Now to begin with, where I live a ‘thrift store’ is usually known as a ‘second-hand store’ or an ‘op shop’, very few people I know seem to use the term thrift (or even know of it). When I first heard the term, it immediately became part of my vocabulary. I'm not sure why I find it so appealing, perhaps because it appears to be spared the negative connotations sometimes associated with second-hand stores.
'Negative connotations?' I hear you ask, well yes, I believe that some do exist. For example, everything is ugly / stained / gross, only old people shop there, if you buy second-hand clothing you must be poor, you obviously must shop for your underwear / other ‘private’ gear there.
As a child, my mother often went to chain thrift stores, something inspired by her mother who adores going to them, always in hope of finding that amazing antique or special English china. I have a distinct memory of her purchasing me something from there and being so ashamed that it was second-hand that I did not want to wear it purely for that reason. I was certain all the children at school would make fun of me for it, because in my little head they clearly had the power to automatically tell whether something was brand new or second hand. Thus I bucked at the idea of wearing this second hand gear, something that continued for quite some time.
Slowly I begun to gain more acceptance for the concept and by high school I was frequenting second hand books stores (which may I add are a wonderland in themselves). Somewhere in my early years of high school while in a thrift store with my mother, I made a Find*.
Up to very recently I still feel somewhat uncomfortable when asked where a thrifted item came from and sometimes just state the brand that the item. This year I have been come incredibly close to a friend and while we were out a few months ago couldn't help but notice his amazing jacket. After spending the entire night commenting on how amazing it was, how I wanted one like it, I asked wear he brought it from and he told me that his father had actually got it from a second hand store. I was impressed by his casualness about the topic and realised how silly I had been being about the whole thing (although, if I had been a different person I wonder if he might have just told me he borrowed it off his dad and didn't know where it was from). Later when I explained my dress from that night was thrifted and listed a few of my recent thrifted items and the price tag with them, he seemed honestly impressed.
TL;DR I like thrifting. A lot. Would like to write a few ‘Thrifting 101’ and ‘What not to thrift’ style articles (that said, you can thrift whatever the hell you want!).
* Anyone who frequents thrift stores knows what a ‘Find’ is as opposed to a ‘find’, it’s that item you pick up, that catches your eye that you know you have to have and is utterly too good to be true.