Why I Stopped Thrifting

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by bluemagic, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. amerikajinda

    amerikajinda Senior member

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    Yesterday I found two Thom Browne Black Fleece sportcoats in like-new condition from the 2007 collection - in my size (BB3) - one navy, the other grey - at a thrift shop for $12 each! See Thrift Shop Bragging thread for pictures...
    Optimal solution for me is thrifting + tailoring when necessary...
     
  2. Robert

    Robert Senior member

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    Not familiar with Plato's Closet. They have good stuff for very reasonable prices. A lot of it is from at least 30 years ago, and they've got some WWII military clothing.
     
  3. Ludeykrus

    Ludeykrus Senior member

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    They buy trendy clothing for dirt cheap then sell it for ~30-50% off retail. Brands focus around Hollister, Gap, A&F, etc. http://www.platoscloset.com/
     
  4. Big Pun

    Big Pun Senior member

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    i think you aren't looking hard enough, often enough.

    also, people expect to walk into a goodwill and find couture items... obviously that isn't what they are good for.

    But bluemagic, you dress prep which is basically ALLL OVER freaking thrift stores holey moley.

    i see brooks brothers shit all the time

    so thrift, or thrift and tailor.

    Agreed here. I could replicate any fit Bluemagic has put up with the type of stuff I see in thrift stores around here, and a competent tailor. Occasionally you should be able to find some nice items, I've found a vintage Givenchy 2B suit before. You just gotta be patient.
     
  5. erdawe

    erdawe Senior member

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    Most thrift stores aren't much use to me other than perhaps accessories that do not depend much on sizing and fit (even this is rare). Althought a different beast, some consignment shops found in larger cities can be worth the trip. But of course, you pay more for an increased quality and selection of goods.
     
  6. Listi

    Listi Senior member

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    I have no idea how to locate a good thrift store. I went to one or two in Toronto and found absolutely nothing that was designer or interesting other than some really gaudy Versace stuff that was good for a laugh. Not that I do it a lot, but these places didn't look like they'd ever have anything good and I felt mad awkward being well dressed while poor people were trying on pants over top of the pants they were already wearing in the aisles and shit. It was weird.
     
  7. XeF4

    XeF4 Senior member

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    It takes a lot of time and effort, thrifting does, and most of the times you don't have anything to show for your effort, but sometimes you can really hit the jackpot. Vintage stores can really kill these places though. There is this one guy in my city who runs an ebay store that hits up most local places once or sometimes twice a day.
     
  8. Meis

    Meis Senior member

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    If you are hard to fit and know exactly what you want, it's very difficult to find anything worth buying. I don't know if the time and energy spent looking through racks of clothes equals real savings when compared to going into a retail store that has exactly what you want.

    Most "good clothes" were rescued from thrift stores in major cities long ago (at least on the West Coast). It doesn't help that you sometimes run into actual teams of buyers working together to stock their trendy vintage store on the westside. It's still possible to find decent stuff but not in the numbers or the level of quality that people seem to find on the east coast.


    This. Big cities like Chicago or NY are generally so looked over thrift-wise its hard to find much thats real great, especially for someone thats of a small and/or irregular size. Just like in most regular shops I have a hard time finding thrift clothes that are small enough...often I'll go through an entire thrift store and not find one sweater/shirt/coat that'll be even close to fitting me (36 chest). Also, I find that its pretty rare to find anything nicer than say jcrew/BR- especially in a remotely normal size. I feel its alot better in areas like Florida (as previously mentioned), or maybe upscale-ish suburbs where no one thrifts b/c people have money and don't bother with it.

    I think this too sometimes, but I keep at it for many reasons: environmental, spritual, etc., but mostly bec. occasionally I'm surprised. Iow, sometimes I discover things at thrift stores that I wouldn't have imagined liking. Some things I like on first sight and some grow on me. In the latter case, thrift stores allow me to experiment. For example, I never thought I'd want chestnut longwings, but I found a pair of vintage Florsheims for $5 and I got them. Now I enjoy them a lot. If I don't like an item, I can give it away w/o lamenting the money spent.

    There certainly are specific things I want and am happy to spend a fair amt. to get (such as these Alfred Sargent slip ons) but I think I will always enjoy the surprise and ability to experiment that thrifting affords.


    This is why I keep thrifting for the most part. I mean I do keep my eye out for the rare nice piece... but mostly I look for stuff I want to try but I'm not real sure about or stuff that I don't want to spend much $$ on. For example a this summer I thrifted some plaid shorts for like $5; I'm not a big shorts guy and they're not very versatile for me in terms of going with other pieces of clothing I have so I wouldn't want to spend $50-60 on them, but for $5 I'll thrift them and get some occasional use out of them.

    They buy trendy clothing for dirt cheap then sell it for ~30-50% off retail. Brands focus around Hollister, Gap, A&F, etc.

    http://www.platoscloset.com/


    buffalo exchange and crossroads are pretty similar such places. More expensive than regular thrift places, but better quality of stuff (though not that great, mostly mall brands) and sometimes they're even sorted by size so you don't have to look through every button down in the place, etc.
     
  9. AntiHero84

    AntiHero84 Senior member

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    Don't lose the faith, Bluemagic.

    I hit a thrifting lull myself. You have to remember that it is going to be more miss than hit. But when it does hit, it can be worth it. My thrifting experience started off with a boom, where I found three vintage wool/cashmere Hickey Freeman sportcoats for ~$4. Since then I haven't found much. Occasionally I'll find a BB buttondown, or a PRL shirt. I tend to overlook the sweaters and pants, as they're a bit more difficult to find a gem. I was about ready to give up thrifting until I expanded my roster of stores. Eventually I stumbled upon a local thrift that was selling a Zanella sport coat for $4. It wasn't my size, but I'll flip it on B&S. It's small finds like that which revitalize my interest in thrifting.

    Just keep an eye out, you'll never know what you'll find. You can't ever really expect anything to jump out at you. It takes countless trips and plenty of time scrutinizing the racks.
     
  10. JohnnyLaw

    JohnnyLaw Senior member

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    It's all worth it when you find something really great.

    For example, this summer I picked up a navy Chester Barrie overcoat that fits me very well. $15. Retail must have been astronomical. It's definitely going to be my main coat for this winter.
     
  11. Desi

    Desi Senior member

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    I only hit up two Goodwill's around where I live and that is rarely even though one is across the street. The MICA kids make me stir clear from the little village of thrift shops they go too. I hear they just clean that shit out before things hit the racks. Maybe I should go over there just to try and find leather goods (many happen to be against leather/vegetarians).
     
  12. robbie

    robbie Pleading Poverty

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    in my experience the smaller church/junior league/etc ran thrift stores have much better prices and usually aren't quite as picked over as salvation army and goodwill. Also thrifting in the 'burbs is usually not that great... the good stuff always seems to make it to the thrift stores in the ghetto, and unless you are looking for cowboy boots, or FUBU jerseys you can tend to find decent stuff. Like I said don't thrift in the more affluent neighborhoods as people with really good clothes tend to consign them as opposed to giving them away.
     
  13. airportlobby

    airportlobby Senior member

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    My interest in thrifting is waning, too. Between having less time (and a bit more money) than I did as a student and the depressing sight of the same reselling pros scouring the racks all day every day, the appeal is gone. Then there is something spiritually deadening about digging through stranger's cast-offs, especially when 99% of the things are ugly.

    But then, there is the thrill of finding something perfect that you never even knew existed. There is an anthropological thrill - look what man was once capable of!
     
  14. adadan

    adadan Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the smaller thrift stores can be much better. I've been thrifting for years, but I tend to mix in a lot of vintage clothing in my wardrobe, so for me it's a no-brainer.

    I do agree that they are more picked over than they used to be, but decent stuff is still out there--since reading SF and being more brand savvy, I've recently found two pairs of Alden shoes, a pair of practically unworn Red Wing boots, a big batch of Brooks Brothers ties, and quite a few nicer quality button downs at thrift stores. You have to be prepared to go frequently, run through the likely racks quickly, and to keep going back even if you don't find anything on multiple trips.

    I sometimes like the suburban thrift stores too, because even though they usually have less interesting stuff to begin with, they are also less likely to be picked over.

    As some others have said, it is also a great way to grab OK quality mall stuff like J. Crew, BR, etc., that isn't really worth $60-$70 (at least not to me), but is a lot more appealing when you can get it for $5. If those things don't interest you at all, and you're only looking for MAJOR scores, you may be looking long and hard with little payoff.

    As another poster mentioned above, buying and attempting to modify thrift store clothes that almost have the fit you want is a great way to learn to sew/alter/tweak your wardrobe. Just hit craigslist and find a nice old Singer 15-91, 201-2, or 500A, preferably with the manual...
     
  15. CharlieAngel

    CharlieAngel Senior member

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    Why I stopped thrifting:

    Because I'm too fucking lazy.
     

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