It is a well known fact that I have a fondness for thrift stores. What makes other people feel overwhelmed and itchy (aka racks and piles of mismatched used items haphazardly thrown about) makes me feel energized and inspired. I don’t even mind the occasional patron singing to themselves in a remote corner–it’s all part of the experience. So this past Saturday I decided to take advantage of one local thrift store’s 50% off sale (ARC, if you’re curious) and see if I could find any hidden gems.
About an hour later I walked out of the store with $20 worth of items: 6 garments to be exact, including the five shown above. I was thrilled with my finds. Over half of them are made with expensive fibers (like merino wool and silk) and all of them have tons of refashioning potential. I could barely keep under the speed limit as I drove home, anxious to get crafting immediately!
BUT then I passed our local Old Navy and I had a thought: what, I wondered, could I get for the equivalent amount ($20) at that store? So I pulled into the parking lot and ventured inside to find out.
It wasn’t difficult to find many things at the price point I was looking for. For example, as I walked in I noticed a deal on sequined tank tops: buy 2 for $20. Their V-neck cardigans in a rainbow of colors were also right around $20. I spotted some beaded and ruffled cardigans for just over $20. And also a lot of chunky knits on sale between $20 and $35.
In other words, there were definitely some bargains to be had. However, here are a few reasons why my shopping spree was more successful than a comparable one at Old Navy:
- I was able to purchase SIX items for the price of one or two.
- The quality of the items I purchased was much higher. How do I know this? Because I read the labels. As I mentioned, many of my thrift store finds were made of things like cashmere, merino and silk. The items from Old Navy, however, were most commonly blends of acrylic, rayon and cotton.
- My purchases from the thrift store supported a good cause (ARC’s charity) and promoted recycling. A purchase at Old Navy would have accomplished neither.
This is not to say, of course, that shopping at stores like Old Navy or Target (another of my favorites) is bad. I enjoy shopping at those stores as much as the next person. But as we head into the holiday season of buying and giving and entertaining and celebrating, I want my dollars to stretch farther and I want the quality of what I give and wear to be higher. And with a little creative touch, thrift store finds accomplish both!==> read more Thoughtful Christmas posts