I don’t remember the first time I ever went in a thrift store. Not a clue.

I do know that there used to be this odd junk/discount store next door to my dad’s scuba shop (a scuba shop in Mississippi, people. As far from the ocean as Mississippi can get. Only my dad. It was awesome.), and I used to spend far too much time in that place. It was actually a lot like that store in Napoleon Dynamite where they have everything all shoved on shelves in no order or reason. You could find a leisure suit for the dance right next to a jumbo package of adult diapers AND THAT WAS JUST THE MUSIC AND BEAUTY OF IT.

I don’t know why I liked it so much, but I did.

Then as I got older there were dig stores, where you could go and climb around in piles of unwashed, iffy, random clothes. You could fill up a basket or a bag or something and end up paying like fifty cents. My freshman year in college I wore nothing but clothes I’d gotten at just such a store. I had all kinds of awesome stuff, who cares if maybe someone died in it before.

I suppose, looking back over things that way, it makes sense the way I think about clothes now.

Here’s my issue: I have a real problem with buying clothes.

I know, right? What kind of American am I? And if I don’t buy clothes then where do I get them?

Well, there are lots of answers. I usually just wait for a friend (or to be very specific, my sister) to buy new clothes or have a cleaning session. Then I take the cast offs.

It sounds a little pathetic, and maybe it is, but I look at it this way – I hate to shop. I never pick out the right kinds of things and while I may spend a shitton of money, I end up with nothing comfortable or durable or that I even want to consider wearing. If I get clothes from someone else, I at least have validation that someone else liked this enough to spend money on it.

It’s also cheaper. And it appeals to my sense of conservation. Recycling clothes, yeah? And plus if I get clothes from other people it’s a form of flattery, right? Like, I like you enough that I want to wear your clothes.

Well, not in the creepy way that that just came across. Forget the weird of that, ok?

Anyway I’m saying all this because I’m hoping I’m not the only one.

9 thoughts on “Thrift

  1. You should check out

    She’s a graphic designer in Brooklyn, but she’s originally from Starkville, Mississippi, and she never buys new clothes. Her blog is about 50% graphic design/nerdy stuff and 50% about her shopping ventures… if you scroll down a bit, she recently posted some videos of her talking about her theory on wearing nothing new.

  2. You are definitely not the only one.
    I don’t buy very many clothes new either, save undies. It seems like a total waste of money when there are people all around me looking to offload theirs for cheap. Actually, many of our kids’ toys and furniture weren’t bought new either. And secondhand doesn’t mean garbage – I’ve picked up NWT designer stuff at Value Village more than once.

  3. I do buy clothes but mostly from thrift stores. Everso often I will get a piece I really love from Anthropologie and I plan on investing in some organic bamboo basics from Gaiam for fall and also a couple of pieces from Treehouse28. So, while I LOVE thrift and mainly buy there, I don’t really share the problem of buying clothes. Not at all. That’s why I need a swap party…

  4. I am sitting here wearing someone else’s castoffs. I am the queen of thriftiness. Love saving, love scrounging, love making something unique from very little monetary investment. Call me crazy, but I just love it.

    I popped over from #commenthour… was out of town last Weds and am happy to have some time this Saturday to visit everyone!

    Great to “meet” you today!

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