Life as a Thrift Store

One of my earlier memories involves me in a thrift store, I’m in a horrible mood, and I don’t want to be there. “Everything is so gross” I’m thinking to myself, carefully picking out the oldest, most pilly shirt in the store to justify my thoughts. I kept thinking of the  crisp, brand new, pink shirt my friend wore, how I wanted my wardrobe to be clean and pink and new.

It’s crazy to think there was a time in my life where I was embarrassed to say my clothes had come from a thrift store, how I dreaded seeing anyone I knew in one, as if thrift shopping were some terrible, unspoken secret. Times have obviously changed, thrift shopping has earned a reputation of being trendy and “artsy”; I certainly am not embarrassed now to say I purchased an outfit from a thrift store, but often times I go back to that moment where I would have never revealed that information.

Clothing, to me, has always been some sort of escape; it’s speaking without having to say a word, it’s making your physical self into art. My sister and I grew up making fashion videos on our Flip Video, recreating celebrities’ outfits with thrifted clothing. I used to sew skirts before going to school, and of course I’d mentally prepare myself for a day of wearing an obscure outfit in a stereotypical suburban town.

I created Thrifts and Prints as a hideaway from this mentioned town, a place where I could just be me, where I can wear blonde wigs and post writing pieces I’m too hesitant to put on social media. This space, this blog, is a house for creativity and a home for individuality, where both you and I are encouraged and allowed to be ourselves.

Whenever I feel lost, I look towards clothing, more specifically thrift shopping. Over the past year or so I feel as if my eyes have opened up to this entirely new world. Putting myself in other people’s shoes and other being’s situations has become almost routine. There are so many lives and so many people different from my own, so why should I stop thinking at myself?

So, what if we looked at life like thrift shopping. What if we learned to see the potential in others the way we see potential in shoulder-padded jackets or grandma-styled shoes. Because you’ll come to find out that those shoes look designer with a pair of nice jeans, or your jacket goes so well over that dress. What if you never gave them a chance? What if they got that chance, but with the wrong people, in the wrong environment?

What if we looked at life like thrift shopping, what if we learned that it’s not the person, it’s the way the person is being looked at. What if we gave pieces of ourselves new homes, we recycled what we already knew in exchange for someone else’s knowledge. What if we never disregarded any lesson as trash, but decided to pass it on to someone else who understands.

Although it’s simplistic and a little silly, thrift shopping is responsible for the way I look at the world. As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m wearing orange trousers that came as a two-piece with a vest. On the hanger the ensemble looked comical, but I came to find out the pants fit perfectly, and hey, even the vest looked good on.

Sometimes you look at other people’s lives and you just don’t get it, you don’t understand why anyone could be that way. That’s you looking at the orange two piece on the hanger and just walking away. Other times you stop and think and even start to understand, try it on for size.

And lastly, the beauty in thrift stores, and more so life, is everything and everyone may not go together, but they exist together. Go through life like you’re going through a thrift store, with an open mind.

On that note: You know what time it is? Time to support local artists. Click here to view the work of one of my favorite photographers on Instagram! Give her a follow!

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