Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where my clothes come from

Matt and Stephen are in Virginia today and tomorrow so I get to occupy myself tonight. I have to show four houses at 6 p.m., but I'm looking forward to the night after that. I'm going to go on a long, late run. Since Matt's gone I won't feel guilty that dinner consists of a ham sandwich (thanks, Granny!) and chips for the third night in a row. Then I'm going to sit on the porch and read late into the night.

At some point tonight, just out of curiosity, I also want to do an inventory of my closet, inspired by a Sunday-lunch conversation about consignment and thrift stores. (Mom, Dad and I love them; Matt loves that I love them because of the prices but gets impatient shopping in them; Granny's thrifty side kind of likes the idea but is sketchy about wearing someone else's clothes; Granddaddy wouldn't wear something if he knew it was used.) On Sunday, everything I was wearing happened to be from a thrift or consignment store, which made me wonder how much of my wardrobe belonged to someone else first.

I'm going to divide my clothes and shoes into three categories, depending on where I bought them: a) consignment and thrift stores/yard sales; b) "discount" stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross and outlets; and c) "regular" stores, e.g. those at the mall. I'm interested to see how it breaks down.

I remember back in the day, when everything my parents did embarrassed me, how I would dread going in thrift stores with Mom because I was terrified of running into someone I knew. At the same time, I couldn't not go with her because inevitably I found something I loved for a fraction of its "real world" cost.

Later there was another phase, probably around eighth grade, where I did a 180 and was obnoxiously vocal about how inexpensive all my clothes were. If someone complimented my shirt, I'd say something like "Thanks, I got it for $2 at so-and-so thrift store, and this skirt came from the dollar bin at Goodwill, and these shoes were hand-me-downs from our neighbor, so my whole outfit cost $3!"

These days I'm trying to maintain a happy medium, but once in a while I stumble on a deal I have to brag about. Like the gorgeous skirt I found on a Goodwill rack for $3 -- it still had the original price tag ($225) on it. And the brand-new running shoes that retailed for $115 but I bought for $1 at a hole-in-the-wall thrift store in high school. And the slew of Benetton sweaters and shirts I got for $2 each at a Santa Monica Salvation Army thrift store when Matt and I went to California a few years ago.

That's more than enough for now. I'll let you know how the inventory goes.


Amanda said...

what time are they getting back tomorrow? I really want to watch that documentary show with you on our DVR. It can wait but what an opportune time!

p.s. I don't know yet all that I'm planting in my "area". Maybe sugar peas, some flowers, and a couple of herbs. If you have any ideas, let me know!

Gail said...

Some of my fondest memories are of going to yard sales and thrift shops with your parents. Now Granny and Granddaddy could do a good job at the outlets. Oh, those were the days!!!