In elementary school I had this stupendously ugly thrift store coat. It was purple with big clunky buttons. It was too fluffy, and I was a bit too chubby to get it buttoned comfortably. I despised that coat, and with it – I developed a loathing for thrift stores in general. This loathing was only strengthened when shopping at the thrift store became the cool thing for my cute, skinny friends to do in high school. I tried to join in, but it's hard to find vintage tee-shirts that look hip in size XL.
So yes, I hated the thrift store. Then I moved to Maryland, and a roommate re-introduced me to thrift store shopping, and I was in heaven. Here in the DC area, we are blessed to have a chain of second-hand stores called “Unique Thrift” which are the size of big box stores. Imagine aisle after aisle of clothes, household goods, games, furniture, etc. I've lost hours shopping there. I've done Christmas shopping, and bought goodies to perk up my house. I've even purchased an entirely new professional wardrobe to the tune of $60.00. Some clothes I've bought have been from higher end stores like “Banana Republic” with the tags still on. I went to work and got complements on my clothes. This never happens, so I was beaming. I was officially a thrift store nut.
A good friend and I even did “A Thrift Store Christmas” one year, where we exchanged several gifts that we got second-hand. I got, and gave some of the coolest and most thoughtful gifts that year. I am saying all of this to try to convince you that your local second-hand store is perhaps worth a second look.
Some things I suggest ALWAYS checking the thrift store for:
Clothing – You (like me) may have had bad luck in the past with this last item but I encourage you to give it another shot. Your wardrobe budget can go much further if you spend some of it at the thrift store.
We'll talk more about “thrifting” and buying used in future blog posts, but I encourage you to check out this article from a great site I follow called “Wise Bread” which talks about how to utilize the thrift store for your holiday shopping. I especially like its mention of shopping the housewares section for “sacrificial plates” - that is festive holiday plates you can take your goodies on when you go to a potluck, and not have to worry about retrieving them at the end of the night. Genius!
All of this is leading up to what I'm truly excited about, and what spurred this blog post to begin with. For those reading my blog in the DC Metro area – get ready. Unique Thrift is having a 50% off sale today on clothing, shoes, accessories, bed, and bath. They have eight locations across Maryland & Virginia for you to shop at. You will need a VIP card which I've posted a picture of below – but you can sign up for one at any location. It's like the store loyalty cards you get at grocery and drug stores.
So – get out there. Knock off a few last minute Christmas list items, or get a few goodies for yourself. For those of you who aren't local – check your local thrift store. Perhaps a holiday sale promotion is coming your way as well!