I grew up in a home that often didn't know where the next meal was coming from, but we did not shop at secondhand clothing stores. We were dressed from gift bundles or my mother sewed what we needed.
There were two secondhand clothing shops in my small town, and in my teenage opinion, only desperate people shopped there. The selection was small and the quality was poor. Just how desperate people could be was demonstrated to me by a friend who excitedly modelled her 'bargains' for me. She had found two tee shirts for 50 cents each. They were so thin that she had to wear both of them at once. To my mind, they were still too thin.
I was therefore of the opinion that ladies couldn't shop at secondhand clothing stores. However, I began to doubt this theory on my 21st birthday when my aunt came up from the capital with a navy blue wool suit for me. It was beautiful, expensive-looking, tailored, modest, in fact everything that a lady would delight to wear. My aunt had been given first pick of a new shipment at a secondhand store, and this is what she found. It cost about NZ$10.
|Happy Take-Homes: 3 knit tops, 1 blouse, 1 pair trews, 1 skirt|
An hour later, I was converted. I came out with several dresses which became closet staples. One in particular has been a consistent, adaptable favourite, my Red Roses Dress (worn below at an English Country Dance) which has drawn many admiring comments and has continued to adapt to my shape without complaint. Carrying the label American Weekender, it cost me just NZ$8.99, even though prices on the Mount were higher than at any other SaveMart I visited in the couple of years following.
Although I always keep an eye out for modest tops and skirts, my specific wish list was short: warm corduroy or moleskin jeans (not tight between hip and knee).
Did you laugh? Yes, these are few and hard to come by. Once or twice a fortnight, trousers are required apparel, but I've lost weight in the past year and the trousers I've been wearing don't have belt loops. I've been using a pink plastic clothes peg to keep them up.
I figured I could improve on this solution, but the cost of new jeans from mail order companies like Victoria Hill (NZ$70) and Ezibuy (NZ$50) was more than I felt was justified. The local Postie store has corduroy jeans but they are low riders and have that peculiar bleached wash that draws attention to butt and thighs.
Ogden Nash wrote, and my dad frequently quotes this quatrain:
Sure, deck your limbs in pants.
Yours are the limbs, my sweeting.
You look divine as you advance.
Have you seen yourself retreating?
Top 12 Tips for Thrift Store Shopping, click here: http://www.boutiquenarelle.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/shoppers-guide-to-recycled-clothing-top.html