“But We’ll Buy You New Clothes!”

by J.

  When I was in high school, I started frequenting thrift stores in search of the perfect secondhand piece of clothing: that western shirt or Member’s Only jacket or pea coat.  I would bring this stuff home, much of it not costing more than five dollars a piece, and I would wash it once and wear it.  I figured I was getting a stellar deal for a few reasons: a) I had one-of-a-kind stuff that no one at school had; b) I was paying a fraction of the price of stuff off the rack at department stores.

  My dad was not a fan of my new fashion finds.

  I would come downstairs wearing a flannel I had acquired at the Goodwill, and he would ask where it came from, and when I told him he would say in an exasperated voice, “But we’ll buy you new clothes!” I explained my reasoning to him, but he was not sold on the idea.  “It’s just weird to wear other people’s clothes,” he would say. “What if some guy died in that shirt?”  I would say something like, “Then I should thank his family: it was only two bucks.”  He would shake his head, despairing of the fact that, as much as he had tried to raise a normal son, he had somehow failed in his responsibility (Fast-forward to a few years later, when my brother started wearing black nail polish… Well, that’s a story for another time.).

  I now make considerably more money than I did at sixteen, and so I can afford to buy the occasional piece from more expensive stores.  But I still prefer to shop at secondhand stores.  I don’t go to the thrift stores anymore: I’ve lost the will to go searching through tons of terrible clothes to find the gems.  Now I go to places like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads; they have buyers that do the sorting for you, and they won’t buy stuff if it’s in bad condition. 

  I could rattle off a long list of the excellent finds–and I may in another post–but suffice it to say that secondhand stores are a great place to get that unique piece to supplement your wardrobe (and at a decent price too).

  And if your nose is too upturned to try such a thing?  You probably don’t like this blog anyway, so keep your refined opinions to yourself and let the rest of us live in peace–well-dressed and wallets happy.

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