Hey you thrift shop all the time right? I'm going in one week to find as much as I can do you have any tips for how to get good stuff? I'm looking for things like combat boots, corsets, blouses, fancy clothes, etc. If you have any helpful tips or whatever please share them!!!
Yes, I do! Every store is different and I am basing this off of my experience with the general Twin Cities area, but my basic tips would be:
Think about the location. The location helps you to decipher what kind of items will be donated because of proximity and general populations in that area. For example, my favorite thrift stores are Goodwill stores because they get merchandise from Target, especially bulk items that didn’t sell or salvaged items. Independent thrift stores tend to carry quirkier items not sold at major retailers. Thrift stores in the suburbs or in affluent neighborhoods have a higher quality of items, though they can be more expensive than other thrift stores.
Go during the week. If you are able to go during a weekday, you will probably have a better chance of finding nicer items. There aren’t any specific restocking days as far as I can tell, but my thoughts are if you go after a big tag sale day there will be new items on the floor the next morning because so much was purchased the previous day. Same with busy weekends.
Bargain hunt during your bargain hunt. Tag sales can definitely be worth it. If you have a few days to peruse the store, you could go the night before a tag sale, right as they are about to close, and see if you can find anything you like that will go on sale the next day. Then if you get there right away in the morning you can get the item for a discounted price.
Try things on. I cannot stress this enough. If you don’t feel comfortable trying on used clothing in the store, wear tight fitting tank or shorts beneath your clothing and try it on over that to get a good sense of if the item will fit you. Thrift stores have short or non-existent return polices, and even if it’s cheap, you still don’t want to lose money. Items come from many stores over many decades, so sizing is never accurate. I’ve purchased things in a medium up to like a 4x which makes no sense at all, and I never would have guessed they would fit if I hadn’t tried them on.
Shop seasonally. If you’re like me and you thrift shop because you saw something at Target but don’t want to pay full price, make sure that you go to the thrift store around the time that big name stores are changing their seasonal stock. Summer clothes end up at thrift stores in September and October, and winter clothes start coming in around February. Of course there are exceptions, but this is when you can find the most name brand, new items at much lower prices.
Look for items in bulk. If you don’t want to look through ever rack for the lowest price, try to look for clumps of the same shirt or dress or pants on the rack. Chances are the thrift store received a large donation of something that didn’t sell well, and it will be priced lower than other items because they have so much of it. So a shirt that would be $5 on it’s own is now $1 because there are 20 of them at the store.
Think practically. If you find an item you really love, check it for stains or rips first. Some things can be repaired or are worth it even with a small flaw, and some you can find with a gaping hole that could never be fixed. You don’t want to get home and be disappointed. If you’re looking for furniture, keep in mind that a coat of paint can cure almost anything. Have faith in your ability to salvage.
Know your brands. I don’t mean this in a snobbish, “only buy a Prada bag” way. I mean like know which stuff comes from Kohl’s and which comes from Wal-Mart. The only reason it matters is because your great deal might actually not be that great depending on the original retailer. Faded Glory, a Wal-Mart brand, can dip as low as $1-5 during clearance events, so your great priced t-shirt might actually be a ripoff. Whereas Daisy Fuentes jeans retail around $50 and are worth your money at a thrift store. Plus the quality of the clothing depends heavily on the original retailer. Clothes from Wal-Mart are cheap but they don’t last, especially if someone else has worn them before you.
Don’t get disappointed. Finally, I think it’s important to remember that a bad shopping trip is just that—one trip. It doesn’t mean that you won’t find something again in a week, you just didn’t find it that day. If you thrift shop often you’ll come to find stores that you want to go back to. For example, I know by now that Goodwill in one suburb has the clothes I want, the Goodwill in another gets a lot of name brand jeans, Goodwill in a major city has dishes and jewelry, and the Goodwill in an different city has brand new shoes. I never would have figured that out if I had stopped looking at different places. Just because you didn’t find it the first time doesn’t mean it’s not out there.
“Eight percent of college men have either attempted or successfully raped. Thirty percent say they would rape if they could get away with it. When the wording was changed to “force a woman to have sex,” the number jumped to 58%. Worse still, 83.5% argue that “some women look like they are just asking to be raped.”—
Margo Maine, “Body Wars”
There was a time that, as a person of the male persuasion, seeing this quote made me really mad. It made me mad that women would assume that I was a rapist; it made me mad that rape was becoming ‘my problem’; it made me mad because, frankly, I didn’t think it was true. I think that this is a really common male attitude when confronted with rape statistics- or, at least, it has been in my purely anecdotal experience.
But now, I know there is no excuse for that. Men need to take responsibility and look at these numbers for what they really are, and what they really, truly represent. Men, don’t be mad at the woman who is justifiably wary that more than half of the men she knows could be her potential rapist. Don’t be mad at that there’s someone trying to rain on your fun, privileged parade where rape is something that only happens on Law & Order. Don’t be mad that you can’t accept that rape is way more common than you think. Most of all, don’t be mad at the woman who was raped and is seeking justice and help for her assault just because you thinks she looks like she was ‘asking for it.’
Be mad at the man who waits in the park to prey on the women who have a right to feel safe in their own communities. Be mad at the man who takes advantage of his drunk girlfriend. Be mad at the man who pushes the issue when his wife isn’t in the mood. Be mad at the man who catcalls, who makes unwelcome advances, who cops a feel.
Don’t be angry at the woman who doesn’t entirely trust you. Be angry at the men who have made her feel that way. Don’t be a part of a problem.
To my fellow white bio-males: be mad that there are so many men out there who don’t give a shit about consent. DON’T be mad that someone has harshed your mellow with facts; you do not have a right to go through life unchallenged.
so tonight my philosophy professor had these nasty bruises all over her arms and she stopped mid-lecture to say “sorry you guys have to look at my bruised-up body, my friend brought a stripper pole over for thanksgiving and that shit is not easy. tip your strippers. tip your strippers well” and then immediately kept talking about philosophy
How do I even begin to explain how devastating the loss of Nelson Mandela is, not only to South Africans, but to humanity? I am still struggling to arrange my thoughts, still shaking with tears.
In the days to come, people will speak of Madiba’s kindness, courage, strength, his boundless love, and wicked sense of humor. They will start to sound like cliches. In fact, those words already feel inadequate because Madiba was an impossible man.
Impossible in the sense that no one should have gone through what he went through and come out the end as the beacon of hope and goodness he was. Madiba was a born a prince. He grew into a handsome, virile, strong young lawyer who loved, perhaps with too much voracity. He was a boxer and a natural leader. Then he went to prison. He spent 27 years in a cell so small, I could hold my short arms out and was almost able to touch the walls. He was forced to endure hard physical labor in limestone quarries: work that permanently damaged his eyes and lungs. He was subjected to psychological torture. Guards would lock him in a room with a bed and refuse to allow him to sleep in it. They censored and withheld letters from his wife and children. He was told, every day that his life was worthless, that he was utterly unloved.
Most men would crumble under such abject inhumanity. Most men would slink out of prison, broken and defeated. Not our tata. Not Madiba. Madiba walked out of prison beaming. He walked out defiantly happy and turned to those who would have him be otherwise and forgave them. Let me make this clear: South Africa was on the brink of what could have been a devastating civil war. Many people helped to prevent this from happening, but it was Madiba’s simple act of forgiveness that lead the way and stopped the bloodshed in its tracks. And yet Madiba’s act was not so simple when you consider that many have suffered less than him and were unable of finding the courage to put personal pain aside in favor of doing what is right. Madiba had true vision for his country, and more importantly, was more interested in executing that vision than personal gain. It is because of President Mandela’s leadership that South Africa did not become another Congo or Rwanda or Uganda. It is because of him that my family and I are able to go back and feel safe and welcomed in our home.
I and other South Africans refer to President Mandela as “tata Madiba.” Tata means father in Xhosa. I, and millions of others, feel as if we have just lost our father. Never has a leader deserved such an endearment more. The world lost a great soul today, but South Africa lost our father.
My religious beliefs are such that my views on the afterlife are foggy. But if anyone deserves to go to a heaven it’s Nelson Mandela. Madiba is free of a body that was causing him nothing but pain. If there is a heaven, he’s there with Stephen Biko, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Hector Pieterson, Miriam Makeba. He’s there with his great granddaughter, Zenani. He is free.
What was your favourite fairy tale when you were a kid?
As a kid, I loved Robin Hood, but I think it was just because he had a bow and arrow.
Today, I love Cinderella, because everything is going against her but she never gives up hope. Maybe she is really naive but I like to believe everything will work out for her.
Someone else wrote in asking what my favorite obscure fairy tale is. I have a few: “The Cat and the Mouse Set Up House” because it’s adorable, “Six Who Made Their Way in the World” because it is life-affirming, and “Thousandfurs” mostly because how awesome is the name Thousandfurs?
I should also say that Philip Pullman’s versions of the Grimm’s tales are spectacular. If you are in any way interested in reading the original fairy tales, but want them lifted from their poor translations and sloppy prose, read Pullman’s.
1. Contrary to popular belief, waking up early isn’t going to drastically alter your life or effect how you’re feeling. So sleep till noon and relish in the way laying in bed all day makes you feel a little more human.
2. Drinking your coffee ‘black’ doesn’t make you cooler or more sophisticated than the rest of us who load in milk and sugar.
3. Being unimpressed by everything makes you look like a twat. Get excited, be overly passionate about something. Enthusiasm is fun.
4. Hating yourself isn’t romantic.
5. Eat whatever you want. your friend’s a vegan? Awesome. Listen to her talk about how great she feels because of it while you tuck in to some chocolate cake. Tell her you feel just as great.