I don’t mean Etsy or Ebay or all of the fabulous vintage sites out there–I mean local brick-and-mortar thrift stores reselling cheap used stuff that for some strange reason now have a meaty online presence.
Why is this so strange to me? I suppose the whole point of thrifting, to me, is sorting through the piles/racks of discarded clothes or goodies to find what I might consider a treasure. Vintage sites, Etsy, and Ebay have already done the sorting for you and offer up their treasures–a great resource, but different in my mind.
So when my friend sent me the link to Wisconsin chain Value Village (a store I have frequented growing up and pretty much every time I go back to visit) I was amazed–not only do they post the expected info, such as Red Tag day or Half Off Clothing day, but they sell items from the stores AND have an “In Season” section, where the latest fashion trends–and how to find them at the thrifts–are discussed (and here I thought that was MY idea!).
When I was visiting Missouri recently, I stopped in a Red Racks Thrift Store, also a chain with a website. The store was nicely arranged, a good size with reasonable prices, and I found a couple of good treasures (as did my son!). The website is charming, and covers most of the basics: Super Sunday Sale, .98 cents days, and where new stores are opening up–not much else.
Goodwill and Salvation Army have sites that are more like I’d expect, discussing the organization’s goals, job opportunities, who they serve, store locations, a few thrifting tips–more-or-less business-oriented. (Though I was intrigued by a Goodwill blog post by Jenna and went to check out her fun-looking site/project, All Thrifty States, where she visits thrift stores across the country in order to learn more about America. I’ll definitely be checking it out more!)
Is this a trend? I know everybody’s on the web these days–I was just surprised at the depth of the presence from some of these shops. Has thrifting become trendy? Is online thrifting a “thing”? What has your experience been–would you do your thrifting from your couch?
The April issue of InStyle magazine has about a thousand photos of white blouses, shirts, and shirtdresses. Somehow, the hot new thing is a classic old thing.
I am a third-generation thrift-store hound. My family has thrifted goods out of necessity–but they have taught me how to do it with an eye to quality and style. My mom, grandma, aunts, and great-aunts believed that just because you shop at thrift stores doesn’t mean you should look like you shop at thrift stores. They always looked pulled-together, stylish, and classy. I added my own spin to their advice and enjoyed looking a little more rag-tag, retro, and funky, particularly seeking vintage items.
Nowadays, I like to find items that reflect the latest trends at thrift stores (as well as special vintage finds). Easy to do when so much of what’s hot is an echo of styles in the ’70s and ’80s! Of course, there are pitfalls–what’s hot now may be a version of what rocked 20 or 30 years ago, but you don’t want to look like you’re going to a costume party.
So here are my picks for what to look for at the thrifts (or discount stores like Ross and Marshall’s) for Spring 2012, and what to watch out for that might turn that piece from trendy to tricky. (Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and if you can work neon blue sequined leopard print leggings into your day-to-day wardrobe, more power to you!)