5 Secondhand Shopping Tips + Favorite Chicago Spots

secondhand shopping tips

secondhand shopping tips

secondhand shopping tips

[ Sweater: McShane’s Exchange ] [ Handbag: Rebecca Minkoff ] [ Boots: Tory Burch (on sale) ] [ Earrings: H&M (clearance for $3!) ]

5 Secondhand Shopping Tips +  Favorite Chicago Spots

Recently, I’ve been LOVING secondhand shopping. I used to think that it was so gross to wear someone else’s clothes, but I realized how pretentious that sounded. Then I thought, why not at least try it + see if I can find something trendy and save some cash?! Luckily, in Chicago, there are a lot of secondhand shopping spots, and all of the ones I have been to I have left with something! If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend these spots!

Favorite Chicago Secondhand Spots.

1. Crossroads Trading Co. 

There are multiple of these, but my favorite one is in Lincoln Park. Their jacket section is on point! I found the Lord & Taylor vest I wore in this post there for just $15. You’ll find lots of newer clothing in there. Very similar to a Plato’s Closet!

2. McShane’s Exchange Consignment

Another favorite in Lincoln Park right on Armitage. aka, one of my fav streets to shop on. This shop is adorable and just has racks and racks of clothes. I make sure to sift through every single thing when I go in, because there are so many gems! Speaking of gems, this is where I got the sweater I’m wearing in today’s post! It’s just an old Zara sweater, but it’s a great basic sweater to have in your closet and it was only $10. Major score. You’ll find some high end vintage designer pieces in here, too. I always love looking at the vintage Valentino shoes! *swoon*

3. Buffalo Exchange

Located in Wicker Park, this is THE secondhand shopping spot probably in all of Chicago. It’s always jam packed + it’s always a hit for me. The clothes here probably aren’t more then 2 seasons old, so they are going to be trendy + good quality. I once got an Endless Rose top that STILL retails for $55 for $15 in there. It still had the tags on it! I always have to assert some self control in here because they have so many good pieces + their prices are right. Try to go during the week if you can + avoid Saturdays at all costs. You can hardly get around in there on the weekend! Definitely a MUST shop when you are in the area!

Now that you know the best places to shop at, let’s talk about HOW to shop secondhand.

1. Use Yelp or Good Maps to find the good spots in your area
When I first moved to Chicago I used Yelp so much to find out what others thought of the local spots. Read the reviews! All of them! Also, what age group does it look like is shopping there? That’s a good indication on whether or not you’re going to like it. You’ll also want to look out especially for the spots in popular + trendy neighborhoods. Lincoln Park + Wicker Park are flooded with trendy young people, so obviously their consignment shops are going to be on par!

2. Find out when they get new merch
It’s important to know when a store puts out “new to you” merchandise. The good pieces definitely go quick! Be friendly when you go in + casually ask. It also helps to be super friendly anyways because then they are more likely to come down on prices. Wouldn’t recommend getting too aggressive though, it’s all already at a hefty discount!

3. Grab anything that looks interesting
Secondhand shopping is supposed to be fun! This is the best time to try on something that’s out of your comfort zone. If you find something a little bit funky, you can feel less guilty about buying it because it’s at a great discount. I mean, right? That’s how that works, right?

4. Found something you like? Give it a good look over.
Specifically you want to make sure it’s clean and has NO stains. Next, check and make sure it has all the buttons and zippers. Lastly, does it look ragged? Clothes that have been sitting in a secondhand shop for more than a year or so start to show some serious wear and you can totally tell.

5. Mix old + new
I love mixing secondhand “thrift” items with new pieces. I think you can come up with such a fun look that’s all your own + so affordable! I’m dying to find a designer handbag in a thrift store. It would be so fun to style with todays trends!

Do you like to secondhand shop? What are your best tips?
xo, Rach



  1. Vanessa Moore
    September 21, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    Oh snap there’s a Buffalo Exchange here in Columbus now I think I def need to check it out!

    Vanessa | http://www.vanessarenae.com

    • The Sass Room
      September 28, 2017 / 9:28 pm

      Definitely! You’ll love it! So trendy and affordable.

      Thanks for reading!

    • The Sass Room
      September 28, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      Mixing old + new is my new favorite! I’m all about an affordable look, especially when I can tie in something unique and secondhand!

      Thanks for reading, babe!

  2. September 22, 2017 / 1:33 am

    Love 2nd hand shop! You can really find some interesting pieces there. Looking chic babe.

    Xx #SCSisterLove

    • The Sass Room
      September 28, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      Definitely agree! I feel like I’ve been missing out for so long!

      xo Rachel

  3. September 22, 2017 / 1:34 am

    I feel like everything you said makes so much sense. That’s exactly the way I approach thrift shopping too!
    I have not gone to a 2nd hand store in a while, I need to start going again. I have found great vintage clothes thrifting; my favorite gem was a very heavily sequined top that went perfectly with high waisted pants.
    Thanks for posting!

    • The Sass Room
      September 28, 2017 / 9:30 pm

      Ooooh, that sequin top sounds like an amazing find! Hope you find more gems like that. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. September 22, 2017 / 7:20 am

    This is so cute! And these are great tips! Thanks for sharing!

    • The Sass Room
      September 28, 2017 / 9:30 pm

      Thank you, Emily!

      xo Rachel

  5. September 22, 2017 / 7:27 am

    I’m visiting Chicago in a couple months so I definitely want to check these places out!


    • The Sass Room
      September 28, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Yay! You’ll have to let me know if you find any goodies at these stops! 🙂

      xo Rachel

  6. September 23, 2017 / 12:59 pm

    Awesome post! Love your look!

    • The Sass Room
      September 28, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Thank you, Jordyn! It will be on repeat for sure!

      xo Rachel

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