving says:

      Girl, YES! First of all, congrats on going natural! I went natural back in 1999, right before graduating from college. I just couldn’t do relaxers anymore! Why should I have to? Hair for is black women has always been a struggle. I remember being a young girl and hating that all the other races has long pretty feminine hair, and I had this dry curly ‘fro. Kept trying to get it as long and as straight as possible, but it was a losing battle. Finally I just stopped. And it was liberating, like you said. No more pretending I was something I wasn’t. So back in 2000 I had about 6 inches of new growth and 3 inches of damaged processed hair. I took out the scissors and chopped off the damaged stuff. Loved it! Have kept it curly ever since! Get hair products that work for you. It makes a world if difference. And celebrate your beautiful hair! 🙂

  7. Splendor says:

    You scored some great dresses. I like the black one and the turquoise one the most. I don’t typically find great deals in the clothing department at thrift stores but did get a nice sundress for $5.00 once.

  8. Kelly R says:

    Nice dresses.. Great finds.

  9. Paula says:

    All of them awesome finds! Love the black one and I think your hair is gorgeous. 🙂

  10. WOW Great Finds, especially at a thrift store. My 15 year old loves the 90’s style so I find us shopping there a lot ( I feel I have taught her well if she wants to go to the thrift store to shop!!)

    • Serena @ Thrift Diving says:

      Jesica, that’s awesome!! I was just posing the question recently to people on the Thrift Diving FB page if kids get teased for shopping at the thrift store! Back in my day, when I was younger (am 35 now), kids were teased. But now, it’s, like, the cool thing to do! I love that your teen is into thrift stores too!

  11. Kathy says:

    They’re back??? I think I shall pass on that fad.

    Never tried skinny jeans. I think my legs would look like stuffed sausages.

    • Serena says:

      Yeah, I think they’ve been back for awhile! I could just never wear them, until I found that pair at BHWM. It’s all in the stretch, I think! LOL….stuff sausages…. 🙂

  12. Kathy says:

    When you asked about animal prints, I was thinking my youngest (a college student going into fashion marketing and journalism) had recently purchased some animal prints. I checked her blog and yep, she did. And I was thinking black jacket or wide belt – so you must have been reading my mind, which was channelling my fashion diva daughter!! So ya did good!! 🙂 I LOVE the font of that black one!! So flattering!! I also loved the turquoise/lime green one. CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!

    • Serena says:

      YAY! Wait, so I made a fashionable choice?!?! WHEW! Seriously, because I am a basic kinda dresser. I find tight tanks and jeans to be the most sexy look I have ever pulled off. LOL. So this is definitely going outside of my comfort zone. But I love playing with new looks, and for CHEAP! How cool that we’re on the same wavelength, Kathy! lol

      • Kathy says:

        🙂 I definitely think she’d approve. I am also a blue jean sort of girl. Trying to fight my way out of Mom jeans. Though I did stop wearing the tapered leg jeans when someone on Oprah said they make your butt look big. LOL

        • HA!! Wait, I thought tapered leg jeans were hot again? LOL. Just as long as they don’t make it look like you were hit with a board in the butt (READ: flat, wide butt). LOL!!!

          I could never really wear tapered or skinny leg jeans. Makes me look like a CHICKEN! Although I did get a pair of sort-of skinny jeans from White House Black Market and they fit nicely!

  13. Valerie says:

    Hi Serena,

    My favorite dress in the line up is the black one, but you totally can rock that animal print one too, it looks great on you with the belt and blazer. and if big bushy hair goes out of style I too will just have to be out of style for a while because I can’t/won’t tame this mane. 😉

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