Second Chance

If you are a regular Nine Cent Girl reader then you are familiar with my obsession with challenges… if not, well, let me tell you, yes, I have set goals and invented hurdles to jump over for forever. There are even times when I have several challenges going at once… (April’s Walking Challenge)

For this season I am challenging myself to only shop in thrift shops for my Fall wardrobe. I came to this decision in August, while having a summer vacation with my family, and mentioned my plan to my 13 year old niece. She was horrified and in a violent burst yelled, “WHAT? WHY?” Well, it’s complex and complicated, I stuttered and attempted to articulate my various political, economic and creative reasoning. When I suggested she join me in this challenge she would not hear of it, for all she envisioned was to arrive back-to-school dressed like all the magazine ads had told her to dress. She caused me a moment of doubt, but my decision was confirmed after a short afternoon rolling around a giant red cart in Target against the horde of shoppers… I am delighted to report that so far my challenge  is more fun than I  anticipated!

My first stop? Goodwill! In your nearest big town, there must be a Goodwill and these stores are where dreams are made; not just in the treasures you will find, but in the fantastic services they offer their communities, through goods, yes, but also in opportunities for so many people who might not have the chance for independence without these jobs. As for my treasures… I found skirts, shirts and dresses in excellent condition, with labels like Hollister, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, American Eagle, and J.Crew, and in the baby aisle Land’s End, Gap, and Carter’s. The men’s section too had plenty of recognizable labels such as Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren. If labels help you determine selection, you would not be disappointed at Goodwill. I also found plenty of breathable fabrics like wool or cotton, garments well-made and basically like-new on every rack throughout the place.

There is another great aspect to supporting a Goodwill in your area, and that is the fact that they recycle your own goods. Americans have become such consumers over the decades; our basements and attics are a testament to this fact, as are the walk-in closets that have become a must-have even for the middle class. Yikes people, do we really need so much STUFF!!??!! Okay, well, that’s for another blog, but for right now, just know that before you head in the door to shop, you can also donate, easily and conveniently, seven days a week, even using a handy drive-thru!

Not a fan of the mass-market recycle market or looking for something more edgy? I can assure you, just about every town has an upscale second hand clothing store… mine has several stand-out spots. Although I was a frequent shopper at Old Gold back in my bar daze, the decor has only changed slightly! Still over-the-top vintage including all the wild stuff for Halloween; although I didn’t find anything to buy this time, it was inspiring to take a stroll through those doors and just imagine all the possibilities of costume!

Seriously, who would not love being greeted by this lovely lady…!

Around the corner is yet another thrift store, this one boasting designer clothes, trendy stuff, even a few vintage treasures, and all at reasonable prices. In fact, in Second Time Around you can also bring your “gently worn clothing” and once sold receive cash. Not a bad deal, especially if you have a small closet, limited funds for buying, or you just want to switch up your wardrobe and can use the cash.

Here the labels are a bit more uptown and the styles all so much fun… In fact, I realized, it is not much of a challenge to have to shop here! Prices are right, the whole recycle thing makes me feel good as I get to filter my older looks with some new ones… Win Win, right?

How about it, ready to join my challenge? If you are anything like my 13 year old niece you may still be reluctant; however, I have one more last incentive: shopping second hand will save you enough money to buy some really amazing clothes! These three pieces from the latest Clover Canyon line are on my wish list! Worth it, right?!?

Okay, well a girl has to dream… but in the meantime, shop in your local thrift shops, find some inexpensive treasures, play a bit with your style and save your cash for a rainy day!

21 thoughts on “Second Chance

  1. You are so right. The more we consume, the more the world will go to the dogs to put it very simplistically. The other thing about buying in thrift shops, is that you can buy quality, at affordable prices, and as we all know quality lasts. We call these clothes pre-loved in NZ!!!


  2. I love vintage coats myself, it’s always my little challenge to find the next perfect jacket. I’ve also found a L.A.M.B. cardigan for $25 and Rag & Bone sweater for $50. You’ve inspired me, I’ll go see what I can find again this weekend (seriously).


  3. a wonderful inspiring post ….. we often dress in recycled clothing but your challenge is taking it a bit further, a real statement of belief about caring for the planet and living simply …. love it!


  4. I’m a vintage girl who appreciates the THRIFT STORE world. (-; I found the most awesome blazer at a thrift store. It was so FANTASTIC, someone stole it from me. lol! They stole a second hand blazer? I was hurt for a moment, but then I realized, ‘they stole my blazer, not my fashion sense of style.’ So in essence — I still win. If there’s a thrift store on the way, I’m going in. lol! (-:


  5. I love shopping thrift/op/vintage! It means I get great one of a kind items at a fantastic price. If you take your time you can find items that are trendy or can be styled to work with current trends and sometimes you find gold! Over the past couple of months I have found a brand new Louis Vuitton wallet/purse for a fraction of the regular price and a number of pure silk tops that are also ban on trend. Not to mention cute wrap dresses that look as good as DVF! When I go to the shops, I always bring something to leave. That way my wardrobe isn’t busting at the seams, I support a good cause and I give back perfectly nice items to the cause. It’s a big win for everybody.
    Someday your niece will realise how fashion forward you are! 🙂


  6. Great Challenge. I have done this very thing and continue to do so now. The only clothing items I feel must be purchased new are undergarments– not sure why they are even allowed in second hand stores– and shoes. Good luck!


  7. What a coincidence, I just went to the thrift store for work shirts the other day and got two for $5. I think I’d have to add socks to meanwhilein3’s comment about no used undies. I just can’t picture wearing used socks either (and you can get them cheap at the dollar store anyway.)


  8. My daughter and I love to shop thrift…one time we found handcrafted cowboy boots her size, matched her hair (important for boots) for $7.00. You never know what you will find. It’s like treasure hunting! BTW fun blog!


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