I'm an expert thrifter – my top three tips for finding treasure while shopping, including staying true to your style | The Sun

THRIFT and vintage shopping can be overwhelming especially if you don’t know where to start, however one thrifting expert has exclusively given her top three tips. 

Sarah Pruitt, CEO and founder of Selcouth Wares, recently joined The U.S. Sun on a thrifting excursion to popular thrift store Beacon’s Closet in New York City. 

In order to find the best deals and quality items from a thrift shop, Pruitt offered three top tips. 


Before purchasing an item, it is important to ensure it can last you longer than a couple of days.

“I want to make sure the secondhand items are in good condition,” Pruitt said. 

This can be done by looking for holes, ripes, broken seams, or thinned out material. 

This is especially key if you plan on upcycling the item and make it your own. 


“The main thing to look for is to focus on your true inspiration and vision,” Pruitt said. 

The thrifting queen uses items she finds to create more unique outfits at home, sewing pieces together, mixing patterns and textures.

“It's easy to see… when you start to sell things, what people are buying and looking for,” she said about selling her creations. 

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“But you need to stay true to what you're doing.” 

For Pruitt, the idea behind her whole brand is to stand out.

“It’s an opportunity to dress for yourself and be authentic.” 


The third tip Pruitt has for shoppers is to not be scared by unusual textures or bold patterns, but to intentionally seek them out. 

“I look for texture, color and pattern. A lot of times, it's very eccentric and over the top,” she said. 

“Maybe only one in ten will buy it. But I'd rather make a truly authentic piece and find that right person to style it and take it on.” 

By doing this, Pruitt noted she can give a “new life to forgotten textiles. 

“I will think about materials I have at home and how to upcycle them. Even if I don't have a plan, I can wait weeks, or months until I come across the right materials. If I think it has potential, I'll go for it.” 


Pruitt’s business, Selcouth Wares, is an online vintage shop focused on creating 60s and 70s cycled one-of-a-kind garments for its customers. 

She launched the website in November 2022, after she quit working his corporate job to follow her passion. 

“Leaving a stable job, it’s scary and a risk, but sometimes [you] have to go for it and know you will make it happen,” Pruitt said. 

“I’m glad I did. Trust the process.” 

The thrifting extraordinaire started thrift shopping with her mom before finding out creative style.

Now, she calls the process “therapeutic.” 

Prices for Pruitts unique finds vary depending on how many individual pieces she had to the final product. 

For one funky blazer, the base cost she spent was $25. She then added five crochet pieces to the outfit at $20 a piece. 

In order to make a profit off the final item, Pruitt listed the blazer at $250. 

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“If I'm up-cycling more of a shirt, the perceived value is different. People will pay less for a shirt than a blazer. So it's feeling it out for each item,” she revealed.

Selcouth Wares does feature items at a more affordable price as well, with some shirts listing at $25.

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