When I was growing up, I would have died rather than shop at a thrift store. I was lucky enough to have the option not to, growing up in an affluent suburb of Washington, DC, but a lot of people don’t have the luxury of being so snooty. Both of my parents came from more humble beginnings, and I remember that when my maternal grandmother died, my mother brought home all sorts of “treasures” from her home. I thought everything was chippy, dirty, and old-looking–was I dumb, or what? I’ve mended my ways and now realize that older stuff is usually better–it’s higher quality, better made, and maintains its value. Plus, lots of wonderful memories cling to furniture and household goods that are inherited from older generations.
Now, thrift store clothing runs the gamut. Some of it is a fabulous deal (fur coats, couture labels, designer bags), and some of it is just junk. My daughter and I joke about the number of “Grandma sweaters” we find at the thrift store. Grandma sweaters are the ones that your grandmother gave you for Christmas that are so hideous that you just donate them immediately. I got quite a few of those growing up! If you’re willing to spend some time sifting through the dross, though, you can find some great deals. Throw them in the washer and they’re as good as new.
A couple of good friends and I have a running contest to see who can find the best outfits at the thrift store. Here are my latest entries (take THAT, girls!):
Here I am with our sweet rescue dog, Harley, at the annual golden retriever rescue picnic. I didn’t realize it until I posted the picture on my personal Facebook page and a friend asked me what style my Vera [Bradley] purse was, but my entire outfit is from the thrift store, minus my boots and sunglasses! The pink jacket was $10, the brown hoodie underneath was $4, the purse (not a Vera, by the way) was $3, and the jeans were $4. If it wasn’t for the sunglasses and the boots (budget busters for sure), the hubby would have been pretty proud of me! Of course, buying the rest of the outfit at Goodwill means that I can splurge on the sunglasses and the boots. It’s all a matter of balance.
This top is my latest find. It’s blue and red chains are a pretty obvious Hermes knockoff, but I might be the only person in Nashville to know that!
While I wore it with a pair of dark-wash SFAM jeans here, it would work equally well with a pencil skirt and ballet flats for a dressier occasion. Silver hoops and a silver chunky chain necklace completed the look. Check out the reversible cuffs (love that blue and white stripe), but ignore the tiny ballet dancer in the background. She was getting ready to go to Nutcracker rehearsal (something that we do A LOT!). Not bad for a $3 shirt, huh?
I guess I’ve changed a lot since my youth, because not only am I admitting that I buy clothes at the thrift store, but I’m broadcasting it to a pretty big audience! I think that buying good quality used items makes me both a good steward of our household income and our environment. Why go out and buy something new, possibly of inferior quality or sewn in a sweatshop, for ten to twenty times the price of a good vintage item? I am blessed in that I can afford to buy new items, I just choose not to do it as often as I used to. Do any of you have some fabulous scores from the thrift store that you want to share?