12 Months of Thrifting Challenge: September Prompt – Suede

Welcome back to the 12 Months of Thrifting Challenge. It’s officially fall y’all! This month we’re thrifting and styling suede. Real, vegan, or faux – doesn’t matter, as long as it’s secondhand.

If you’re wondering: is suede still in style? YES! It never left. Here are my top reasons why you should embrace this fall trend:

  • Suede is one of the biggest trends of the season. From decorating with plants, to wicker, to suede fringe – the 70’s nostalgia is back in full swing. Because it’s such a hot trend this fall, you’re going to see a lot of inspiration from major brands, which makes it easier to find suede styles when you’re out thrifting. Pro tip: screenshot or take pictures of your inspiration and try to find a similar style at Goodwill.
  • If following trends isn’t your thing, that’s okay too! Suede is timeless. It’s a classy and rich texture that makes any outfit look put together. Fashion is constantly repeating itself so use these modern designs to find their original counterparts at thrift stores.
  • Suede complements a lot of prints including floral, animal and paisley.

A few style tips to remember: when styling suede, stick to either real or faux suede and avoid mixing the two. Suede pieces in neutral colors are always a winner! So if you aren’t sure, start there. Avoid overly cheap faux suede.

How to clean suede

These are a few cleaning techniques I’ve either tried or have heard from others in thrift community.  Always test on a small area before you clean the entire item.

  • Machine wash faux suede (I’ve tried this but always check the care label).
  • Spot clean real suede with a leather cleaner (search major retail drugstores or leather apparel stores for cleaners).
  • Disinfect suede in the dryer on low heat with a dryer sheet (I tried this with fake leather and it worked).
  • Treat stains with a suede brush and white vinegar. (I have not personally tried this but lots of people online swear by this method).
  • Dry clean by a leather specialist.
  • Once it’s all clean or if it’s already clean, seal suede with a suede fabric spray that you can get at most stores.
  • Use talcum powder or cornmeal to treat a liquid spill (I’ve tried this and it worked).

Ready to shop? Every month we provide you with a handy shopping list so when you’re out thrifting at Goodwill you can easily find this month’s thrift theme.


Need time to warm up to this trend? Try searching for these items:

  • Suede moto jacket. You can start with neutrals like black or brown. To level this up, try a mustard or burgundy jacket.
  • Suede purses (clutches, tote bags, backpacks). Look for cool vintage shapes and colors. Suede fringe bags are always in style.
  • Suede ankle boots in a neutral color.


Ready to take it up a notch? Look for these items at Goodwill:

  • Suede ankle boots in a brighter color like mustard or burgundy.
  • Suede vests (with fringe).
  • Suede shift dress.
  • Belted suede jackets.
  • Faux suede blazers.


Okay, hot stuff! These bold pieces are sure to make a statement. Add these to your Goodwill wish list:

  • Vintage suede pants.
  • Suede trench coat.
  • Fringe suede jacket.

Want more style and thrifting inspiration? Tune into the Allow us to Rethriftrodeuce Ourselves podcast and hear us discuss this month’s thrift theme.