A Thrifter’s Manifesto 5: Why even bother?
The real question is why even do this? Is it crazy? Isn’t straight retail easier? Is the time and effort worth it? There’s absolutely no sure path here, it will be chaotic and messy, so why do it?
That’s for you to answer. I do it for a lot of reasons.
-“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” (Traditional – New England)
-I’m super broke, and cheap.
-The idea of buying other people’s castoffs is punk rock to me which connects me to my youth.
-Saving beautiful things before they are cast away forever is a good thing to do.
-I think there’s too much shit being made nowadays, and doing my small part to reduce that level feels good.
-I know the people who work at my local thrifts. I know their names. I work with them. They’re not some designer who I’ll never meet, or some faceless corporation relentlessly pursuing profit. They’re me.
-I’ve never been in touch with what’s on trend. I don’t listen to the radio, I got rid of my cable 2 years ago, and seeing lots of people wear a certain item makes me not want to wear it.
-Counter-culture and thrift stores go hand in hand.
-Love of conservative tradition and buying second hand go together perfectly as well.
-Thrift stores alter context. Good and bad mashed together. You get to see the organic lifecycle of your clothes. The life of all these garments is coming to an end, you get one more chance to save them before they’re cast off into the abyss. Everyone can find something if they are looking.
-Thrifting brings you closer to your wardrobe. It may just be stuff, but it’s stuff that you put in effort for. That you worked for. That you saved from an untimely end.
-Seriously, I’m broke as shit and I’m super cheap.
-Most of all, I view my choice to only purchase items at the thrift shop as a rejection of much of the consumerist culture of the world. People talk in terms of buy less buy better vs. disposable fashion; I propose dedicated thrifting as a third way. You don’t buy less, you spend less and use less. By embracing the This lets you spend better in all aspects of your life.
There’s a million reasons you could thrift. You’re probably not as crazy about it as me (and to be clear, my obsession with thriftiness borders on crazy), but you don’t have to be. Practical, non-academic reasons abound as well.
-You can find nice things and flip them on eBay or consign them.
-You can just use it to fill out things you can never have too many of (OCBD’s, Flannel trousers, Navy Blazers, etc…)
-You can just periodically check in to try and save some money on something good every now and then. It doesn’t have to be your entire world, merely a useful and fun diversion.
I think it’s a valuable addition to the fashion/style/menswear blogosphere that gets marginalized.
I believe it’s a better experience than the mall, more tactile than online and more adventurous than bespoke. You know exactly what’s in your closet because it’s all one of a kind. It’s the most intense curation because your options are infinite and your price, negligible.
At the end of the day the thrifted wardrobe is less disposable than the cheap retail, and almost as personal as bespoke.
So I say take some time, leave the comforting, sterile embrace of retail culture and get thrifty with your life.
19 Notes/ Hide
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- girouxmcisaak said: You missed the incredibly fun thrill of the hunt. Such a thrill when you find a big ticket item.
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- m0ym0y said: yo these are great editorials
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