How to find and rock the perfect secondhand coat

I was browsing through my coat closet in preparation for this post to share my favorite most colorful secondhand coat for the 12 Months of Thrifting Challenge and I couldn’t get myself to narrow it down to one. I stood in awe at how many great coats I’ve thrifted over the years. But not just any coats –  bright, cheery, and colorful ones all for a fraction of what it would have cost at the mall or a boutique.  As a Northeast Ohio native, I take my coats seriously but I never feel like I have to sacrifice style for function.

Here’s my wardrobe strategy on coats:

Always, always have an extremely warm, durable coat in a neutral color like gray or black (I prefer black).

Don’t hesitate to wear bright summer hues either, a bright pink or even yellow coat are completely acceptable in the winter. Considering most of what we see during the frigid winter months is our coats, our outer layer needs to make a statement! There’s no better way to do this than with a bold color. Plus, who doesn’t like a little color on a cold, gloomy day? Vintage wool coats are built to last, so keep an eye out for unique styles and colors that you can make your own.

All this to say: I LOVE to thrift coats. It amazes me how you can find a durable, warm coat for around $6 at Goodwill Akron stores (or even less if you have a coupon!) $6 for a coat is absolutely unheard of at regular retail stores.

Here’s how I thrift coats at Goodwill:

First, I seek some inspiration online or in magazines. For example, over the last year, I was heavily inspired by the yellow trend I was seeing on the runway so I set out to find a bright yellow coat or jacket. Then I head to my favorite Goodwill stores armed with a coupon to see what I can find. It always helps to go to several stores to really find what you’re looking for.

My favorite Goodwill stores for coats in Akron are the Waterloo and State Rd. locations. I always have great luck there!

Next, I make sure to check the coat’s lining to ensure it’s warm and in good condition. I always try the coat on because there’s nothing worse than a coat that’s too tight. Sometimes I’ll even grab a sweater off the racks and wear it underneath the coat to make sure I can move around comfortably.

Need some thriftspiration? Let’s talk a walk down thrifty lane and check out the best statement coats I found at Goodwill, all $6 or under!


Be sure to join us in the 12 Months of Thrifting challenge. This challenge is designed to help you build a thrifted wardrobe of essential items, month by month. All while learning to love the art of thrift!

You May Also Like