Thrift Fails: How To Buy Great Secondhand Clothes Every Time
Of my siblings, I tend to be the most label-conscious. I was also the most resistant to frugal living. Mom made thrifted clothes more appealing by pointing out the label. She made me feel clever for wearing “expensive” clothes like my classmates without paying so much. Converts to secondhand shopping also tend to be attracted to low-cost labels.
I still keep an eye out for higher end labels. The designer indicates quality and fit. I am always attracted to American Eagle, Gap, and J Crew. The sizing is true and I like the casual style. I still wear items from these brands purchased several years ago. When I share my Thrifty Thread posts I always tell the brand of the clothing. So clearly, I am still label-conscious.
That’s how these fails ended up in my dressing room…
This J Crew skirt is a size too small, but I took it to the dressing room anyway. I never would have picked it up at the mall, or even given it a second glance. The shape is too boxy for my boyish frame.
Clothes that you buy but never wear are never a bargain. Labels are great, but also do my five-point check.
- Color: All of the clothes in my closet are, or match, black. Buying brown pants, for example, would be frivolous for me. I would have to buy a new top and all new accessories to match.
- Style: Try as I might I will never be a chic downtown chick. I will never have a need for anything patent leather, satin, or sequined.
- Shape: Know which shapes you like or at least which ones you hate. V-shape necklines or button-up shirts are the most flattering to my broad shoulders. Wide-leg pants give curves to my straight frame. Anything that requires a special bra is out.
- Quantity: I have a gazillion pairs of cargo pants and can’t. buy. any. more.
- Quality: No pills, stains, or inoperable tears.
Looking beyond labels allows you to really enjoy everything that Goodwill has to offer.
What are your tips for avoiding thrift-fails?