There are common misconceptions about thrifting that even I had to overcome. It wasn’t until I stepped outside my comfort zone to look for work attire did I start to realize how wonderful of an avenue it was. All of a sudden, a new world of even more affordable and wonderful shopping opened up. The more I educated myself on the good it does to give clothes a second life, the more hooked I became. If you find yourself creeped out by the thought of walking into a Goodwill or any second-hand store, consider this read as I lay out a more realistic reality of what a thrift store is not.
Dirty, icky, clothes – Thrift store perception
Occasionally, you will run into a shirt with a stain or a hole in it. But more often than not, the article of clothing is in good enough condition to repurchase. I have found beautiful, high-value items and I have also seen some broken down pieces of crap. Thrifting is not easy, but it is undoubtedly fun. When you find a diamond in a the ruff, it is like winning the jackpot.
Thrifting stores and charity shops are not THAT bad. Like any business, you will find some that convert you to an evangelical for that store, and you will find some that make you rethink your shopping choices.
For example, the Goodwill near me has decent selections; but it is dusty as heck! Whereas the Goodwill near my job is beautiful and pristine with wonderful choices. Just like Dollar Trees, Walmarts, nail salons, and any other business, there will be nice facilities and there will be low-star-rated facilities.
If interested in tips on shopping in a thrift store like Goodwill, check out my post about 5 tips to start shopping second-hand.
Thrift stores are for poor people
Perhaps second-hand stores are technically geared toward low-income communities. But the reality is that there are all kinds of walks of life wandering through the store. Therefore, don’t feel like you are less than just because you need or want to shop second hand.
There is no shame in the thrifting game. If someone tries to shame you, it is because that person is either misinformed or is superficial about the topic; I know I was. I used to shame my husband for going there. Now, I prefer to go alone because I like to take my time to peruse on down the aisle.
Thrift store choices are scarce and can ruin your style
Thrifting does not ruin your style. You can find the same type of trends in second-hand; after all, people usually by fast fashion, wear it 3-5 times and then discard it. So guess where it goes?
If anything, slow fashion will help you expand your style. Sifting through the racks over stuff that is vintage, new, and from brands you have never heard of broadens your choices. Exposing yourself to different possibilities can expand your style in a way that you wouldn’t get in a regular store that caters to one look.
I often get compliments on the items I thrift. When they ask me where I got it, it is quite interesting to see people’s faces when I tell them I got it from Goodwill. They are often surprised and probably judgmental if I had to guess. Either way, I don’t care because the joke is on them! I didn’t pay $100 for an Eddie Bower sweater, you did! I just was lucky to buy it for $4.
Plus, slow fashion and thrifting aligns with my values. I want to part of a movement that gives clothes a second life away from a landfill. Gone are the days when I contributed to the wasteful lifestyle of buying clothes that last one or two seasons. I seek longevity. If that means thrifting my clothes or investing a pretty penny – so be it!
The reality of thrifting
I am not gunna lie. Thrifting is hard work. You have to search so it takes time, patience, and an open mind to look at a garment or item and see its potential. That is why apps like Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop have risen in popularity. They not only market to people who desire to sell their clothing but also they also connect those that do not want to do the work into digging through a second-hand store. Some people have created successful businesses out of the art of thrifting!
Just remember that if someone doesn’t understand why you thrift, don’t be hostile about it. Educate them as to why you want to – or not; it is your prerogative. Either way, shopping at a thrift store can be rewarding in many ways and not just on your finances.
The OOTD Breakdown
I salvaged this top from Goodwill. At first, I was hesitant about the wrinkly and see-through mesh. However, I saw it’s potential after seeing how it fit me effortlessly.
The periwinkle/blue color is an excellent addition to my wardrobe, and I like that I could wear a strapless bra with biker shorts for a casual summer look. Alternatively, I could wear it with a strapless bodysuit with the biker shorts to show less skin.
I will be experimenting with it this summer, but I am already happy with the breezy nature of the garment. It is a size medium and drapes on my shoulders without effort. Usually, off-shoulder tops are too tight and roll up my arms. However, this top did not and I was excited to style it.