Top 10 Thrift Finds
Thrifting has become a staple in my life. The vast majority of my wardrobe has been picked up second hand from a thrift store, a consignment shop, from a friend, or even found on the ground. I have been thrifting since high school, and since then I have come across some truly amazing articles of clothing. Here are the best of the best, the creme de la creme of thrift finds. These are my most worn, most loved, or my most “I can not believe I found this” items.
- One of my favorite things to look for at the thrift store is pants. I am always on the hunt for a new pair, so when I was at my local Goodwill back in New Hampshire, I was psyched to find a pair of cargo pants. They were in the men’s section, and hanging there all alone, as the store had not restocked recently. I picked them up on a whim, and as it turns out they fit me. Say what you will about cargo pants, but I have worn them hundreds of times since I bought them, and they are the most versatile piece of clothing in my wardrobe. Plus, they have lots of pockets for carrying snacks.
- There is another pair of pants that I bought from the thrift store that I deeply treasure. I bought them at the Salvation Army here in Beloit, and they were one of the only pairs of pants I brought back home with me, besides my beloved cargo pants of course. These pants are my low rise, Paris Hilton-esque Bubblegum jeans. Bubblegum is the brand, but it also describes the thin bands of elastic that run vertically through the jeans. Low rise jeans are back in fashion, and these ones do not disappoint. They fit perfectly, and they can be dressed up or down, and they are especially great if I add an early 2000s “going out” top.
- Most of my thrift finds are clothing items, but every once in a while I will come across an accessory that I simply can not live without. At the Salvation Army back in New Hampshire, I picked up an iconic purse. Think of an Ugg boot, but as a small handbag, and you are thinking about the little beauty I picked up. It is made of tan colored suede, with fluffy fur lining the seams. It was not just me who thought this was a great find. The cashier asked me if the purse was mine, as in if I had brought it in with me. She couldn’t believe I had found it there, and in all honesty I couldn’t either.
- Coming to Beloit freshman year, there were some things that I didn’t pack, or even realize I needed. Coats, for one. I brought my huge winter coat, and a heavy jean jacket, but I neglected to bring any transitional pieces for fall or spring. One of these pieces I bought at the local Beloit Salvation Army. This coat is long, it is dark green, and it is corderoy. There is not much else to say, other than the fact that it is perfect.
- When thrifting, sometimes you pick up a piece and there is no telling exactly how essential it will be, and how many times it will come in handy. This was my experience when I picked up a brightly colored, ‘80s style jacket. Almost a bomber style, I think this jacket is actually an insert for a snowmobile jacket. This jacket is not bulky by any means, but it is so incredibly warm. I wore it while winter hiking and snowshoeing, and it was a great outer layer to keep me toasty, while also offering the option to unzip it so I would not overheat. When I bought this jacket, I had no idea how much I would wear it, or how useful it would be. But here I am, a year later, thankful that I bought it. It also works for an ‘80s party costume.
- This item is not from a thrift store, but I had to include it anyway. Over the summer, I was walking my dog when I came across a pile of random items with a “Free” label on them. Usually, these roadside freebies are a variety of things that people don’t feel like donating to a thrift store, and are typically lackluster and uninspiring. Except this one time, I looked down and sitting on the grass was a leather jacket. A vintage, black, genuine leather jacket, with cutouts of purple roses. And fringe. Fringe going across the back, down the arms. It was entirely free, and it is now mine.
- One of more recent thrift finds was from a consignment shop in a seaside town in New Hampshire. As soon as I laid eyes on the shirt I knew it must be mine. It is baby blue, and in white lettering across the front it reads “Britney Spears saved my life”. I love Britney Spears, and I think the timing of the shirt is perfect. She is preparing to be removed from her father’s conservatorship, and she is recently engaged. She is living her best life, and while she may not have actually saved mine, she has improved it. The shirt also makes a great outfit with the aforementioned Bubblegum jeans, butterfly hair clips, and a beaded necklace bearing the phrase “That’s hot,” a catchphrase coined by Paris Hilton, a close friend of Britney Spears.
- Sometimes in thrifting, you pick up an item that you like, but it is kind of without thinking. It is only when you get back to your dorm that you realize you have just discovered your new favorite article of clothing. That is how I acquired the sweater I am currently wearing, and have been wearing for the past week. It is an oversized knit sweater, an offwhite, almost gray color with striped detailing going across the chest. It is cozy and warm, and the perfect thing to throw on for an early morning dose of Commons’ eggs.
- Most of the things on this list have some kind of practicality. Sometimes though, it is fun to buy something that purely gives you joy. From the Beloit Salvation Army, I purchased a ring. In true Beloit fashion, it is a turtle ring. It is a big turtle ring, embellished with multicolored gems, with a tiny turtle situated atop the big one. It just makes me really happy, and that is a very important part of thrifting, and really consuming anything.
- The best thing I have ever thrifted came from the most unexpected place. It was in a small town in northern New Hampshire, a place not well renowned for its secondhand clothing. I was in a place called Encore Coffee and Thrift Shop, which is exactly what it sounds like. There was not a great selection, and most of the clothes were nothing special. Until I took a gander in the men’s coat section. It was there I saw it, the best thing I have ever thrifted. It was a Burberry trench coat. The luxury fashion brand based out of London? Yes. That Burberry. It was one of those “Oh my god, no way,” kind of moments. And now that fall has officially begun, it can be a great overcoat to strut around campus.