On Thrifting

I used to do a lot of thrifting. When I worked in a vintage shop after college, I had reached a point where browsing thrift stores had become a bit of a sport. In the vast expanse of clothes, I could locate unique and old things and I had trained my eye to recognize them quickly. 20130207-074501.jpg

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Every once in a while, when I have some spare time, I like to engage in this activity at the big stores. I love my small local thrift shops and visit them frequently. One in particular has very good stuff all the time. There is a bit of novelty, however, to visiting a Goodwill or Salvation Army not-so-nearby and locating treasures that is particularly engaging. Sometimes I feel as though the glory days of thrifting are over. This is due in part to the popularity of thrifting and 2nd hand clothing being seen as a legitimate fashion component (good!) and also that the last few decades have seen a significant drop in the quality, uniqueness, and longevity of clothing (not good!).

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Some days, however, I am delighted to still be able to find a sweat stained, mended printed rayon dress from the 1940's or a Shetland wool fair isle sweater in candy colors or an all cotton men's gingham button up with real shell buttons. I know the days are waning.

Part of wanting to document these things is so I don't take them home. I used to hoard my thrift store and vintage finds and I ended up with too much stuff. I was so worried about letting precious jewels disappear into the terrifying textile void. Nowadays, I only purchase things that are useful to me and potential heirloom pieces like the woven rug above. All other lovelies I like to document, because pixels only take up so much space...then I leave them out in the world for some other ambitious thrifter to find, or not.