Feel like thrifting?
Shopping can be thrilling, but on the other hand it can be stressful and cause you to weep quietly when you open your bank account. Either way, it’s something we do all the time.
Now, I want to talk about something that I, personally put on a whole other level than shopping – thrift shopping. Despite what you may think, thrift shopping is not grungy, sketchy nor do the stores smell funky. (The stores have a distinct smell but trust me; you’ll get over it. Even come to love it.)
I have been thrift shopping with my Mother, and Grandmother for as long as I can remember. They have a fiery passion for hunting down a good bargain. When I was younger, if someone complemented an article of clothing that was second-hand, I would feel embarrassed and would sometimes lie about where it was purchased. However, that was in middle school and we all know that no person in the whole entire universe looks back on middle school like “WOW I was such a mature, self-confident person, I wish I could go back. What a time!” No. It was a hot pubescent mess.
So it’s no surprise that sometime in between my tween years and now, I have followed suit with my Nana and come to absolutely LOVE thrift shopping. Whether that change of heart was caused by Macklemore, or the a realization that nothing matters less than how old or new your clothes are – as long as you feel good inside them ….we shall never know.
Now for all you who have never tried thrift shopping, or perhaps still have some reservations about the whole idea: Here is some advice. This is for you as I strongly encourage you to give it a whirl.
- Do not go to a second-hand store with something specific in mind.
Going to a thrift store thinking “This is a great opportunity to get that green and yellow 100% wool sweater I really, really need” is going to result in you being frustrated. This is not a real store, it will have everything and nothing. Go with an idea of what you like to wear, bring a giant pile into the fitting room and then narrow it all down to your top choices in order to find some serious winners.
- Don’t buy important things.
If you need shoes, jeans or a jacket, go to a real store. You wear these things every day, invest in them. Also, there is a 99.9% chance any or all of these items if found at a thrift store will have sequins on them. It’s a reality we must face.
- Value Village is kind of expensive.
Always remind yourself- I am buying clothing that has already had a whole life before me, whole other owner so should I be paying as much as I would if this was brand new? No. Absolutely not. Don’t get me wrong VV is where it’s at and I am a big fan but, Value Village is a good example of a place that can trick you into thinking you are getting a crazy awesome deal just because you are inside a second hand store. Do not just assume you are saving money just because you are buying second hand. You still have to do some bargain hunting.
- This is not shopping. It’s an entirely different experience.
Emphasis on EXPERIENCE. Dive in! Dig in the giant bins of very cheaply priced and sometimes beautiful clothing. Find that one item that everyone will ask “WHERE did you get that?” – Actually no, find seven of those. Buy more than you can hold and spend under 30$. Buy a shirt you never wear, and one you wear more than you would like to disclose.
Most of all, don’t pull a 7th-grade-me, don’t be ashamed of where, or how you came to own all your cool clothes. Flaunt your bargain. Flaunt your floral button-up pantsuit.
As long as you are happy, you look good!
Kathryn Blaikie, Online Contributor
Photograph: Sophie Barkham