Monday, September 17, 2012

Makes Me Itch

One thing I do before most races is visit a place that doesn’t smell great, but provides entertainment and affordable options.

Longmont’s finest hang out

Thrift stores exist on a spectrum. There is the upscale consignment shop (like this one I go to in Boulder) that sells high end brand name stuff. The type of stuff I can barely afford to buy even second hand. 

Then there is the downhome, no holds barred, thrift store. This is the place where anything over $5 is considered premium and quite pricey. This is also the place where you can find used sheets and underwear. I am all about consignment, but I will not wear someone’s used and skid-marked undies. I do have my standards.

The reason I go to the downhome thrift store before races is to get warm clothes to wear while I wait around for ten hours in the dark and freezing cold for the race to start. Once the race starts, I toss them.  If you live in Colorado (or a similar climate) you know that our day and night temps vary hugely. It can be 30 degrees at 6:00 a.m. and 80 degrees at noon.  I’m telling you, I freeze my non-existent balls off waiting for the start line gun to go off. That’s why a pre-race thrift store visit is imperative.

My son has grown to love the thrift store and begs me to go there. My daughter thinks it’s gross and the place makes her itch.  Sam and I went this weekend so he could look for a blazer for the homecoming dance. I’m not kidding.  No one has to know his blazer was $2.99 with 10% off unless they read this blog.

We did not find a blazer, but we did find this jacket.

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We decided not to get it because he might be mistaken for draperies.

I suggested he just wear these with a tie.

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It is really possible there is a pair of used underwear bigger than my head and torso combined?

I found my dress for Ken’s holiday party. I've always wanted to be Cindy Loo Hoo.

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Seriously, I did find a dress for $10.99 (probably the most expensive item in the store. Not kidding).  I think it’s sassy and the bottom reminds me of Peter Pan. I’ll sell it to you for $24.99 if you want.

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Weird thing is, I got so wound up in all of this cool stuff I forgot to get my throwaway clothes for this weekend’s race. Sigh. Guess I’ll be heading back to itchy-ville for another visit.

Do you thrift store shop? If so, what for? Pre race stuff, Halloween costumes. And, apparently cocktail dresses.

What’s one item you would not buy from a second hand store? Sheets, underwear, pillows, tampons.

SUAR

50 comments:

  1. Having kids oh yeah we shop at resale and Goodwill shops. They are convenient as well for when you are losing weight. I found my love of thrift stores in high school because that's where all the cool kids hung out.

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  2. I have been to a thrift store but didn't find what I was looking for. I am, however, addicted to reading the "free stuff" section on Craigslist for a laugh - my two favorites were a "bag of socks - no matches" and "used toilet - good condition".

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    1. I do the same thing!! I've seen a "used composting toilet" and a "half eaten birthday cake". Pretty sure the cake was a joke but the toilet was for real. Gross!

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  3. I LOVE thrift store shopping. I buy lots of things for myself and my family. I like to score high end kids clothes for $1 or $2 per item. I won't buy underwear at the thrift store but I would buy sheets. If they happen to be cute kids sheets and they look clean and in good shape. I won't spend $50 on character sheets since they kids will be bored with them long before they are worn out. My kids are young so they think it's awesome to shop at the thrift store so I am going to keep that going for as long as possible.

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    1. Yeah, No underwear but everything else. I don't know I've ever bought kids new clothing from a store. I personally just found out that new sports bras are much less bouncy than used ones so I might start buying those new and running shoes are always new but everything else is bought at thriftstores.

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  4. I have done some shopping at the thrift stores...usually disappointed with what I walk out with. But on the other hand it can be fun.

    What I wouldn't by from a thrift store...hmmmm jock strap

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  5. I get an itch just walking past such places. The only things I would consider buying from them is stuff that can be immersed in straight bleach for about a month. That dress is classy though. Are you sure you don't have it on backwards?

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  6. I would go to thrift stores here, but ours are pretty pathetic. I did find a few, not my size, wool and cashmere sweaters for a buck or two. Since i'm a knitter, i tried to cut them apart and unknit then, and remake stuff, but it was a huge pain in the butt! Guess i'll have to save for prewound/clean/unused soft fibers instead! For my kids, we do have a few nice consignment stores, so i get the girl her fancy dresses and pretty much whatever fad i can find for her (last year she only wanted to wear jeans). My boys i also get clothes for there. I wouldn't buy used bras or undies, or anything that gets close to any of our "unmentionable " parts.

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  7. I love thrift stores- especially for outdoor holiday decor and throw away clothes!

    Sarah
    www.thinfluenced.com

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  8. Love thrift stores...saved me when I was transitioning thru sizes when I was losing weight. I didn't feel like buying a whole new wardrobe every time I lost 10 pounds. I'm cheap like that. What I wouldn't buy? Hankies (used snot kinda grosses me out), socks, and shoes (something about other peoples sweat/stink. But maybe bowling shoes, because that's not gross.)Bras, undies, and bathing suits are also off limits.

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  9. I go to thrift stores to buy throw-away pre-race hoodies. I can feel good about tossing them knowing that the race crew collects them and gives them to charity.

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  10. Holy cow - I was just reading along, enjoying your post, when WHAM! ...the giant underwear photo just KILLED me! How can they even think of selling underwear at a thrift store? Seriously!

    I tend to do more thrift store browsing than actual shopping. I did score a sweet alpaca fleece sweater for $12 recently, which was amazing!

    I would definitely not buy someone else's underthings at a thrift store. Gross.

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  11. I used to work in a thrift store and always found such awesome things. People always get rid of so many new-with-tags items that it shocks me.

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  12. Cycling shorts, definitely not cycling shorts...or footie pajamas.

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  13. I love thrift stores too. As a former fitness instructor, you can find some awesome gently used apparel. The same goes for running tops and tanks. Some look never worn. As a SAHM, I have to stretch our budget to allow me to compete in all my races.

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  14. I almost always pick up a 1.00 "tosser" jacket for cold start lines of races. We usually laugh at how outlandish a jacket I can find. One of my last ones was a light blue hoodie trimmed in light blue faux fur (obviously it was faux...what animal has light blue fur?!?!) and it had GIANT blue furry balls on the ends of the hood ties. Talk about your conversation starters.

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  15. Those underwear belong in a tent and awning store. Seriously??? Being blonde....I've never thought of "thrifting" it for throw away race duds. I never take the time to go peruse our local thrift store but I am forever dropping clothes off there. However, I do have a girlfriend that loves to make frequent trips there and is always picking me up great finds. I'm just waiting for the day when she buys me something of my own that I donated. It WILL happen. =)

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  16. You laugh, but MIL accidentally had a pair of FIL used underwear in a garage sale. Not only was it one of the first items gone the buyers asked if there was any more. She now regularly puts them in and they keep selling (by different people). We really wonder what they are buying them for- please tell us rags or something.

    As for me- I go in and then get impatient digging, as most of the stores have things arranged in odd ways, that i give up and don't get anything.
    For example the Goodwill that will sell some nice stuff arranges things by color, like white shirts all sizes mixed up, then red shirts, ect. Workout clothes are mixed with blouses. Dresses and coats are arranged by color and shorts, skirts, workout shorts are arranged together by color then pants. I wish they would go by size or type or something else.
    I get my throw away clothes from things my mom buys that she things are my size (I am a 4- small and she buys 10- larges) for me and generally very very ugly but on sale cheap. She gets upset if I say anything so at least this way I get some use out of them.

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  17. As soon as I read "thrift store" I started itching. I love a good deal, but I can't do thrift stores.

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  18. I get my throw away sweaters at the thrift store as well. I do get other stuff there though too, like books for my daughter, and any other goodies that catch my eye! Just went last week and got three throw away sweaters/hoodies. They were only $3.75 each...can't beat that!

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  19. I went to some old school thrift stores to find all the pieces to my "Ugly Sweater Ensemble" for the ugly sweater party I threw. I was the hit of the party and several friends commented that they didn't even recognize me! I worse Napoleon Dynamite wig/glasses, mom jeans, holiday printed turtleneck (circa 1990), black velvet vest w/ peekaboo presents, gold wreath broach and a hideous Christmas watch. It was a riot. Usually I go to consignment/thrifts for kids' clothes and shoes. I've gotten name brand clothes for like a buck and nikes barely worn for 6-8 bucks. I'm a cheapskate!!

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    1. forgot to add: black moccasins that i decorated w/ glitter and pipe cleaners:)

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  20. I love thrift stores -- I do the bulk of my clothing shopping there. At last count I have more than half a dozen cashmere sweaters, none of which cost more than $5. I've also gotten some great dresses and skirts -- very little luck with trousers, though.

    I'd never buy underwear or bathing suits at a thrift store. Upholstered furniture from thrift stores also makes me twitch a bit -- wood chairs, yes; sofa, no. Hats only if they can be thrown in the wash...possibly several times.

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  21. My husband shops at the goodwill, and while I don't think it's gross, I do think it's strange. The goodwill is the place my mom took us to donate our clothes--for the less fortunate! I have been with him for seven and a half years and I still can't wrap my head around it!
    http://www.shilohstaste.com
    Ps can't wait to run tomorrow!

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  22. I'm a thrifting queen. I'm so good at getting deals that I get picky. Banana Republic is about as low-end as I'll go, and nothing over $5 usually. Half price Wednesdays are my favorites.
    Once I got a pair of unworn leather ankle boots by Jil Sander for $2.00! They retailed for over $1000 and they were the current season!

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  23. NOTHING...the fear of bringing home bedbugs is way to great.

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  24. So what did the undies cost, and did you buy them for Ken? bet it would crack him up!!!

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  25. I love the thrift store. I buy my "throwaway" warm clothes from their all the time. But I'm also cheap. When I donate something I get a 10% off coupon. I'll donate in batches so I have enough coups for my visits. Those undies are awesome! Can you imagine the snuggy?

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  26. I saw on this wacky frugal mom site where she used rolled up baby socks for tampons, so see you could get used tampon supplies at the thrift store.

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    1. I'll take "Things I NEVER Needed To Know About What People Do With Baby Socks" for $1000, Alex.

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  27. I love that dress! You wouldn't know it came from a thrift store!

    I do a lot of thrift store shopping, in fact our living room is filled it. For example our chesterfield couch, which I could never have afforded otherwise.

    I would never buy underwear though, in a thrift shop.

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  28. I too have stopped by the thrift store for race throw aways. One time I scored on a sweet hot pink and orange Nike sweatsuit. I took the jacket and my friend had the pants....we wore them last year at the torrential downpour of the LA Marathon, the jacket lasted through mile 11, it was soaked and just too heavy to keep on, the pants got tossed by my friend at mile 7 or 8 for the same reason; we hoped they would find there way back together for someone else to enjoy.
    The lady at the thrift shop was horrified to know I was just gonna toss the outfit.

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  29. The lost and found at the elementary school is overflowing....what doesn't get claimed gets donated to charity so I would "shop" the lost and found before a race....it still got donated to charity

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  30. That pair of undies - OMG, really?! LOL I do shop thrift stores. My kids are the same as yours. My son likes to get sport coats there - somehow he loses them at college parties so its good to get them cheap. My daughter thinks the stores stink and doesn't want to touch anything. I love to get a 1/2 price color noodle and my employee discount - its like winning the lottery! (I'm in accounting but our retail employees get a clothes allowance which I think is a good deal for them!) Oh yeah, thrift stores are also great for theatre dept. costumes too. I'll definitely check before my next race.

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  31. When I was losing weight in the past, thrift stores were my favorite place to shop--who wants to pay full price for in between sizes that (hopefully) will not last all that long? You can find some great AND horrible stuff at thrift stores; I haven't had a lot of success recently, but usually I'm in too much of a hurry. Those undies? That might be where my girlfriends found the ginormous pair of undies they signed and gave to me for my bridal shower; I kid you not, they were BIGGER than that pair you found. Plenty of room for signatures and comments, LOL! I draw the line at undies and sheets, those I do not want used, thank you very much.

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  32. I really don't see the difference in buying nice looking underwear vs. any other washable item of clothing. I mean, the cute pair of designer pants you buy could have been worn by someone going commando, for all you know. And how are used bedsheets which have been washed any different from sleeping on hotel sheets. I don't care if you are staying at the Ritz.... you KNOW what all has been on there! Of course, I would never buy underwear from a thrift store because that would involve actually going to one... however, for years my hubby wore skivvies given to us after my uncle passed away. He would call them his "dead man drawers".

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  33. Thrift stores make me itchy, too. About the only thing I WILL buy from them are used books..but only if the binding isn't bent.

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  34. Love thrifting. There's a Goodwill on the outskirts of a wealthy part of town where I always score big. Lots of nice stuff with the tags still on. Who does that?? Rich folks who can't be bothered to return stuff, I guess. I draw the line at used underwear too, and for some reason used shoes weird me out a little. I almost never find any shoes that are my size or that I like, so it's okay. But they'd have to be new or nearly so for me to consider them.

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    1. I once bought a pair of used shoes - they were Danksos and hardly worn. But I'm with you - I usually skip the shoes. Something about foot fungus grosses me out.

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  35. I wouldn't not buy anything that touched my girlie parts. So no chonies, bras, or swimsuits. Those underware are HUGE!

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  36. Thrift stores for me are a t-shirtstravaganza! Buy all my t-shirts there so that I can cut them up to run in. Also it's easy to find pretty frames, mirrors, end tables and lamps there to spray paint or stain and make prettier for the house. LOVE THRIFTING!
    Would never buy anything that touches the girlie bits. No bras, undies, or leos. Also no mattress or bedding. Bed bugs = heeby geebies

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  37. Those undies are EPIC. Seriously. I am totally creeped out that those were even there. Who buys used underwear??? BLECH. Great, now I feel itchy.
    I will say the whole shopping for throw away stuff before races is a great idea. I will probably hit up a Thrift store before I head to NYC to get some pre-race disposables.

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  38. I grew up as a poor kid and these were where my clothes came from, thrift stores, thus I only have gone to buy halloween clothes for myself in the last 20 years. The places bring up bad memories when TJ Maxx was too freaking expensive for my family!!! That said, the older I get, the more interested I am in cheap stuff and like Ross and TJ Maxx and have been eyeing thrift stores. Things I won't buy used are: Underwear, socks, shoes, running clothes, sheets, towels, bedding, beds, etc. Anything that could have been pissed on or in is of no interest. Now... I know shirts and pants are sweat in (and may have been pissed in) but I'd take a used shirt or pants that looked new because it can be washed a couple times before being worn. Still, new is the main way I go.

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  39. Those are some HUGE tighty whiteys…
    I must say that I do shop Thrift stores quite a bit.
    They are great places to find props and costumes for an upcoming plays I happen to be working on, but I also snag all of the used Boy Scout uniforms I can find for boys in my troop who can’t afford to buy new.

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  40. LOVE thrift stores and they do make me itch too. I used to say it to be funny, but now it's true. Something in the chemicals they use react with my skin. Haha. They're great for the early morning toss aways or for a skirt or dress when you're in a sewing mood and want to re-purpose something

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