Saturday, January 8, 2011

I May Never Shop Retail Again!

I started out with the idea of going to the Goodwill, putting an outfit together, then writing a blog post about it. I should also tell you I wasn't very thrilled about the idea because while I have shopped at thrift stores a couple of times, usually for books and plant stands, I have never bought clothes there before. I would look at the racks and racks of used clothes and think "ick". Maybe it was because the only clothes I had to wear as a kid was hand-me-downs or maybe it is just the thought of wearing clothes that a stranger had worn, either way, the though of buying clothes to actually wear from a thrift shop kind of gave me the heebie jeebies. Can you tell I'm a clothes snob?

So anyway, yesterday I forced myself to go to the Goodwill. I know a girl who worked there so I was going to say "hi" to her and have her model an outfit, get the details, take a picture, and leave. It didn't quite work out that way.
I went into the store and headed for the clothing racks. I found a couple of cute shirts which pulled me in even more. Two and a half hours later, hubby called to see if I was at the mall and I told him no, I had been shopping at the Goodwill for the last two plus hours. You could have heard a pin drop. He knows I'm a clothes snob so the thought of me shopping at a thrift store was as foreign an idea to him as it was initially to me.
I found literally hundreds of pieces of clothing that I instantly loved! And they were sooo cheap!! I ended up leaving with the clothes you see in the picture above--a total of ten pieces of clothes including a pair of jeans, a jacket, a dress, and seven shirts, for a grand total of $34.10! You would have thought I hit the lottery or something I was so happy when I was shopping. Other people noticed my glee at finding Ann Taylor pants, Hollister shirts, Jones New York blouses, etc. and most commented on it. One lady said that shopping there was addicting. Another lady told me to come back Monday when all of the pink and red tagged clothes would be half off. Another lady smiled knowingly.
So now I am an official fan of the Goodwill! I don't think I will ever buy retail clothes again. Here's what I love about buying clothes at a thrift store:
  • You don't have to worry about if the clothes will shrink when you get them home and wash them as they have already been washed and have shrunk all they will shrink.
  • You don't have to wonder if the color will fade, because again, they have been washed multiple times.
  • I like how the clothes are arranged by color. For each type of clothing (t shirts, jeans, skirts, etc) they are arranged by color instead of by designer or style like they do in department stores. This makes it much easier to skip over the colors I don't wear.
  • The prices can't be beat! Like-new Ann Taylor Loft pants for $12.95!!! Hollister t shirts for $1.95! A $60 Columbia jacket for $15!! Holy Cow!
  • I never wear new new clothes anyway. I always buy clothes then wash them a couple of times to get the manufacturing 'chemically' smell out of them before I wear them.
  • Being unemployed and having, yikes, zero income coming in now, I need to stretch my dollars. I still want to look good however so this is an excellent way to do both.
  • I thought shopping at a thrift store would be depressing because only poor, desperate people would be shopping there but I was wrong. The parking lot was full of mini vans and SUVs and the random Mercedes. The people inside the store looked like they came from all walks of life as well, from the poor, to the elderly, to teenagers who were dressed really stylishly, to business women on their lunch break who looked like they bought their clothes at Macy's (but now I know their secret!)

If you are like me and kind of squeamish at the thought of shopping at thrift stores, you definitely should give it a try. I went to the Goodwill in an upscale neighborhood simply because the one downtown always looks so dark and depressing when I drive by and at the time I was already depressed enough about the thought of shopping there. Now I am so psyched I'm going to go to ALL of the thrift stores I can find just to see what kind of treasures they hold.


  1. Hi sounds like you had a good shop. I love going in charity shops here in the uk and also car boot sales. I am quite happy to buy second hand clothes. I think once they have had a good run in the washing machine and fabric softner. Its like they have always belonged to me! You can get so much more for your money and no ones knows if they are second hand or not. I dont mind saying my bits are from the charity shop anyway!
    sounds like you have found a good shop x

  2. I quickly got over that "ick" factor when I needed khaki pants for work. I'm a lunch lady and not only do I serve food, but I work in the tray room where it can get really messy. I didn't want to spend 40 bucks on new khakis, but I found Dockers, Eddie Bauer, and other great brands at the GW store for just a few dollars. Just be sure to throw everything in the wash as soon as you get home because of the bedbug issue.

  3. Yes, now you got it! My favorite purchase lately was a red leather blazer for $15 along with a number of new stylish shoes that have probably never been worn. One woman's impulse buy is anothers great deal!

  4. I kick myself every time I think of how many new items of clothes I have bought for top dollar only to wear them once or twice then send them off to the Goodwill. Now, like Carol said, at least my "impulse" purchases won't cost me an arm and a leg since I will be impulse purchasing at the Goodwill!