I got some very cool stuff recently while thrifting. You can see in the photo my treasures:

  • khaki trench coat
  • vibrant Columbia windbreaker (for 5K training),
  • ivory silk shirt
  • ivory cotton cardigan

Since I cannot wear ivory , I will dye both of those pieces a bright color (ok with natural fibers). Total spent- $5.00


Why do I like to thrift? For one thing, I don’t have gardening to keep me out of trouble, at least for now. But also, it is one way I can live more simply and learn to recycle, reuse, etc. According to the folks at eartheasy.com,

“approximately 12 million tons of textile waste is generated each year in North America amounting to approximately 68 lbs of waste per household per year! An astounding 5% of all landfill production is textile waste.”

Therefore the more used clothing we buy, the more gentle we are on our landfills and other resources. Of course I save lots of money too. My estimate of original cost of those items:

  • London Fog trench coat $125+
  • Columbia Wind Breaker $50+
  • Silk Shirt $60+
  • Cotton Cardigan 50+

That’s $285 dollars to buy these quality items new. And the condition of each was almost new, especially the trench coat. I don’t expect to wear a formal rain coat much in arid WY, but I am going back to the rainy motherland of Ohio for a few weeks. It will be great to wear in the rain while schlepping around to all those yummy restaurants, coffeehouses, and STORES.

If you are interested in thrifting, know that it is it’s a learned skill. You have to learn to recognize quality stuff and be willing to say “no” to something that is nice but won’t look great on you. You also need to visit thrift stores frequently to find the good stuff. 

The easiest finds are tops, skirts, dresses, fleece, and sweaters. I also buy men’s oxford shirts, my favorite clothing item. I suggest that you don’t buy pants unless you know the brand and style and you are sure you like them. Shoes are not usually a wise buy.

Yard sale season is around the corner. You’d be amazed what you can find at those! Just be picky and get ONLY stuff you currently need.

yard sale

4 thoughts on “Thrifting Adventures

  1. You did awesome with your purchases! One time I went to the thrift store in Estes Park and bought rich people’s rejects…..still wearing them.
    I love to browse the thrift stores, sometimes walking out with nothing. It is more of a sociological statement for me ~ I keep rereading this poem because it truly speaks to me.
    “things we thought we were once rid of … taken us back in their arms.”
    Poem of the Day: In the Basement of the Goodwill Store
    by Ted Kooser
    In musty light, in the thin brown air
    of damp carpet, doll heads and rust,
    beneath long rows of sharp footfalls
    like nails in a lid, an old man stands
    trying on glasses, lifting each pair
    from the box like a glittering fish
    and holding it up to the light
    of a dirty bulb. Near him, a heap
    of enameled pans as white as skulls
    looms in the catacomb shadows,
    and old toilets with dry red throats
    cough up bouquets of curtain rods.
    You’ve seen him somewhere before.
    He’s wearing the green leisure suit
    you threw out with the garbage,
    and the Christmas tie you hated,
    and the ventilated wingtip shoes
    you found in your father’s closet
    and wore as a joke. And the glasses
    which finally fit him, through which
    he looks to see you looking back—
    two mirrors which flash and glance—
    are those through which one day
    you too will look down over the years,
    when you have grown old and thin
    and no longer particular,
    and the things you once thought
    you were rid of forever
    have taken you back in their arms.
    Ted Kooser, “In the Basement of the Goodwill Store” from One World at a Time. Copyright © 1985 by Ted Kooser.

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