Don't Overlook the Men's Department



Whenever I enter a 2nd hand shop I always look in the men's department first.  Traditionally menswear is not loaded with fast fashion.  The styles are much more traditional, the fabrics are almost always superior and the cost is less.  I found this white sweater last year at our local Goodwill.  The tag was cut out so I don't know the brand but my guess would be Nordstrom or a similar store because of the weight and fabric.


Underneath the sweater is a Hanes V-neck Tee.  These are indispensable to me.  I wear them with everything from gardening to yoga.



The pants are Wrangler mens size 31.  I had no idea I'd love the fit so well but I do.  So don't rule out the men for tee's, pants and shirts.  Would you or do you shop in this department?  Share all your shopping secrets below please. xo


32 comments

  1. I like your idea of the Hane's V-necks.

    Over many years, I bought my dad a lot of long-sleeved, flannel shirts. Good-quality ones (L.L. Bean mostly); some Pendletons, too, from a very nice menswear shop in my town that's not there anymore. He'd wear them open to the front, like a cardigan, once he started to wear jeans in retirement. When he died, I just couldn't let the best ones go. I'll wear those shirts occasionally around the house in winter. Or on a casual errand. I bought some for myself many years ago, in pastel tones (like pale pink plaid), at the old Land's End before it was associated with Sears; I still have them; they've just lasted forever.

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  2. love this look and could not agree with you more!

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  3. I buy my simple V neck sweaters in the men's section. They are usually cheaper and have basic colors. I like a looser fit. I also buy socks in the men section. I wear a size 10 in women's and I always put holes in the women's socks I buy.

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  4. Oh my goodness! I never thought to check out the mens dept. at our local thrift store & Goodwill, but I will now. Great idea! You look adorable!
    Linda

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  5. I had never thought to check there either, thank you for the tips!

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  6. I always look in the big kids' thrift shop section because the larger sizes can often fit me. Also with the way sizes are getting much bigger, often the xs women's is still too big.

    And the kids' clothes are less expensive!

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  7. I have purchased and worn (new and second hand) men's socks, jacket, sweaters, sweat shirts, t shirts, and even a cotton button-up shirt. Before thinking about it and listing it, I wouldn't have guessed I had owned that much men's clothing.

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  8. I also go to the men's section first. It's much more likely that I'm going to find something of quality there. My collection of vintage blazers are all from the men's department, as are all of my work pants and most of my flannel shirts. My outfit yesterday included a charcoal and violet striped v-neck merino Perry Ellis sweater from, you guessed it, the men's department at Goodwill.

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  9. You are so lovely...looking at your simple jeans and top and here you totally sparkle.

    I have never even thought to look at menswear!!!!
    My goodness you are a gem...I would LOVE a second hand V neck cashmere sweater...
    maybe menswear is where I will find one.

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  10. I often buy things in the men's department!
    although I don't look nearly as chic as you do! but if you go with the classic look you can't go wrong I think. and I do that.
    let the chips fall where they may. I pretend I'm looking very ralphie lauren. LOL!
    isn't it strange that men's clothes are almost always better made and of better quality materials. it's true. that alone makes me want to shop in their area more!

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  11. Love this idea! I stopped by our local thrift and saw a nicely dressed woman with a stack of mens neck sweaters.in her buggy..all cashmere. PS i found a nice 2 piece Ralph Lauren pajamas for myself ❤

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  12. I inherited my husband's cotton trousers (shrank in the dryer) and omg, the pockets are very deep and hold everything I need on my walks! They hang loosely ala Kathryn Hepburn and make me feel thin and chic. I love them!
    Such fun - thinking outside the Box! Thanks, Janet - Jan-Leanne

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  13. Boys oxford shirts are much less expensive than women's.
    And like you, I love men's Hanes v neck t-shirts are great. They come in black too.

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  14. Great tip! I haven't thought to try men's jeans since my high school days, when we all wore "unisex" Levis or Lees. I used to wear Hanes white T's when I was in my 20's (several decades ago!), thanks for reminding me. I'll have to revisit those options. ~suburbanmom2

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  15. I tend to buy men's shirts and wear them baggy and open like a cardigan - I've always found that they are made from sturdier, nicer fabrics (brushed cotton etc), are tailored well and are much cheaper. And while I have rarely found a women's classic white cotton shirt I like, I can usually find something in the men's. Same for jumpers and plain t's. It appals me how inflated prices seem to be for women's clothes compared to men's. I can get a really nice quality man's white cotton shirt new for £10, where the same shop will charge £14 to £16 for a female version, with flimsier fabric and basic tailoring. So always check the men's department! 😃 Susie xx

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  16. I have always said how much better my husband's jumpers wash than mine even cheap ones which never seem to lose their shape like mine do often. I think I shall be looking in the men's department from now on.

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  17. Yes, I'll definitely shop in the men's clothing section, at the thrift store to boot. Sometimes I get funny looks, but I don't care. You look so stylish in your white-on-white with men's jeans!

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  18. Brilliant suggestion on shopping in the men's department. I also have bought the men's v-neck tees for years as well as the Hanes tank top tees to sleep in.

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  19. I also wear men’s flannel shirts as cardigans. My latest, from the thrift shop, is a heavy flannel that looks almost like wool. Great casual/retirement wear. You look great — are you growing out your hair? Any tips for keeping graying hair from becoming too dry?

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  20. I love this post because I thought I was the only who loved men's clothing...the styles seem to stay classic. I don't find many things that fit, but I do have big feet & have a pair of tennis shoes I love that are men's size 8...I always get compliments on them.

    I will be cleaning out my closet this winter & building a new one myself...I love these types of projects. You have inspired me continuously to find classics & a "look". I can see that I will not stray much from denim, white shirts & an occasional drab orange, which I love. I really can't wear black, but have gone with a dark grey which I think works better for me. I wear warm vests in the winter with vintage wool sweaters & can't go wrong with that for my life style.

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek

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  21. Well, upon my word, I never would have guessed they were mens clothes. They fit beautifully on your slim body. And you are so right, the quality is so much better usually. I occasionally browse their section in the charity shops but I don't think I've come away with anything yet. You've encouraged me to not rule out that section though, but to keep going back.
    Happy weekend, hugs, x.

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  22. What a great idea, I think I’ll have a peak through the men’s section. I’ve heard others rave about the basic Hane’s men’s tee - time to give them a try!

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  23. You look great in those cute jeans! I love menswear - the patterns, quality, etc - I buy my socks there regularly, they're a much better fit for my size 10 flippers than what I find in the ladies dept, and since I'm in barn or riding boots a good bit of the time the extra thickness and sturdiness are essential. I wear skirts most days, but I count on my husbands hand-me-downs for oxford cloth shirts (he is a difficult fit, and I frequently get a shirt from him that's only been worn once). As for blazers, etc, the mens sections of Goodwill and thrift stores can be awesome. $20 bucks worth of tailoring and you've got a high quality, lifetime piece.

    Happy Sunday!

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  24. Another inspiring post. Thank you!

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  25. I recently bought a linen Ralph Lauren button-down shirt in the men's section, size small. It's perfect. Loose and long enough to wear with leggings or skinny jeans, but it adds that classic touch to make said skinny jeans a little less skinny. :)

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  26. I have been wearing men's running shoes for years now because they fit my feet better than women's running shoes. Recently I have also started buying men's leather slip-on shoes as well. Men seem to get the more traditional leather colors that I prefer. Also,
    women's slip-on shoes tend to be flimsier and made of poorer quality leather unless you buy really expensive ones.

    I have broad shoulders, so men's shirts often fit me better. I wear a lot of my husband's old flannel shirts around the house. For rugged outdoor jackets I have always gotten the men's version. And I am tired of jeans that are not 100% cotton, so I may have to check out the men's jeans department. Isn't that how it all started when women first began wearing jeans? I guess we really have come full circle!

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  27. Have always loved the fabrics used in men's clothing. Lways wondered why equal quality fabric cost more made into women's clothing. I love Lucky Brand t-shirts as they are very soft. Have worn my dad's old hand me down shirts for years. Many are the old polyester kind of dress shirts that come out of the laundry wrinkle free. Now that I'm retired, men's shirts worn with jeans or shorts for gardening or other everyday activities are my uniform. Saves money for a splurge in the women's department! Love your posts.

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  28. This post is right up my alley, as some of my favorite outfit inspiration comes from Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. Men's trousers are usually made with great fabrics, and are well-constructed, and the vintage pleated styles look great a bit low on the hips, with a belt or a pair of suspenders, a men's buttondown, turtleneck, or feminine blouse, and a fitted blazer. So, yes, many of my favorite vintage/thrifted things are from the men's section of the shops. Gender neutral clothing is the best! Thanks for posting this, Janet. Nice reminder.

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  29. Very chic look!
    I love to find men's cashmere sweaters at the thrift store. My shoulders are quite broad and the fit is great. I layer them up like matrushka dolls when winter kicks in.

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  30. From now on I won't (overlook the men's department).
    I read your blog faithfully yet comment far too seldom for it's consistently worth the read and I always learn and am inspired whether it's about healthy eating, gorgeous wallpaper, wardrobe culling or great affordable finds you are kind to share. Many thanks.

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  31. My Dh and I share a love of Hanes round neck cotton undershirts - he wears them with shorts and jeans -- and I wear them to bed and under so many shirts and sweaters! Always check the men's department in T.J. Maxx, Marshalls etc. Always wonderful just-out-of-season buys along the clearance racks!! Much nicer cotton tees for under $10! And shirts! And sweaters! And jackets!

    As always I am so grateful for your wonderful blog!

    Cheers! Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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kindness is never out of style.

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