Thrift stores and charity shops are everywhere it seems. It could have been that they always where there and I am just noticing them. I always feel two strong emotions when I enter one. It’s either the excitement of purchasing an item at a steal price or the guilty feeling that I find it slightly yucky having something that was a strangers become mine. Maybe I’m about to look killer in a killers pants. Not cool. Or maybe someone saved a life and I might not give up my seat in the tube in them. Although the cloths first life is unknown, so is it’s second life.
It’s second life start in either a well organized small store or the big and at times messy stores. They almost always have this smell… I can’t describe it but it hits you at the door. It’s the genuine smell of all the , experiences the previous owner couldn’t wash out and are what the second user must acknowledge. There are no sales assistant or shiny lamps to exhibit the item in its best light. Just music you would never on your own listen to but come to love (Artists like Selena, Elvis and a lot of 50s music).
Being in thrift store pushes me to my shopping limits…it forces me to be creative and imagine what one could do with an item that has had a mysterious life. When I do find something, it takes two washes and wears until I feel it’s truly mine. The funny thing is because I worked for that item, I’m more in love with it, than the short infatuation I have with a brand new dress sold to me by a stranger trying to make a commission.
1) Hats…they are usually good quality and it’s hard for the previous owner or present owner to get a stain on it
2) Cutlery and bed linen – you can’t go wrong.
3) But you can always go wrong with shoes…unless the previous owner hardly wore them or you have no other choice. No matter how fresh the shoe looks when I buy it …it’s always hell on my poor feet. Maybe I have sensitive feet but it’s always good to allow the shoe to form around your foot and give you the right support. We have many nerves in our feet and therefore it’s good to invest in a good pair.
4) Buying items that are overpriced…beware even in thrift stores, not everything is a deal.
The great thing about second hand clothes is that it’s great for the environment and they are great for the budget.
It’s the perfect place to explore your own sense of identity and that takes a lot of work. However once it’s done,
its great knowing your outfit is getting a second life and in a way so are you!