Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Newbie Goes Thrift Shopping

(Somehow, this keeps posting early. I'm giving in and letting it be instead of fighting to delete and repost it. Enjoy!)

While I've been a thrift shop lover for many years now, I found out a friend of mine had never even been inside one. I was in need of a thrift-shopping afternoon to find some long-sleeve shirts anyway and my friend, an urban Jane, needed some jeans and sweaters, so we scheduled a trip.

Urban Jane had her doubts about thrift stores. As she put it, "I thought there would be a lot more clothing with 'questionable stains'." She was expecting what most people believe about thrift stores: that they're crowded, low quality, and not really useful as far as clothing goes.

There is a thrift store near my home which boasts a gigantic clothing selection. Quite literally, this place is the size of a grocery store. We spent a total of $50 between us, and this was the result:

Three pairs of pants, five shirts, one leather jacket, and two cardigans.
Urban Jane's reaction was what made the trip worth it!

Her words: "I didn't realize that I could find [name brand] jeans there. I know people who would love to pay $5-10 for their jeans. I buy cheap jeans for $20, and I know people who easily spend $80 on a single pair. "

On quality: "The jeans aren't exactly new, but I like that. They're already broken in, so I know that if they fit, they will continue fitting."

The best compliment: "I wish I'd known about this all through college. It's great!"

So, the tips of the day:
1) Select clothes by starting by type you want, narrowing by color, then style, then fit, then price. If it survives all these levels, it's something you definitely want to consider.
2)If you don't have a skirt to let you try on jeans (just shrug them on under a very loose skirt), snag one from the racks and use it. This is particularly important if your thrift store has no changing room to prevent theft.
3)Value of a piece is based on how much you like it and how much you'll use it. Only you can decide it. However, bringing a friend to tell you how it fits is definitely a nice thing.
4)A camera lets you see how you look if there's no mirror.
5)Splurge a little if you see something you absolutely love. It probably won't be there when you return.

Where do you all thrift shop? If you haven't gone, why?  

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, Jane. You're an evangelist for thrifting! I like tip #3, too: "Value of a piece is based on how much you like it and how much you'll use it." Whenever I'm in a resale shop, I'm like a kid in a candy store and often just buy stuff because it's cheap. Of course, cheap crap I won't really wear isn't cheap after all, is it? Thanks for the reminder to consider the overall value.