I love thrifting. Ever since I was able to make my own fashion choices and was allowed my two cents for where I wanted to shop I’ve had a passion for perusing second-hand stores. It’s the unknown, the hunt, the treasures, the obscure, the potential style and individuality and, yes, the price tag that draws me in. I also feel like I’m doing my small part in the world to help out when I buy second-hand.
Jr. High was where I started my self-expression through style. I loved silly t-shirts, button-ups, old-man trousers, cargo pants, suspenders, skirts and 70’s cardigans…all paired with my Doc Martens of course. My mom still bought me a lot of clothes and she hated taking me to Value Village, something about the smell and the feel of the garments bothered her. I didn’t always look like a punk rocker rag doll and, thank goodness, over the years my style has changed and shifted. On a side note: I was recently going through my wardrobe doing some tidying-up and realized that about 75% of all of my clothing is thrifted, gifted or hand-me-downs. I really don’t spend much on clothing and, when I do, it’s usually from a sale rack. Target has ridiculous discount prices on women’s clothing.
I do also shop else where now. I find that most pants are better to buy new with a proper fit (although I did alter a couple of pairs last year to make them work, and work they do!). Sometimes I’ll go a few months in between thrifting but after a lull I’ll always find myself back surfing the racks.
Now, when a-thriftin’ I go, I usually head to MCC or the Sally Ann before the V.V. Boutique mega store. I like supporting the Mennonite Central Committee and they’ll still sell a Banana Republic sweater for under $3.
My son has a problem with losing sweaters at school. He was down to one hoodie and when you live in a deep freeze like Winnipeg, one sweater doesn’t cut it. So yesterday I packed-up Eli and headed to our local MCC store.
I scored three sweaters for Rhys, a jacket for Amelia, a toque for Eli and a beautiful hand-dyed wrap skirt for myself. I was considering putting a few things back when I was approached by a volunteer and asked if I had a few minutes to spare to do a survey. Considering I love MCC and am there fairly frequently I figured I could take some time to do it. It was two pages long and, when finished, she handed me a $10 gift certificate to the store! I only ended-up paying $2 for all of our clothes.
Thrift Store Score!!
I usually leave the thrift store wondering why I don’t always try there first. My money is going to help people and there are so many newer, gently used clothes that have more life to give (not to mention shoes, books, housewares, and craft supplies) . Why are we spending exorbitant amounts of money on clothes that are the latest and greatest and have a certain label attached? Truth be told, most of my favorite articles of clothing that I’ve owned over the years have come from second-hand stores. I would love to start hitting-up some of the higher-end vintage and consignment stores in Winnipeg as there are quite a few that I’ve heard good things about.
So, do you love the hunt as much as I do? Does your personal style work well with thrifting? Or have you *gasp* never tried?