Why I Love Thrifting
By: Monz, our thrifting extraordinaire
When you hear the words, thrift shop, what do you think? You might hear Macklemore’s hit song, think about that one place in your hometown that has a smell you can’t put your finger on, or maybe you have that one friend whose luck never runs out and constantly finds the best pieces from goodwill’s dollar section. For me, thrift stores mean a never ending fresh start.
As a kid, my mom dragged me along to countless thrift stores to find yet another knick-knack to put around the house, search for that year’s halloween costume, or hopefully find some cheap clothes for a tall, lanky, and ever growing girl. In high school, thrift stores became the places my friends and I hung out. We were the weird girls wearing long flower skirts, screen t-shirts whose references we didn’t get, and god awful lacy shirts. Thrift stores have and will always mean much more to me than just a cheap place to find clothes.
Thrift stores are the starting point for me to try and create a personal style that makes me smile. They help me take clothes less seriously. To try looks, trends, take fashion risks I wouldn’t otherwise have taken. I can justify buying $5 velvet paisley pants to try out, because if I don’t wear them, it’s okay because I didn’t make this huge investment upfront. Thrift shops allow me to constantly reinvent my style because I end up finding the one piece I never knew I needed. Thrifting also makes shopping fun. You can go with friends, laugh about that fur jumpsuit, or that vintage dress you swear would only fit a very small child, and still leave with new pieces to add to an ever growing closet. As long as you go in with little to no expectations, nine out of ten times you’ll leave surprised and excited, and really isn’t that what shopping should be about?
thrift shops allow me to constantly reinvent my style...
Personal style is all about giving people a snapshot of who you are without having to say one word. Now, I’ve always struggled with this concept. As someone who loves clothes as much as I do, it took me a long time to realize that I am not my clothes. A shirt, a dress, how my hair looks that day isn’t me, it’s an outward reflection of one tiny part of me. So if I’m not my clothes, and my clothes aren’t me, then why take it all so seriously? Why not get that orange plaid vintage romper, and that extra-large hard rock cafe t-shirt. If I like something I find in a thrift store, even just for that day, that’s okay. I’ll wear it once, decided it’s not for me anymore, donate it and the cycle continues. Or maybe I end up finding the dress that will define my ~style~ for the next couple of years. No other store gives you the freedom to explore and challenge your style as much as a thrift store does.
So where do we go from here? I promise every post I make won’t just be a declaration for my love of thrift stores. I’ll try and give some tips and tricks to make thrifting a little less overwhelming and a little more fun. Highlight the difference between various second hand stores and what you can expect to find in each. I’ll share some things I’ve found at thrift stores and how I wear them to make them look cohesive and not just another obvious thrifted piece. And really I just hope whether you thrift all the time or have never stepped foot in a thrift store, I am that voice in your head that reminds you to have fun with what you wear, because isn’t that what it is all about.
*photos from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' music video for "Thrift Shop"