Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Buy Used and Save the Difference!

It took me a lot of years to get to this point, but I have finally given name is Kirstyn Langley and I shop at second hand stores.

I'm not an addict, like that phrase tends to imply.  It's actually a victory to get me IN to a second hand store, never mind get me out of one.  My hang up has always been that it's just gross to deal with old clothes, and I think most of that mentality was based on feeling like the stores themselves tend to be kind of dirty feeling.  I'm not sure where I picked that up, if I was in some skeezy second-hand stores in my earlier life, or what.

But I was finally swayed a couple months back, enough to make one initial foray into the local Goodwill to see if it was worth the effort.

And...well, yeah. It was. Drat.

I don't know how most second hand stores are, but aside from the home goods section (not real impressive), the clothes themselves were actually kind of nice to pick through.  I don't know about other females out there, but I sometimes get really tired of trying to put together a wardrobe based on what's in fashion, because quite often each season's fashion will only have about two aspects that I like.  I go in big for classic basics, especially since I spend most of my life cleaning, cooking, or gardening.  Or, you know, chasing chickens.  It doesn't call for a fancy wardrobe. So what I found, browsing through hand-me-down clothes, is that you get a great mix of styles, and it's a lot easier to find the basics rather than the up-to-the-minute fashion trends.

And there's always the solid mantra of "buy used and save the difference".  I don't shop often (I detest the pasttime, really) so I excused my new purchases because a few $40 items a year isn't that big of a deal. Right?

Well, maybe.  Maybe it's not a huge deal, but if you shop second hand, here's what else you can get for that forty dollars:
buying used clothes

Yesterday I got a skirt, three sweaters, and a pair of boots for $36.  I could have gotten them for less than that if I'd gone on the right day, since they have a different color of tag 50% off every day.  I just happened to like clothes with the wrong tags yesterday.  But these sweaters would go for $40 apiece if they were new (they're thick!).  And the boots are Kenneth Cole, and I got them for $8.  I have no idea what they'd retail for (that brand on Amazon seems to range from $80-200), but even your cheapest Payless boots go for $30-40, easily.

And here's another $40 well spent-- I found a pair of quilted Carhartt overalls on craigslist recently that retail for $110.  I got them for $10.  And the jacket that came with them retailed for $125 and I got it for $20. So that's actually $30, but you get the drift.  The overalls and jacket are hideous, of course, but they're fabulous for working outside in winter and staying warm, and you can't seem to separate the two.

So in these two purchases alone, the items would retail at around $445, and that's guesstimating the above purchases at a low end price.  And I paid $66.

I give in.  From here on out, I begin my clothes searches at Goodwill.


  1. Goodwill is pretty amazing for sure. I dont usually buy used shoes just cause my feet are shaped different than the people that broke them in but the clothes I love. Sometimes you get them with the original sale tag on them. Awesomeness

  2. Goodwill is new and clean, and I love the way they've organized the clothes -- by size and then by color. Novel concept!

    1. Oh yes, isn't that handy? I kinda like that too.

  3. I miss Goodwill. They have some amazing ones around Seattle. Some of the best second hand stores ever are found in Seattle. For that matter some of the best stores ever are found in/around Seattle. Basically what i'm saying is i miss good shopping, and Seattle. :)