Back in January when I did my slow fashion review, and counted my wardrobe purchases for the past year, I received a bit of a surprise. Instead of making progress I had backslid. Oops. This was not good. I needed to up my slow fashion game.

In my research for the post I happened upon the idea of the “Five Things Pledge” and “The Rule of Five.” My interest was piqued. And I committed. I also promised to give regular progress reports. This is the first one.

In the beginning of January, I did my research into second-hand shopping in Ottawa. And since then I’ve visited two local consignment shops, and even made my first thrifting foray with Hubby in tow. Ha. That was fun. He volunteered. He loves thrift stores. Although he’d rather shop at Army Surplus if he had his druthers; the old-fashioned ones he used to frequent seem to have disappeared. But that’s another story.

Anyway, for my progress report I made a YouTube video which you can watch below. So freshen up your cup of coffee… or tea… and enjoy. It’s not that long, under 19 minutes. I edited out a lot of the blithering. Gad. I do love to blither.

I am so out of practice doing videos that I messed up some of the earlier segments and had to redo them a day or so later. So, you’ll notice that the first half of the video is filmed on our deck and I have freshly shorn hair. While in the second half, I’m wearing a different outfit, my hair is longer, and I’m sporting a couple of hair bumps which I didn’t notice until it was too late to redo those segments. Sigh. Life is all about learning, people. And sometimes forgetting and then relearning. Ha.

My first thrift purchase of 2024.

I’m excited to tell you that I convinced a few friends to accompany me on my second-hand shopping adventures. So in upcoming videos I hope to have a partner with me. That will be more fun for me, and hopefully more fun for you to watch.

My first big challenge will be this upcoming week. I’m meeting my niece in Montreal for a couple of days. We’ll eat, yak… and shop. I just know we’ll shop. I will need to be especially strict with myself. Wish me luck.

Now it’s your turn to weigh in my friends. If you signed onto the Five Things Pledge, how’s that working for you so far? Have you been able to resist shopping new? I’m a veritable newbie when it comes to second hand shopping. Maybe you’re an old hand. Want to share your best finds with us?

P.S. Here are the links to the two consignment shops I visited in downtown Ottawa: The Recollective and Trove Fashion.

P.P.S. If you like, you can check out Tiffanie Darke’s newsletter all about the “Rule of Five” here. And even subscribe to get helpful tips and tricks for your own Rule of Five adventures. I love to read about the women who are also trying this.

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70 thoughts on ““Rule of Five” … An Update”

  1. I’m retired and 76 years old. I don’t need anything new! Haven’t for many years.
    I’ve never kept track of how much I buy new but for several years I’ve only bought needs – not wants. By doing this, I’ve discovered that my needs have been to replace something that has worn out or no longer fits.
    I know for sure that I give away more than I buy. It’s been a fun challenge!
    p.s. – Thrifting in my small rural town is not at all good. It’s mostly junk.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Cathy. My thrift and consignment shopping adventure will take me to parts of town where I don’t normally shop. I can see from the few shops I’ve visited that the neighbourhood makes a difference in the stock in the store, especially consignment stores.

  2. I wish you all the best on your new rule of five adventure. You can do it! Especially when secondhand doesn’t count towards your five pieces.

    How wonderful that your hubby picked out his pants in thirty seconds and found your shirt as well! He might be your good luck charm when thrifting.

    As a pro thrifter and vintage reseller I thought I’d share some of my personal knowledge and tips. I remember how lost I was when I began my thrifting journey.

    Dipping your feet into secondhand by starting at consignment stores is a great way to ease yourself into this alternative eco conscious shopping option. It is less overwhelming and will be similar to a regular retail store.

    A couple of things to mention about thrift stores including for profit thrifts. None of them clean their clothes. They don’t spray them either. I’m curious to know where you got that information. It’s possible that very small independent stores spray their clothes with Febreze and call that “disinfecting” however I highly doubt it. The entire business model of thrift stores is built on turning over inventory as fast as possible and they simply don’t have the manpower to be in there cleaning and spraying stuff. I’ve donated pieces before and gone into the store to shop and found that same item on the floor for sale five minutes later. Everything you buy at a thrift store, or consignment shop should be cleaned once you bring it in your house. I recommend steam cleaning items even if the price tags are still attached. If you can’t clean it, pop it in a plastic bag and freeze it for 2 weeks to a month.

    Pretty much all of the larger thrift store chains, Talize, Value Village, Goodwill and Salvation Army have a wonky and unreliable ways of pricing their inventory. It all depends on who is working the back pricing that day. Many of them can be overpriced, especially since thrifting has become more acceptable and mainstream.

    Back when I was blogging I often wrote about thrifting and secondhand shopping. Here is one of the articles you may find interesting…
    https://suzannecarillo.com/thrift-store-shopping-tips/

    The outfits I’m wearing are all dated but the information still holds true.

    Here is my Guide on Vintage Shopping…
    https://suzannecarillo.com/ultimate-guide-to-shopping-styling-vintage-clothing/

    I’m interested in following along with your secondhand shopping adventures. It will be fun and there should be laughs…lots of laughs along the way.

    Suzanne
    https://www.instagram.com/vintagebysuzanne/

    1. Thanks for the great info, Suzanne. My hairdresser who shops regularly at Value Village told me about the spraying. She said that’s what gives lots of value Village stuff its peculiar smell. I researched it before I put it in the video and found several articles confirming her story. I’m sorry I put that in there, if it’s false. I hate doing that. Usually I check and recheck what I say. I have a bias against Value Village, I must admit. Especially since they do well out of people’s donations and make money for a big corporation. I never donate to them, preferring to give my stuff to the charity shops like Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul. I read a couple of years ago how many charity shops had raised their prices since thrifting has become so popular that he people for whom the goods were intended could no longer afford them. I’m excited to check out the other independently owned consignment shops in Ottawa. That’s where I’ll probably focus over the next few months.
      P.S. I so wish we still had the Ottawa Vintage Show. I miss it.

      1. It would be lovely if the thrift stores did clean or even spray their items but they don’t. That thrift store smell is simply body odour mixed with stale smells, and all the odours that the garment was exposed to over its lifetime. It used to bother me but it doesn’t anymore. I would say if it’s an issue just wear a mask and of course wash everything when you get it home. If the smell refuses to budge a soak in water and vinegar for a day will almost always remove it.

        I also like to donate to the smaller charity shops when I can.

        Value Village really dominates the market in the GTA.

        All of the major thrift store chains, Salvation Army, Talize, Goodwill and Value Village have raised their prices dramatically in the GTA. I don’t often shop at the smaller independents but in the past their prices were lower.

        Suzanne

      2. I didn’t even know they had stopped the Vintage Clothing Show in Ottawa. That’s a shame.

        You should come out to Toronto for the Vintage Clothing Show in April. There are so many vendors and a huge selection.

        1. I bow to your far greater experience, Suzanne. I know what a great thrifter-finder you are. I still remember the outfit I saw you wearing in Kensington Market that day a few years ago when I saw you from the back, took a photo of your outfit, and only later recognized you. I should get a girlfriend to make the journey to Toronto with me for the Vintage Show. That would be a gas.
          P.S. The odour my hairdresser as speaking of was a chemical smell that she said pervaded most of her Value Village finds.

          1. That was such a shame I didn’t see you that day!

            Do let me know if you’re coming up this way. I’ll love to meet-up with you. The show is a very busy time for me but if you hung around for a day after the show I could meet-up. Let me know by DM on IG.

            I wonder if that chemical smell is because VV is usually larger than the other stores so the smell is more pervasive. Often times the smellier the piece the longer it has been in the thrift store, in storage or in a bag waiting to be put out on the store floor. I would add that if a piece smells strongly of mothballs or smoke leave it behind. It’s not worth the hassle.

            Suzanne

    2. Confirming all of this.

      2.5 gallon ziploc/target brand zipper bags before you put your purchases anywhere (your bag or car included!) and into the freezer for at least 2 weeks

      Know your measurements and the tricks of scale, like your foot and firearm are the same. Twice your neck is your waist etc. Bring tape measures with you so you don’t have to get potential bedbugs even with the aforementioned, if possible.

      Find a good tailor, dry cleaners have good ones and then it’s one stop! Assume some tailoring cost (new or vintage!)

        1. Thanks for the tips. I do take a tape measure which we used to purchase Hubby’s pants. Etsey is wonderful, I agree. Especially for vintage. I assume you mean Poshmark? I have looked on there for vintage bags, but not done any serious shopping yet.

    3. Thank you, Suzanne, for your tips about vintage shopping, which I think I really need! We have a thrift shop here in St. Petersburg run by a program called Casa, which helps women who have been abused and/or are challenged to find work and a sustainable life for themselves and their children. I’m all for that, so I donate almost exclusively there now, but I’ve found two things recently.
      1. Casa’s prices have almost doubled this year (like other prices!) but since there is a Wednesday “senior day,” I can shop for exactly half-price!
      2. Since Covid, I notice fewer items in thrift stores that attract me at all. Are people like me holding on to their clothes longer? I know I am, and have culled many things from my closet now that I have not found replacements for; and still, I am able to be more creative about wearing what I already have.
      Win-Win! Now time to go read your articles.
      Thanks again for this blog, my favorite, and always giving me ideas!

      1. I used to send all my “work” donated clothes to a church which had a program similar to the one you mention. It was a wonderful program. The only one I know about now here in Ottawa is Dress for Success. But now I have so little to give away that would be appropriate.
        P.S. You should check out Suzanne’s Etsey page. She is the queen of thrifting IMO, and her site is great.

  3. Enjoyed your blog/ vlog, Sue. I found I changed sizes this past year, so had to purchase replacement pieces. I hesitate to get rid of anything as I often go up and down in size.
    Another excellent place to check out is the local church ” New to You” apparel sales that happen once or twice a year. We have some fabulous brand name clothes donated to our church – often some still have the original tags still on the item.
    Looking forward to your consignment shopping trips with your friends.

    1. Altho I have not gained weight, I am finding that my “favorite jeans” no longer FEEL comfortable, due to an expansion of my midriff area. I need to know where to go to find things that fit, but that probably will involve a long try-on session and a very good friend to put up with being my consultant!

  4. The outdoor background in the first part of the video is stunning. You live in such a beautiful part of the world. And that’s a great pink shirt! Don’t worry, many of us love to blither too, probably to make up for becoming less visible, and/or less listened to, as we age 😂

    I’m careful about what I purchase but haven’t committed to it the rule of 5 yet. During Covid I purchased very little and have found that some of my staples are faded or otherwise degraded and I bought 3 replacement, warmer-weather trousers recently that are all being worn.

    I don’t do well with thrifting. The ick factor is an issue hard, I haven’t found nicely curated thrift shops here, and sizing is often a problem. But I happily donate nicer things to Dress for Success and other clothes to charity as I dislike sending clothes to landfill.

    Andy is a hoot, and a most discerning shopper!

    1. Having worked in retail in my twenties and thirties it always surprises me that people are concerned about the ick factor with second hand (and i can understand this) but dont realise that nearly everything you buy ‘new’ has been tried on by many many people. its a good rule to wash everything you buy new or otherwise.

    2. I have been taking all mu donated clothes to a thrift shop in a small town near us. They are small and don’t have the huge mountain of bags waiting to be unpacked.
      P.S. Think you meant Hubby?

  5. I look forward to following your “rule of five” journey! I only bought five new items last year, including a pair of earrings, but I’m not sure if I can manage to do that two years in a row. So far, I’ve bought one new item and one thrifted one.

    1. Not sure how I will fare, Elaine. Hopefully I will begin to like the consignment/thrift adventure and that will keep me out of the stores. Lucky for me most of my favourite independent shops and department stores here in Ottawa have closed. Obviously, that can’t be considered a good thing, though. For the owners and sales-people.

      1. I finally had time to watch your video and love, love, loved it! I feel exactly as you do about Value Village. In fact, I prefer not to shop at any of the huge city thrift stores. I find them overwhelming and overpriced compared to our small town ones. Your pink shirt was a great find though. I wish I was close enough to be one of your shopping partners!

  6. I personally resale on Mercari. As a small seller, Ebay and Poshmark are a bit overwhelming to me. Good luck on your venture!

  7. I have committed to five new garments this year. Already I ran into a challenge. I wanted to buy a very nice dress for my 50 year anniversary party. I realized I would not likely have another big event I would “star” in the rest of my life, so using one of my five allowed purchases on a one time use was a not wise. Initially I thought I can just add nice accessories to a dress I already have and that will do. A friend suggested I try on one of her dresses as it was my size, warmer than my dress and a better color for me. I tried it on and now I will be wearing her dress to my celebration. This is better for the environment too.
    Instead of the dress I bought a leather jacket I had been longing for. I will wear that jacket much more often than an anniversary dress and perhaps it will last long enough to pass on to someone else.

    1. Good for you, Meredith! Borrowing and swapping is legit for the “Rule of Five.” How lucky you are to have a friend whose clothes fit you. And you’ll have that jacket for years and years.

  8. I’m not a very patient shopper & find it difficult to wade through racks of indifferent items in the hope of finding a treasure . I think you need to allow plenty of time & enjoy the search . Going with a friend seems like a good idea & would be fun even if you come home empty handed . I guess the old rule applies ‘ don’t buy it just because it’s a bargain ‘ , which I’ve been guilty of in the past . Recollective & Trove were interesting & we do have similar businesses here but I don’t know of any big set ups such as you visited with Stu . Most bargain hunters use our many charity shops & seem to travel to those in more upmarket areas to find the best stuff . Your pink shirt is a lovely cool pink & really suits you – success .

    1. Me neither, Wendy. I am not a wader. Unless I have set aside a day to do only that. And even then I lose interest if something doesn’t pique my interest quickly. I do all my browsing on line at home before I head out, and know what I’m looking for. I guess to be a better thrifter I need to be more flexible and more patient.
      I agree about not buying just because something is a bargain. I don’t want my closet to fill up with stuff I have purchased on impulse and then have to re-donate. Also I feel a little guilty about buying something that I don’t need when others might see it and need it.

  9. I’m an avid thrifter. A few tips:
    1. Do not buy anything that does not fit into your palette and style unless you know it will be a one-time wear like an evening dress, and then re-donate it right after the event.
    2. Don’t buy without either trying on or at least measuring.
    3. Clean everything immediately, even if tags still on.
    4. Do not buy anything that needs altering other than, for example, hemming.
    I love the Ottawa secondhand store The Clothes Secret in Ottawa South.

    1. Not sure why anyone would buy something where the colour and style don’t suit them… unless they are dazzled by the price, or by the thrill of finding something good. That’s one reason I avoid Black Friday and Boxing Day sales… other than the crowds. Ha.
      P.S. Clothes Secret is already on my list and will be visited in a Glebe Ottawa South foray soon. Thanks for mentioning it 🙂

  10. Really enjoyed your video, lots of good ideas and fun seeing the shops you visited. I purchase way too much and like the idea of “rule of five”.
    I’m going to try and be a better shopper and think more before buying, do I really need what I’m buying. I don’t think I’m going to try resale shops for clothing but it’s an adventure and I do love a good adventure.

    1. Thanks, Paula. I felt bad that my videos of The Recollective did not do it justice. There were two young mums there with strollers who were shopping and chatting and I didn’t want to get them into the video, or interrupt their fun. Next time I’ll do better.

  11. It is lovely to see you both! And your wonderful backyard with the river (and snow)
    Brava for your methodical approach and commitment! Your shirt is such a nice colour,a great find!
    It is almost impossible for me to find something IRL thrift stores,because there are only a couple of shops here(it could be better situation at the seaside), beside Caritas or similar ones,and ( as you know),I’m maybe a size up from you- I didn’t see anything in my size that I would buy or wear,so far. It is a little bit of cultural thing,I think,all the good stuff goes to friends and family first,and after nobody wants it, than it goes to the store. It is the way me and my friends do. When I stopped to wear heels,I ‘ve given them to friends. I could only dream about items with the price tags on in a store. 
    I didn’t commit to the 5 item rule,although I highly support it and I will try my best to be  somewhere near it
    So far,I haven’t bought anything and don’t have plans for buying something in next two months-so let’s see! I’m not very prone to influence or advertisement and it is always a plus
    Dottoressa

    1. That’s how we always used to do it when I had nieces who were my size. I did give away lots of my good business wear to younger friends after I retired. That was a fun try-on day.
      P.S. Hope you are weathering winter okay. xo

  12. I just had the time to watch your vlog. Wow, the cool pink looks really fabulous with your hair! I thrifted a brand new with tags Tommy Hilfiger male shirt, 100% cotton and made in Mauritius. A cream with navy, dark green plaid and thin line of pale pink. I have worn it a lot. It cost me
    1 Euro! I now always look at the male shirts too.

  13. Gosh, 3rd comment from me today! IF my hubby is in the mood he is a great thrifting partner too, and often finds me gems I would have missed.

  14. I’ve been shopping consignment stores for 30 years and also consigning clothes I no longer wear. It allowed me to dress well while I was working, without spending a lot of money. I also used to sew so I can easily make minor adjustments if items aren’t a perfect fit. One year I bought a consignment dress to wear to a work formal Christmas party and then reconsigned (not sure this is a word) it back to the store after the party. Now that I am retired I browse thrift stores every now and again and we have a consignment store in the town we live in. I find I don’t get an opportunity to wear many of my clothes and tend to wear the same ones over and over. I need to get out of my dressing rut!

    1. It’s hard NOT to get in a rut in retirement. I need to have my clothes on a metaphorical circular rack and spin it every once in a while to avoid wearing my current favourite sweater and jeans outfit.

  15. Your post was very timely as I just hauled another trash bag full of unworn clothes out of my closet. I love to shop and have long told myself that I need to shop as I am still working, but I’ve realized over the last year or so, helped by thoughtful writers like you, that shopping has become all about the thrill of getting something new and not so much about necessity. So – I’m going to loosely commit to the Rule of 5 – for me, I think, I’ll ease into it with the Rule of 10 this year.

    We just had some work done on our home and it required the cleaning out of all closets. As this task fell on me I realized that we had a lot of unnecessary stuff – not just clothes – and that I had bought into the consumerist mentality that seems to grip many of us Americans. So, thank you for this – I’m putting myself in consumer rehab.

  16. The comments are really interesting and your pink thrifted shirt is lovely. I have a very similar one (women’s, made of Oxford cloth but oversized and looks great with jeans, paler pink). I’m on a bit of a pink kick right now, but I’m more on the warmer side than you are. The pink you chose looks great with your hair.

    I have mixed feelings about thrift shopping these days. I’ve commented before that I used to be a huge thrift shopper as a young person. My first love was vintage and I was rather expert at finding beautiful, interesting and occasionally quirky things. Early in my career I participated a bit in high-end consignment, but in the last ten years my style has veered towards very specific things that I have had made or make myself so I’ve become less and less fashionable and more selective and attached to what I have. I’ve also basically stopped shopping. As Dottoressa said above, I think there is also a cultural matter in that my Italian partner is horrified by the idea of shopping in thrift or vintage stores, but on the other hand both his mom and sister have given me their quality things over the years and given me carte blanche to adapt them (tailor, etc.), i.e. family gets the best things first.

    What is great about this plan is definitely the anchoring to a small number of new purchases. I don’t think necessarily that “five” is a magic number, but having to think through each purchase is such a helpful discipline device. So few of us need much of anything in the clothing department. Anything that adds pause is a useful addition to the conversation.

      1. I am looking forward to shopping with my girlfriends. It’s not something I usually do nowadays. I generally prefer to shop by myself. But we will make an afternoon of it and I’m looking forward to that.

  17. Very much enjoyed your post today. Thank you!
    I used to thrift (jeans)and ‘borrow’ clothes from my brother and dad (jackets, blazers, shirts and sweaters) when I was in high school and university.
    Once I started teaching the shopping began. ( in those days teachers wore suits and pumps or nice dresses). Towards the end of my career it was more relaxed.
    Once I retired, 9 years ago, I gave my teacher clothing to my daughter, who had them altered to fit.
    During COVID I purged and purged. Boy did it feel good! Since my retirement I’ve only bought one dress for my son’s wedding, a good pair of winter walking boots and a good quality black turtle neck .
    My best ‘new purchase’ is my husband’s navy 3 piece suit. Only had to have the pants taken in. I’ve been able to use those 3 pieces in so many ways with my existing wardrobe, I’m almost giddy!

    I agree with you regarding Sally Ann btw. I actually don’t thrift anymore and concur with another commenter about the yuk factor.

    Instead I swap pieces with my daughter and cousin, and obviously my husband, whose closet I regularly raid.

    I wish you much luck and success in your hunt to become a more conscientious consumer and look forward to following your journey.
    It’s a very liberating adventure!

    1. How lucky you are to have a husband whose closet you can raid. I have worn Hubby’s sweaters in the past… but anything with pants would be way too short in the legs. Ha.

  18. I was raised with thrifting, I suppose. My mom (working widow with four kids) loved a good church rummage sale and since we lived in Wellesley, Mass, she found some great stuff back in the late 60s. She was always very stylish and bought more for the kids than herself.
    In my youth/20s, I bought a lot of thrift store items for economic reasons. Now, I enjoy looking but more at housewares and such than at clothing. I will scan the racks for natural fibers and good brands. There used to be a Council Thrift store here that is part of the National Council of Jewish Women, and they had high quality items. I see that it may still exist in other places.
    I had one experience consignment shopping where I must’ve timed it just right – I bought several items from the same seller and loved them all. Other than that, I haven’t done much consignment shopping.
    Meanwhile, I’m on track with the Rule of Five this year! I have purchased a few things online, but so far returned them all!

    1. Similar situation for me growing up… single working mum, four kids.We didn’t thrift, but hand-me-downs were the rule. My mum had a friend who had lovely clothes and gave my mum stuff most years. A good friend raised her three kids on thrift store finds from a place called “Frenchies” … it’s legendary in the Maritimes.

  19. I do love to browse thrift stores in a nice area that are clean, do not smell, and are well lite, with pleasant personal. I have a couple of consignment stores that I hit up, as well. They are pricier than thrift stores but they are more particular about what they take in. I take tags off and immediately put my clothes in the washing machine. As to coats or jackets, I use a hairdryer on hot and go over them several times, then leave them to hang outside. I feel good about buying preowned.

    So far this year, I have not bought any clothes. My only purchases have been books. I am on the hunt for the perfect white cotton shirt that is no iron. I detest ironing at this stage in my life.
    I’ll be taking note of consignment shops in Ottawa that you like for when I fly in to visit my daughter.

    1. Thanks for the tips, Joanna. I like a consignment shop that is inviting as well. The two I visited recently do not jam as many articles as they can fit into the space as is often the case. I loved just being in those stores.

  20. When I read your January post about the rule of 5, I wondered whether I could do this. I realized immediately that I would need to purchase new running shoes at least. I think I can commit to this and will give it a whirl because I have always loved thrifting, consignment and sewing my own stuff. Since I am retired, I don’t need much in the way of workwear. I never try anything on in a thrift store so if I do buy something for myself, I am taking a chance that it will fit. However, the tip given by another reader to know your measurements and to bring a tape measure is a good one. You did not mention garage sales but this is where you can sometimes pick up items for very reasonable prices. It is probably not garage sale season yet, but it’s coming with warmer weather. I find estate sales in my city disappointing. They are usually run professionally so bargains are few and far between. But, they are still fun for a look if only to get to see the interior of a nice home. I look forward to your vintage forays!

    1. My husband and I used to be regular Saturday morning garage sale goers. Spring Saturdays always had us with thermal cup of tea in hand, jumping onto the car. We haven’t done that in years now. There is a huge one every May here in Ottawa that is renowned, but I have never been. Somehow I just lost the urge and the interest.

  21. Ottawa used to be a thrifters paradise with all those foreign service/ambassadorial types. Heading to galas regularly meant a steady turnover of very gently used garments and accessories. Along with the aforementioned The Clothes Secret on Bank ( in Old Ottawa South) there was a place off Carling in the West ( now shuttered) that carried a great selection of high quality clothing, shoes purses etc. I remember the owner telling me that several Rockcliffe Park matrons regularly dropped off their items hoping that since the store was in the far west they wouldn’t run into a neighbour wearing their cast offs! She had a huge selection of evening gowns. I must say the place smelled great but she was picky about cleanliness and checked each garment before it went up for sale.
    I have had good luck on Poshmark feeding the cashmere addiction and have found well priced bags, scarves and shoes. It never fails to amaze the number of NWT ( new with tag) items for sale. People must buy a lot of stuff on impulse. BTW have never had anything from Poshmark that was less than pristine…one exception was a 100% cashmere ruana that reeked of perfume. I washed it and the smell came out. Well worth it for a $1,000.00 at retail Holt Renfrew garment, in perfect condition, that I haggled down to $50.00 from 150.00. The seller even had the original bill of sale from HR. She said it had been her late Mom’s but it wasn’t the seller’s style. I love Poshmark!!

    1. The Clothes Secret is on my list. I will be checking it out for sure. I’ve been meaning to do so for a year. Years ago, back in the late eighties, I used to shop in a consignment shop on Richmond Road. They had lovely stuff at great prices. I shopped there when I first started teaching and couldn’t afford the clothes I wanted. I’ve also tried Postmark… just for browsing.. not really seriously looking. Then again, I do a lot of just browsing and not seriously looking, online. I love to check out the designer bags on some of the sites, but even second-hand they are way above my price point.

  22. I do enjoy thrift store shopping. I treat it like a treasure hunt, and only go when I’m in the mood to spend some quiet time looking through everything (or just the categories I’m into).
    I only go to stores that direct their profits to their own charity. My favorite is the Hospice thrift store, another is a store that both employs, and supports people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. These stores only have the things that folks in my community have donated.
    I think that if you’ve been a shopper all your life, you can home in on the “finds” in a thrift store.
    I’m into mid century Danish teak, and Scandinavian glassware. I found a Le Creuset Dutch oven in the color of the set I got as a wedding gift in 1980. I found a Dansk teak lattice tray identical to the one my Mom and Dad purchased in the 60’s on a trip to Hong Kong. The next week, I found the square glass dishes that went with the tray.
    As for clothes, I’ve patiently gone through racks, disregarding all of the Target, and Amazon discards, I’ve found some wonderful pieces. It’s because I recognize all sorts of labels, that I can pull out the treasures, and decide if they’re right for me, or a family member.
    I don’t look at pants, only things I can plainly tell will fit.
    I carefully read the labels and care tags. Yes, they all go into the washer, or to the dry cleaner before going into my closet.
    Sometimes, I do a big closet clean out, and end up donating items back. I think of it as double donating to a good cause.

    1. Good advice, Lisa. I have to be in. the right mood as well. For any kind of shopping actually. If I get cranky, I just go home because nothing will suit anyway. I’m going to make a concerted effort to find more of the small charity shops in my area. I don’t like the idea of donating (clothes or cash) to big for-profit ventures like Value Village.

  23. I did a quick check…

    In the last twelve months I’ve purchased:

    Six T-shirts
    One poloneck sweater
    One V-neck sweater
    One pair of black pinstriped slacks
    Two pairs of shorts &
    Three pairs of trackie dacks

  24. Mary Lou Sindlinger

    How about a different approach….buy something…get rid of something. My Mother started that I the seventies…it has been a living gift from her early understanding of underconsumption.

  25. I’d like to clairify. My advice to not buy atthriefts unless it is your palette and style is t hat I have seen women buy for these other reasons:
    1. Wow, a Dries van Noten sweater in a thrift! I’m not leaving it here.
    2. I always wanted to try drop-crotch pans and now I can, for only $7!
    3. I’ll buy this for my daughter (or friend).
    4. I’m not leaving here empty-handed and this is the best of the bunch.

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