Thrifting for Dummies

Thrift stores are awesome in upscale communities!

I guess it stands to reason that people with more disposable income will have better stuff to donate.

I discovered two fabulous thrift shops downtown.

They were clean, well-organized, and neither had that dusty, musty, nasty smell you sometimes get in shops selling used goods.

Normally, I’m a look, but don’t touch kind of girl when I go thrifting.

Why do I even bother looking, you ask.  Even through I’m slightly grossed out by the idea of buying someone else’s cast-offs, I just can’t resist browsing.  Examining all the stuff other people got rid of satisfies my nosier instincts.

Given my sketchy thrifting history, I surprised myself when I filled two bags full of new to me treasures.

If you can put aside the irony of taking advice from someone who has only done an activity once, I’d like to share my four super duper helpful thrifting tips.

  1. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need just because it’s cheap!  I picked up a black leather blazer that looks like it’s never been worn.  I don’t wear leather other than shoes and handbags, but a black leather blazer will fit into my fairly conservative wardrobe, and I look forward to becoming the kind of confident, kick-ass woman who wears black leather!  Now if it had been a hot pink studded motorcycle jacket?  I would have left that awesome garment to a woman with more panache because I’m just not the pink leather type.
  2. If you see something you know you’ll need in the near future, snap it up!  After much internal deliberation, I bought a beautiful homemade Halloween costume.  I was going to pass it by until I realized how much I hate hunting for cheap yet awesome costumes the night before All Hallow’s Eve.  My Victorian lady gown is ready to go, and was much MUCH cheaper than anything I’d find at Walmart under the dreaded costume time crunch.
  3. Check things carefully before you buy!  I found a few books, but didn’t commit to them until I’d flipped through each, slowly, multiple times.  I’m no dummy…I’ve heard the toe-curling stories of live bed bugs in library books–ewww!
  4. If you’re thinking of trying something new, but don’t want to commit to buying all the supplies and equipment, thrifting is the way to go.  I picked up a new hobby at the thrift shop–a bag of (new) fuzzy pink yarn and a pair of used knitting needles.  I’m teaching myself to knit this winter!  Right now I’m envisioning a cozy cable knit sweater for the dog or some thick socks for me, but the reality will probably be a misshapen oblong I’ll call a scarf.  I’ve been wanting to try knitting for a while now, but I know myself well enough to admit I’m likely too lazy to put in the time and effort to become a skilled knits-woman.  If the knitting doesn’t work out, I’m only out a couple of loonies because I thrifted my supplies.

Unbelievably my haul was under $20.  Quite affordable for a single gal who’s supporting an elderly neurotic Chihuahua and a high-priced divorce lawyer.

What’s the best thing you ever bought in a thrift shop?