At the turn of the two major fashion seasons, spring and fall, I always go through my closet and dressers meticulously. I try to be as ruthless as possible when it comes to what I decide I don’t need anymore. If I didn’t wear it the previous year during the spring or fall season, it automatically goes, no matter how much I try to convince myself I might need it. The items I only wore a few times go into another pile that I keep some and give some away. Then I look again to see what’s missing in terms of essentials and the latest must-have trends, and hit the stores and Internet.
One way for me to help pay for said new spring and fall items is to take my no-longer-necessary items to thrift stores. This is something I learned from my mother at a very young age. The thrift store in my hometown starting carrying junior sizes just as my mom began wondering where the hell all the clothes my sister and I were growing out of at a shocking rate of speed and short amount of time were going to go. Now some people give their clothes straight to charity when they’re finished with them and I have no problem with that. This may sound bad, but if I can make some of the money I spent on my clothes back, I’m going to try that first before donating to charity. It’s still tough times people. Deal with it!
So it’s spring once again and I left this morning with a reusable tote full of shoes and a garbage bag full of clothes. I made my way to the resale shops. The first shop took five items, most of which still had the tags on them (such a bad habit of mine!) The items included a royal blue, body skimming, ruched dressed; a pair of kelly green skinny pants with zipper at the ankles; and a pair of purple silk shorts, all from Express and never worn. They also took a pair of white flats with black polka dots that had never left the box and another shirt. I tried selling the rest of the items at another store, but they said they didn’t find anything they were interested in.
As much as I would like to be, I am not the fashionista whose closet is nothing but designer wares. It’s all moderately priced, well made clothing. I have no problem paying $100 or more for certain items, like coats, boots, dresses and awesome Coach handbags. There are no designer jeans in my closet, just American Eagle. And it seems Chicago thrift stores aren’t interested in buying those kinds of clothes. It’s become an almost insulting experience going to the resale shops here. While watching the buyer go through my bag, I watched her pick up a short sleeved plaid shirt from American Eagle and I assumed it would go in the ‘yes’ pile because of all the plaid I see everywhere on the hipster kids. Nope straight into the ‘sorry we’re not taking these because they suck’ pile. Okay I totally made that last one up…sort of. I know I dress well so why aren’t you buying more items?!
My take on Chicago resale shops is they’re trying to be much more alternative than most people actually dress. I always peruse the racks while my bags are being processed and rarely find anything I have to have. I don’t consider myself a ‘hipster’, but neither are the other bloggers and friends I see who have great pieces they picked up at thrift or resale stores. Now I know it’s kind of a science, with having to go frequently to catch the good stuff at the right time. Well guess what…I was never all that interested in science in school. I always see Forever 21 pieces at the thrift stores, so why not take my Maurices or Old Navy shirts? Sure I loved the BCBG jacket I saw hanging on the wall of one shop today, but not everyone has BCBG jackets to resell. It’s just a pain in the ass because I have to find a way to get the clothes back home so my mom can try the thrift store there, where most of our items always sell. If they don’t within a certain amount of time, the store automatically donates whatever is left to charity. See I’m not completely heartless.
I would love to hear your suggestion on resale shops to sell to and to stalk for good items. Also what’s your greatest thrift store find?