Often, while shopping for clothing, I find myself repeating the same phrase. "That is either the ugliest thing I've ever seen, or the coolest addition to my collection!" Honestly, I believe it's quite common for most individuals who prefer second hand treasures to at one time or another utter these exact words. I believe it all stems from the old saying, "One person's trash is another person's treasure."
While some garments I've encountered while thrifting are simply unwearable do to actual physical tearing or blemishes, I find more often than not the majority of items are quite functional. Wait, scratch that, lets take it a step farther and state they are next to new. Considering this, one begins to wonder why these items are even at the thrift store at all? I've constructed what I believe to be a pretty accurate list of reasons why stores like Goodwill, (a.k.a. the island of misfit duds), continues to thrive.
To begin, sadly I suspect many of the garments at the local thrift store are there because the previous owner has passed away. This may give some individuals, "the wiggins." However, not this lady! I find a certain romanticism to the idea that I may be honoring the memory of someone by wearing their old blouse. In my imagination this person would always be someone who was extremely kind and of high moral character. Basically, I cannot fathom wearing a mean person's clothes so I like to imagine my second hand wardrobe being the hand-me-downs of deceased individuals such as Shari Lewis or Bob Ross. Seriously, I would be honored to wear either one of those individuals' clothing. Wait, is this getting weird? I feel like it might be...
So let's continue by defining the rest of the reasons I believe apparel ends up at the thrift store. In my mind it goes like this: the item does not fit anymore, the item is outdated, the item is borderline ugly, or lastly...and this is my favorite...the item is, "What the hell was I thinking?! Was this the night I polished off that half box of Franzia before cruising my favorite internet shops?" However, here's the kicker. For those of us who tend to thrift frequently it's often the hideously ugly items that come home with us. Like I've discussed with like minded friends, there is just something about the challenge of successfully styling a piece of clothing that simply seems too damn ugly for the public eye.
Hence, the shirt featured in the photographs above. I came across this piece while wasting yet another afternoon at the Goodwill. Upon first inspection, I think I literally scoffed at it's garishness. Yet, the more I walked around the store the greater the urge to try it on became. Before I knew it I was mentally pairing it with other items in my closet. It had to be mine! Upon looking at these pictures now, the only thing I can think is this shirt looks like some crazy, "Hellraiser," bondage scene got mixed up with, "The Love Boat." Which is, of course, the exact look I was going for.
Jeans: Henry & Belle