Think thrift shops are just for recessionistas? Nope, some of us have always been addicted. I love clothes and I’m a seasoned thrift-store shopper out of necessity. I also unabashedly ask friends or customers to save their castoffs to donate to, you know, me. A guilt-free pleasure for me is being handed a big lawn ’n leaf bag full of clothes to do whatever I want with. I love to get them home and sort them out. Some I give away, some I keep. I like to sew, so if I fancy a frock that doesn’t fit, I have the power to adjust. If something only costs a few bucks or is free then I allow myself the luxury of experimenting, which sometimes fails. I think I like the chase, the process, the transformation. The end product, sometimes not so much.
Sometimes I cut clothes up and hoard squares of unusual fabric or make dog bandanas or make. . .pockets. Yes pockets. There is a serious shortage of pockets in today’s fashion, probably because they cost a few extra cents to insert and they think no one will notice if they’re not there. I’ll bet when women made their own clothes they put pockets in. Everybody needs them but women are denied pockets by clothing designers. We should demand them.
Believe it or not there are snooty thrift shops—um, vintage designer boutiques. There were more of those in Connecticut. Out here we are not so high and mighty. The shops that pay you cash for used clothes tend to be more expensive because they are fussier about what they take in, even though they pay you squat for your stuff no matter how nice it is. They also demand that each item be ironed and on hangers and not a loose thread in sight—it’s not worth it. When I am tired of something I like to donate it.
I hate closet doors so I always take them off. My clothes are art and I like to look at them and think about them. I don’t really go anywhere special where I can wear the clothes, and I don’t have a dress-up job, but sometimes it’s fun to get dressed up for no reason. Going to the library or doing errands when you’re dressed up encourages you to be more outgoing than when you’re schlumping around town in customary summer attire of cutoffs, tank top, and flip flops. Frumpy clothes make you anonymous, pretty clothes the opposite. When cute girls around town wear pretty dresses and high heels, everybody notices. I swear it gives me joy to check out a guy checking out a girl who looks good.
Clothes travel in a great karmic circle. Give freely and you will receive freely.