Shopping in thrift shops has become a sport – spurred on by the ambition to find the bargain of a lifetime. But to find that bargain you must know how to look, and what you are looking for – prepare yourself – you will need:

1. An idea of what is missing in your wardrobe – this is to avoid getting side tracked by things that don’t fit your lifestyle.

2. Know what is in fashion – even if you don’t follow the latest trends, knowing that full skirts are in will prevent you from buying an unfashionable tight one.

3. Plenty of time – thrift shops are packed with merchandise –  displayed either in heaps on tables or hanging on rags tightly packed, making it difficult to go through it quickly. You must have enough time to see what is there and to examine carefully what you buy.

4. Check it out – when you find an item you like check out its condition –  look under the arms and around the collar. There should be no sign of wear – also check for snags, pulled threads, spots, rips, and piling when it is knitwear.

5. Try it on – today most thrift shops have fitting rooms – use them – don’t come home with something that does not fit or suit you – remember there is no exchange.

6. Consider an alteration – if it is only a matter of shortening the length and/or the sleeves, and it fits otherwise, it will still be worse buying.

Once you have found a thrift shop you like, some are more pleasant than others, drop in whenever you have some time and check out what has come in – their merchandise changes daily and after all you don’t want to miss the bargain of a lifetime.

Happy Hunting – see you tomorrow

   scan0004-2                          Brigitte



Hello Everybody

Are you shopping in Thrift Shops? I do! No, not for everything, after all I don’t want to  look like a second-hand rose – but there are some real bargains to be found.

What kind of bargains? For example I buy a lot of shoes there. They must be new or hardly worn. I think the reason why one can find shoes there, is that many women – as you might have done and I have – buy shoes which don’t fit properly, and being uncomfortable, we don’t wear them. So after a certain time, just standing in the closet, they are donated – and then you  or I, can pick up a nice pair of black pattern leather shoes from Calvin Klein for $ 4.

 The other advantage is that you can afford a little extravagance by buying the odd colour, like pink, turquoise, lime – colors you would normally not spend your money on. My latest find was a pair of white, blue and turquoise leather shoes from Italy  – very pretty, not very practical because I won’t be able to wear them with everything, but for $6.95 I don’t have to.

However, shoes are not the only bargains.  Sweaters, blouses, skirts, dresses, and jackets or coats can also be found, especially rain coats. Since it does not always rain they are not worn a lot. The one thing I stay away from are pants.

Before moving to the United States we did not know what Thrift Shops are. And when I started buying there, and occasionally bought something for my mother, she was appalled, “I don’t wear other people’s old cloth.”  But over the years she changed her mind and was happy when I brought her a pretty summer skirt, or dress, and after looking it over she always said, “Now I first need to wash it, you never know who wore it before.”

Maybe that is the reason you have never gone into a Thrift Shop? Yes, somebody has worn it, how much or how little, you can tell by looking at it. The other day while examining some sweaters, the lady next to me suddenly said, “You know what is hanging here is not more worn than what you find in department stores. I always wonder how many people have tried on a garment, and how do I know if they have taken a shower that day or not. I buy most of my clothing here, and before putting it on I wash it, or have it dry cleaned and I am sure that it is clean.”

The lady is right. We have absolutely no idea, when buying a blouse or dress, or worth yet, a bathing suit or bra, how many people have tried it on. Especially in the summer, when it is very hot and people perspire a lot – it makes whatever they try on a used garment.

Considering this, the next time you pass a Thrift Shop, don’t think ‘it is not for me.’ Walk in, look around! You might find out that it is fun to find a white blouse with the ticket from Jones of New York still on it, but here the price ticket says $4.95!

Until the next time

                               STAY WELL AND LOOK YOUR BEST


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