On Thrifting…

BCBGirls SandalsThrifting – The art of buying(selling) used items. Said more eloquently, here’s Wikipedia’s definition:

Thrifting refers to the act of shopping at a thrift store, flea market, garage sale, or a shop of a charitable organization, usually with the intent of finding interesting items at a cheap price.

Do you shop at thrift stores? I know everyone raves at the great finds they’ve come home with and it ranges from clothes/shoes/accessories to housewares to furniture, but I haven’t been that lucky. Then again, I’ve only been to Goodwill 3 times and another local shop once (Saturday, actually).

I went to a store yesterday that mainly sold clothes, shoes and accessories (and some books). They had great selections and saw a lot that I would actually wear, but in the end, I left with a blazer, a lightweight casual jacket and a pair of shoes – that I debated forever. I don’t know if I’ll even wear the shoes…knowing someone else wore them. What if they had some kind of athelete’s foot fungus type thing going? I mean, they are beautiful BCBGirls sandals (pictured above) so I really doubt anyone would wear them w/yuckiness showing out in the open…but, what if they had stinky, sweaty feet?

See, this is why I have a hard time buying second-hand. What if they had some kind of skin rash? What if they had/have pets and the pet had fleas…??? I’m not pretentious, nor am I a hardcore germaphobe, but I guess I just care too much about the previous owner(s). Ok, I’m a little germaphobe-y, but I think it’s more of a mental outlook for me.

Last year, I bought 2 vintage designer clutch bags from eBay. Now, I’m not sure if they’re authentic, even if the seller said they were, but I loved the look of them and the prices were decent. Have I used these bags at all? Nope. Is it because I haven’t had an occasion to wear them too? Partly. The main reason is when I did have somewhere to wear them to, they had a smell to them…one wreaked of smoke and the other just had that “old” smell that I associate w/my grandmother’s closet. I’ve since aired them out and they seem fine and wearable now…BUT, another thing that bugs me besides the previous owners’ possible skin issues or hygienic routines, is the previous owner’s history.

What if the previous owner had financial issues? What if they went broke? What if they had just bad luck overall?

Maybe it’s my Filipino background and that all the superstitious, spiritual legends playback in my head where every object, animate or inanimate, have a life to them – either of their own or from their owner. I have seen many a movie / show where something like an old, antique object brings about luck, good or bad, to the new owners stemming from the old owner. If the old owner had a streak of bad luck and went broke, the new owner would inherit that spirit after taking that antique object home / owning it. So then, new owner gets bad luck too. I’ve even seen an extreme instance where a family is sickly and all die off eventually (dramatic much? Welcome to Filipino Cinema) and something of theirs was picked up by someone new and they all started to get sickly until some spiritual medium was able to tell them to get rid of that object.

Does anyone else think this way? I hope I’m not the only one that’s this kooky.

At this point, all the thrift stuff I’ve purchased have not been used – except for a pair of shorts that still had tags on them and another pair that I washed 3x prior to wearing. Even the baskets that I bought (for $0.25 each!!!) are just sitting in a plastic bag in the closet. I started to clean them w/disinfecting wipes and the color actually changed! I don’t know if it’s because it was SO dirty or because it was Clorox and some bleaching agent could be on those wipes (I don’t know, I never checked). Which brings me to my next point…

What is the post-thrift shopping protocol? How many times should you wash the items before wearing? How many times do you get it dry cleaned? How many times do you wash an item (housewares) or wipe it down (like the baskets)? How many times do you spray disinfectant on shoes or accessories prior to using them?

I love the idea of thrifting and the possibility of saving so much money, but I don’t know how to get over my aversions. Someone needs to help me because look, these are pretty decent finds. I kind of think I paid too much for them (I picture them cheaper if at Goodwill, but Goodwill probably wouldn’t have the same selections), but still not full price. Help me here…aren’t these great finds?

Leopard lined blazer:
Leopard lined blazer

Lightweight Outdoorsy Jacket:
Lightweight jacket