I must confess, I haven’t always loved to shop for clothes. I have vivid memories of preteen me BEGGING my mother not to make me go back-to-school shopping at Marshall’s because I loathed it so much (and I knew she’d spend two hours in the pocketbook section alone). She would drag me along anyway and as a result I’d rebel -of course- with my “fashion” choices. One particularly awful red shirt with mesh sleeves comes to mind, but we’ll leave that image with 8th grade Ashley where it belongs.
I’ve come a long way in my shopping-game since my early years, and I’d like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two about where to score really good pieces at reasonable prices (I am operating on a teacher’s salary after all). My most recent favorite shopping destination? My local thrift shop.
Now, I know that I’m hardly new to this concept, but I wanted to give vintage clothes shopping another plug. Here are my five reasons that I keep on scouring thrift shops to find those perfect vintage pieces, like this white dress I scored at a thrift store up in Portland, Maine earlier this year.
Celebrates your individual style
First, let’s have a moment of appreciation for the women who actually tell you where they bought their cute outfits.
Okay, now we can celebrate the fact that shopping for pieces at vintage stores guarantees that no one else will be wearing what you are. Shopping at a thrift store is an opportunity to go treasure hunting for your closet. Rummaging through vintage racks is a great way to find unique pieces that will compliment the rest of your wardrobe, but still set you apart from the crowd. And. It’s okay to admit that sometimes, it feels reallyyyyyy good knowing that you and you alone will rock that killer little black dress you found buried behind some questionable tracksuits from the 90’s.
Easy on the wallet
While certain high end vintage shops do carry pieces with hefty price tags, you can still find some GEMS for a fraction of their original cost. Many thrift shops also carry wardrobe staples, from jeans to jackets, for crazy low prices when compared to your average store. Your dollar will go a lot further at a thrift shop, making them a great option for women who want to look good for a lot less.
…and easier on the planet
It’s no secret that fast fashion, while convenient for some, is detrimental to many others. Many of our clothes are made in sweatshops, where (mostly) women and children are worked to the bone in dangerous conditions for insultingly low pay. Additionally, the process of making fast-fashion clothes can be incredibly harmful to our environment. It takes a whopping 1,000 gallons of water to make one pair of jeans for instance, and that’s only ONE type of garment made and sold everyday. Textile dyeing is also the 2nd largest contributor to water pollution, bested only by the agriculture industry. Needless to say, shopping for recycled and reused clothing at thrift and vintage stores does a lot to reduce a lot of that water waste and pollution.
Are you a vintage shopper? What’s your favorite piece you’ve scored? I’d love to hear.