Yep! You sure can … and I am proof!
Everyone’s thrifting right? Whether it’s to save the environment, spend less or find a cool vintage look, according to The Economist Magazine, “Thrifting is in” to the tune of $47 million in revenues last year for Goodwill in the U.S.A. I couldn’t find figures for Canada, but from what I hear on the streets, thrifting is alive and well!
My teenage daughter hasn’t bought any new clothes for over a year .. she’s a strictly thrifting shopper and even waits until it’s 50% off day at Value Village. She has scored some really nice finds, like fur coats and an authentic Gucci bag. I did frequent the vintage shops on 4th Ave. in Vancouver in the 80’s but the closest I’ve gotten to sifting through mounds of clothes in recent times is Winners. I decided to give it a try ….
First I did my research, the Golden Rules of Thrifting gave me some tips like 1. know your brands 2. try on everything 3. be open minded and 4. be picky. I set off with my daughter to Value Village. I filled my basket with only brands that I knew like the grey Olsen sweater with a big studded lion face, a black lacy skirt by Wilfred and a trashy corset type top from Guess (just for fun). There were tops and pants from Smart Set, Ricki’s and Reitman’s, but for that price I could buy them new on sale. My daughter scoured with me but admitted that thrifting might only be good for young people. For boomer babes it’s more like … wow … this looks really bad! I locked my self in the change room and tried on about 15 pieces …nada …nulla… nothing! FAIL
The whole affair left me with the urge to purge, so I ended up cleaning out my own closet and venturing out again but with the idea of sell something … buy something. Next stop, Deja New on St. Josephs St. in Orleans. The owner, Laura Chaulk has quite the gig going with her Snazzy Seconds décor consignment next door to her clothing consignment. Both places were quite busy on a Saturday morning and it looked like everyone found a treasure but me. After filling out the consignment contract with the friendly sales woman, I handed over my goods and was determined to score a find.
I tried .. I really did. Nothing caught me eye, nothing sparked an idea, nothing looked like anything I wanted or might want in the future. FAIL
I have just about given up but will give it a few more rounds … another thrifting rule is “go often”. I have planned to go to a consignment fashion show this spring at Santé Restaurant on Rideau St. Mixed among the Ottawa Designer and Boutique shows is Alfred & Co. which boasts designer consignment. I’m keeping my hopes up for a truly special find that will make it all worth it. And that, I believe, is what every thifter lives for!
If you are already a thrifter or just want to give it a whirl, check out these Ottawa Vintage and Consignment shops and happy thrifting!