Hand-Me Downs and Thrifting: Does One Set You Up for the Other?

As the third of four sisters I inherited clothes, shoes and stuff that my two older sisters had outgrown. When we were growing up, though, everyone referred to inherited clothing as hand-me downs. We did the handing down within our family, sister to sister. My Mom would never have taken us to, say, a Goodwill (my fave large thrifting destination of choice these days) or Salvation Army to shop other people’s hand-me downs. She would have freaked out at the very thought.

When I turned 16 I got my first job and my love affair with malls and brand-new clothing began. When I was a teenager my sister worked at one of the nicer mall clothing stores (can you say discount?!), which was a bonus. I began to shop for my own clothing; it was exciting to choose the exact style, color and cut of each brand-new garment. Hand-me downs pretty much became part of my past.

black gownFast forward decades, I dabbled in thrifting in college as a student on a budget, but I didn’t really embrace it until my two children became teenagers. They each have a unique fashion sense/work clothes needs. I realized that I could find stuff they would love and at rock-bottom prices. They would be in school and I would go thrifting with a mental list of what they might need/like. I would snap photos of the possibilities. They would text me back their responses. Ask my daughter about her fabulous black gown or my son about his Navy (yes, that Navy) pea coat. Both items are their faves from thrifting!

Navy pea coatMy kids embrace the challenge and fun of thrifting. Both have shopped with me. Most recently my son and I found 2 pairs of Carhartt black work pants ($10 each versus $55 each new), 1 70’s vintage Members Only black jacket in perfect condition (major score at $7), 1 pair of tags-on hiking pants ($10), and 5 heavy cotton chamois work shirts ($5 each). He was practically giddy at his score! And we had a load of fun spending time together.

I love the challenge of thrifting! I love getting great clothing in wonderful condition at a bargain price. Yes, it’s hit or miss, but ask my kids how often we “hit.”

Right now I’m on the lookout for a tux for a friend of my son’s; the guy is a size 46. Every time I go thrifting I flip through the men’s formal wear section to see if I can find him a tux. One will eventually show up. And it will likely cost less than $25!

Do you like thrifting? Where’s your fave place to find a bargain?

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One Response to Hand-Me Downs and Thrifting: Does One Set You Up for the Other?

  1. Your daughter’s gown is gorgeous!

    I’ve always loved thrifting. My kids have caught the thrifting bug too and it’s fun to take a trip to Goodwill now. Everyone finds their own treasures.
    ~FringeGirl

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