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Thrift Find for September

Sunday, September 30, 2012 11:30 PM

I made a few thrifting trips this month, but I came away with only one item:

Silk J. Crew scarf, Goodwill South Portland, $3

There were other things I considered buying, like a pinkish-purple cardigan and a bright pink button-front shirt. They were in good condition, they fit well, and they were in colors that would work well in my wardrobe. But I couldn't pull the trigger on the purchase. I stood there, holding them in my hands, and asked myself, "Did I want a pinkish-purple cardigan or a bright pink shirt before I saw these?" Well, no.

That in itself didn't mean they wouldn't make good purchases. I've thrifted clothing before that I didn't anticipate finding or wanting, and many of those pieces have played a valuable part in my wardrobe. And it's easy to justify pretty much anything when it's $3 or $5 or even $8. But even though the sweater and shirt totaled only $11, I put them back because they would have put me that much farther away from buying some of the items that have been on my wish list for months, like a yellow pencil skirt and a bright pink skirt and black booties and knee-high cognac boots.

I'd run into what's perhaps the biggest limitation of thrifting and other forms of secondhand shopping: finding something specific. I haven't thrifted a skirt of any sort in months, and even eBay hasn't turned up the yellow pencil skirt or full, pink skirt I'm seeking. So I did a little online shopping, and I have some packages on the way. Everything cost much more than $11, but if the items work and breathe new life into my wardrobe, it'll be worth it.

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