I love and am so grateful for thrift stores. I realize that many people look at them with disgust, as in "Ewww! You wear a shirt that somebody else wore?" I can understand that, but my background is a bit different and has shaped my opinion about thrift stores.
I am the oldest of eight children, and my father is a teacher, and my mother chose to stay home with the kids. So you can probably guess how many new items we enjoyed. Not many. New food, which I am grateful for. But pretty much any new clothing I got, I bought with my own money. When I was younger, I did get maybe one outfit in the fall before school started (from Kmart--still can't stand to buy clothes there. The smell of the store, you know), but we didn't really get anything new unless we absolutely needed it (like, holes-in-the-knees-of-my-only-pair-of-pants-kind-of-need).
The way that my sisters and I got most of our clothes was that we had some awesome and generous cousins who about a couple times a year would send us a bag or two of their clothes. We were always so excited: it was like Christmas for us to go through those bags!
So to this day, I have absolutely no problem putting my kids and myself in clothes that are previously owned. I figure, if it's clean, smells good, and has no obvious stains or holes, why not? The sweater in the picture above I got last week at our thrift store. It's in perfect condition, is warm, and was only $4! Woo-hoo!
Ok, here are my top four reasons for shopping thrift:
#1: The price. A sweater that new probably cost $40 or more (it was a good brand), for $4? Amazing. Last week I got 7 sweaters and 5 long-sleeved shirts for $35. You would have a hard time getting that at a store, even with stuff marked 80-90% off, and the thrift store selection is probably better at that point.
#2: The fun of looking. At the mall, you have a lot more to look through, so you know that probably whatever you find, they will have your size and color. At a thrift store, you never know what you will find. It's like a treasure hunt. Although it can be frustrating (I've gone many times before and not found anything), when you do find that perfect item or items, it is so awesome!
#3: I'm no extremist environmentalist, but I do believe in doing my part, and I think this is a way of recycling. Sometimes I go into the big Everything-Marts, look around and think, "what a bunch of junk!" We are such a consuming society, and buying gently used items just cuts down a bit of that.
#4: It makes it easier to get rid of things. When I have an item that I got for $5, it's way easier to get rid of it (i.e. send it back to the thrift store :0), than if I had paid $45, you know what I mean? My sister calls it 'renting'.
#5: Entertainment value. I have found some absolutely hilarious items there. Think three inch 70's platform shoes, the most hideous coats ever, and Napolean Dynamite t-shirts galore. Here is a picture of a shoulder-padded jem I found recently:
I love and am grateful for thrift stores! What's your favorite reason for shopping thrift? And what's the best and/or most hilarious item you've found there?