Thrifting 101: Have you ever felt thrifting shame?
"I love those heels! Where'd you get them?"
"Your vintage dress is so pretty! How can I get one?"
I would kill for those jeans."
Loving your southwestern shirt."
Thrifting used to be a secret, covert activity executed primarily out of necessity. Once upon a time, back in the dark ages when I was a geeky and awkward high school student growing up on Long Island, there was a certain amount of shame and embarrassment about thrifting. It wasn't popular. It wasn't trendy. It wasn't something people wrote blogs about or bragged about or boasted over. No, you thrifted out of necessity, because you were broke or cheap or just wanted to avoid wearing mall clothes like your peers did.
Things are quite different today. The negative qualities associated with thrifting have largely disappeared, and it's more common for thrifters to gloat about their scores than feel shameful about them. Thrifting has become so popular that Goodwill Industries International Inc., opened more than 180 new or relocated stores in 2010. In addition, total retail store sales increased 10 percent compared to 2009.
But I wonder if the discomfort and shame about having to thrift still exists. In certain parts of my own city, the idea of digging through bins at the Goodwill is distasteful to some. And there might be thrifters who purposely avoid revealing to friends and family that the clothes they wear are largely thrifted.
So I ask you: Do you tell people that you thrift? When complimented on an item you're wearing, are you likely to share that it was thrifted? Have you ever felt shame about thrifting?