In the last year or so I've gotten into reading some fashion blogs, and many of the authors find amazing clothes in thrift stores. I am always amazed at this, because I really really dislike thrift stores. First, I just don't like the idea of wearing stuff that someone else has already owned, worn, and discarded - which is a bit odd, because normally I'm very dirt/germ-tolerant. But I'm also not a very touchy-feely person - unless you're my husband or massage therapist or a VERY close friend in a moment of high emotion, I don't hug/touch and I don't like to be hugged/touched (for instance, I can hardly imagine a job I would like less than massage therapist). So maybe wearing someone else's clothes is too close to being touched by another person, someone I know nothing about?
But I've also realized that I'm a sucker for shopping environment - store lighting, decor, styling, etc. When I face racks upon racks of totally varied stuff crammed together, usually in someplace kind of dusty and warehouse-ish with dingy linoleum floor, I cannot for the life of me see the potential of any given item in what I find to be such dreary circumstances. That's totally a failure of my own imagination, I know, and shouldn't be a reflection on thrift stores or items therein.
Thrifting always reminds me of my middle school/early high school years, when I'd just gotten old enough to care what I was wearing, but not old enough or savvy enough to know yet what looked good on me, or how to get past "needing" to wear the latest fad. My mom, being frugal, always liked to check out Marshalls and TJMaxx before buying stuff at full-price stores. And I could NEVER find ANYTHING I liked there. Everything looked horrible. And the stores themselves were depressing places, filled with fluorescent-lit glare and the dreary dregs of the fashion world.
I'm sure most of that was about teen angst and insecurity rather than anything to do with Marshalls or TJMaxx. I know that Marshalls/TJ's are not the places to go if you have a specific item you need for a specific date - they're the kind of places you need to check into regularly, to see if there are any amazing bargains (and I do pop in to those stores from time to time, though not usually for clothes). But still, they left a bad taste in my mouth. And that seems to have transferred over to thrifting.
That said, a lot of people find a lot of amazing things at thrift stores. A dear grad school friend found her conference interview outfit at a thrift store for $3 - not a suit, but a lovely camel-colored wool jumper/sheath (it buttoned up the front, but was fitted, not baggy) with a cream blouse underneath and a water-color-y kind of scarf. A law school friend found a gorgeous pair of herringbone wool pants for something like $4. So I'm sure I'm missing out - and it may be that I just haven't found the right places to go. But while I envy/admire those who do it, I still can't get into thrifting.
Do you thrift? Why or why not?