Does your wardrobe need an update but you have a small budget? Do you want better work clothes but don’t want to look like a mannequin at Target?

I have a secret addiction. I do it once or twice a month… sometimes when my kids are asleep.

Shhhh… Don’t tell anyone. I do ThredUP and I’m hooked!

update your wardrobe small budget

What is ThredUP?

It’s an online consignment shop with clothes for women and children, along with petite, standard, plus, and maternity sizes.

update wardrobe on tight budget
August Silk Top $6.37

My Story

After having my second child, I was in a conundrum. I was no longer my pre-pregnancy size nor did I want to continue wearing maternity clothes.

I literally had NO CLOTHES to wear! I didn’t want to hold out and wait until I lost weight because who knows when that will happen, when I have my hands full with two kids???

Yes, I would look at my closet full of cute clothes that no longer fit my new size and it was depressing. When I had to get dressed, I only had 3 tops that could pass as non-maternity clothes. And it was frustrating.

update your wardrobe on small budget
Gap Jacket $17.99

I realized that it wasn’t about my size but how I was dressing it (not flattering) and that I didn’t have clothes that truly fit and made me feel good.

So I broke down and went shopping. I got jeans that fit like a glove at Old Navy and some new, cute clothes at Target. I find it easier to find jeans, shorts, and pants in the store.

I spent maybe $200 and got some cool clothes that flattered my new body and finally felt better about myself. But I still wanted to continue to build my wardrobe.

I started to be strategic about it. What kind of clothes did I really need?

I had my son’s 1st birthday party and a wedding coming up where my kids were in the wedding. And I turned to ThredUP to find something stylish for me and my almost 1 year old son.

update wardrobe on small budget
J. Crew Wool Blazer $58.49 (I paid only $12.88 after referral credits), Anne Klein Pants $10.99

What I love about ThredUP

  • Many stylish pieces for under $10 and $20
  • Higher end brands that I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise
  • Easy returns
  • $5.99 Flat rate shipping

The crazy thing is I wouldn’t have been able to get all these cool clothes and handbags without ThredUP. Their prices are so incredibly low that they beat out Target, Old Navy, Ross, and even outlet stores!

With ThredUP, I really feel like I’m “living richly on a budget.”

update wardrobe budget
Urban Outfitters Dress $16

How to shop more efficiently on ThredUP

  1. Select your size through the filter button, so that you only shop for your size. They have petite, plus, and maternity sizes too.
  2. Focus on one category at a time. In order to save time and not get overwhelmed, I like to shop for one kind of clothing at a time, like tops or dresses. For me pants are hard to find a good fit for so I focus on jackets, tops, and dresses. When I want to shop for a new purse, then I focus on handbags.
  3. When I see something I like, I add it to my favorites list by clicking on the heart icon. The favorites list is like your watchlist. Then I go back later and decide on what I really want to buy. This saves so much time!
  4. Some items are more popular than others and if you don’t add an item to your cart, then anyone can add it to their cart and reserve the item. When an item is in someone else’s cart, it’s there for 24 hours. If they don’t purchase it within that time frame, the item gets added to the next person on the waiting list. Yes, you can waitlist an item!
update your wardrobe
Elle Denim Skirt $.99, yes, you read that right, the best deal ever!


How do returns work?

I know you were thinking of this question. Am I right?

If something doesn’t work out and it’s not a final sale item, go to your ThredUP account and select orders. Then click on the the checkbox for the item and click return. You can choose to get store credit and get a free USPS shipping label or pay for your own return shipping and get refund on original payment method. I usually choose store credit. This applies if you live within the 48 contiguous states of the U.S.

And might I say that returns have been quicker lately, like the next day after my return as they are testing different refund processes. I can’t promise that yours will be as fast but just letting you know about my experience.

What to keep in mind

  • ThredUP sells clothes, handbags, and accessories secondhand and new with tags
  • It’s online shopping so things may not always fit like how you think it will.
  • Most items are draped on mannequins with front and back pictures.
  • Out of the many pieces that I order, I keep maybe 25% – 50% of them.
  • I return things all the time but it’s not a big deal. If you choose store credit for your refund, then you can print a free shipping label. I usually package the returns in the same box the clothes came in and drop it off at FedEx, which is faster, but you can drop off at USPS too.
  • Handbags and final sale items are not returnable.
  • Be sure to measure the handbags. What I mean is when I see the dimensions of a handbag, I get out my measuring tape to see how small or large the handbag really is because the photo can be very deceiving, even though they are pictured on a dress form. I have bought handbags where I thought I knew the size but when they arrived, the handbags were tiny! Again, handbags are not returnable.
  • Shipping is free if you order $79 or more.
  • I haven’t sold anything through ThredUP though. I just enjoy buying things through them.

Want to update your wardrobe on a small budget too?

Get $10 off your first order at ThredUP through my referral link!

update your wardrobe on a small budget