True Confession: I am a Thriftaholic

To be quite honest, I no longer believe in buying new clothes. Why spend $100 on a pastel-pink Lord & Taylor shirt with gold Victorian-style buttons when you can get it (new) for $5? Thrifting is shopping in a collective grandmother’s closet; if you dig deep enough, you will find rare fashion gems.

So it was no surprise to me when I walked into the 25th Street Goodwill to find the most fabulous ‘80s-inspired, leopard-print faux-wrap-around skirt with an elastic waistband. I had only $7 left in my shopping budget for the month—and not to mention that the Friday before, I had spent a whopping (for me) $80 at the downtown Brooklyn Goodwill.

Confessions of a Thriftaholic

I picked the skirt off the rack, examined the stitching and size, then slowly placed it back, telling myself to exercise self-control—even if the skirt was only $5. To distract myself, I walked around the small store trying on scarves—in the middle of May, my jaws slack in the sorrow of my decision to abandon my find. How could I not mourn the loss of beautiful, figure-flattering skirt that I could wear with my sheer dolman top and my lace bra underneath?

I walked around the Goodwill in complete desperation till I finally decided to leave.

Don’t judge me on the next part of this story. The next day (Sunday), I had made plans to have brunch with a close friend of mine on her way out of the city, but instead I woke up with the worst case of vertigo. My head was throbbing, my equilibrium was off, and I teetered off the bed into a Sunday morning drowning in sweat. I canceled brunch and decided to walk it off.

Long story short, my short, head-clearing walk found me hopping on the 2 train to 42nd Street, then walking to 25th Street. I had to find and buy that skirt. All types of nightmarish ideas came to me. What if another smarter girl had picked it up and taken it home? What if I couldn’t find it anymore? What if the Goodwill had disappeared into thin air—the universe’s way of tamping my sometimes- OCD shopping habits and desires!

As I walked and thought of the ways I could wear the leopard-print skirt—with a cute little strappy sandal, or some rad and trendy flatforms, I was inspired. My headache started to fade, replaced by that second wind a thriftinista gets when she is about to get a piece of inspiring, exhilarating fashion for an almost-literal steal.

The girl at the counter looked at me and smiled; she knew I was here for the skirt, her eyes saying, “I knew you’d be back.” I ran to the middle rack to find it hanging where it had been waiting for me the day before. I paid my 5 bucks (plus tax) and walked out with my accomplishment!

There is nothing like the pleasure of the thrift. It’s with pride that I can tell you: My name is Chrislande and I am a thriftaholic. I live off of the thrill of an inspired piece, especially if it’s a bargain!

That was one of my favorite shopping experiences. What are yours? Has fashion ever cured any of your pesky headaches? Sound off!

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  1. andrea says

    i completely understand where you are coming from. Here in South Carolina we have an amazing store called His House. Not only do all the proceeds go to a good cause, but also: all clothes and shoes are $1. thats right, $1. While I still find myself at the mall at times, there is nothing like the thrill of finding those amazing gems and and paying only $1 for them. 

  2. Cherijsalazar says

    I loved reading this post because I, too, am a thriftaholic. I know that rush that you get when you find something unbelievably cute and it’s less than the price of a hot-fudge sundae at Baskin Robbins! And way less calories. I’ve left so many items at the Goodwill and dreamed about them until I had to go back. Sometimes I’m lucky to find them still there but most of the time, they’re gone. My motto now is to buy it if you love it or be willing to part with it forever. You were lucky. Yay, leopard skirt!!

  3. Chonmichelle says

    I have become a thriftaholic too since losing my job last year.  I have found some fabulous deals at Perimeter Center West Goodwill, too.  I am so thrifty now I know where all the Goodwills and Value Village are in this area.  :) 

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