“Thrift Shop,” the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ single, has topped the charts multiple times and has created a lot of interest in thrift shopping among teens. They realize they can spend $30 for one shirt at a department store or visit Goodwill and spend $30 and have 10 pieces of clothing that are gently used but still look great. The hard part for my teen had been digging through the racks for sizes and styles that work for him. Recently, we solved that problem with a personal thrift store shopper. Yes. Really.
It’s true—I was putting off shopping with my teen. Cole has always been very picky about clothes, especially shoes, and shopping trips often result in a lot of whining from me. However, I knew a shopping trip was inevitable unless I wanted my kid to have soggy socks all winter. I was steeling my nerves for the shopping adventure when I logged onto Facebook and Nancy D’s status jumped out at me, advertising herself as Chicago’s premier thrift store shopper. Was this a sign? Nancy D and I had been friends for years but had not touched base in a very long time. Perhaps, it was time to reconnect. I sent her a message asking about her business, and, typical of Nancy, she immediately returned my message, bubbling over with enthusiasm and assuring me that she was the best thrifter in the world, if not the universe, and that she would find Cole clothes that he would love, at a price I could afford—even shoes. Not having to shop with Cole for boots sold me. Cole and Nancy D were going shopping.
Nancy D was forewarned that my teen was extremely picky about clothes, and before sending him off to thrift, I warned my son that working with Nancy D would be a little like being in the eye of a hurricane and to keep his feet firmly on the ground or he would end up in Kansas thrifting for ruby red slippers. With those words of wisdom, I sent him off to shop with the goddess of thrifting.
A few hours later, my teen burst through the door, smiling widely and carrying an arm-load of shopping bags. I refrained from humming the song “Oh, Pretty Woman” as he put down his shopping bags and told me about his shopping trip with Nancy D.
“Mom it was crazy fun! Nancy D knows everything about thrifting. You were right she is a whirling dervish and the fastest talker ever, but she understood ‘my look’ immediately. And while she would become jumping-up-and-down excited about something she pulled off the rack for me, she immediately threw it aside and agreed that it was wrong for me if I didn’t like it. She never tried to talk me into anything (should I have been insulted?)! Look at all the great stuff we found at really great prices.
It seemed Cole had found his thrifting fairy godmother. Anxious to show me his purchases, he began to pull boots, sweaters, jeans, shirts and a jacket out of his shopping bag. I was impressed. Everything looked almost new; some things were still new, with the tags still attached, and I loved everything. I had been trying to talk him into a pair of Levis for years, but the cute girl at the Lucky Brand store won his loyalty when she told him Lucky jeans made his butt look good. Thrifting with Nancy D, he found out his butt could look good in Levis too at a fraction of the cost. By my estimation, the retail value of Cole’s new wardrobe is about $700. He spent under $200. And for me, not having to shoe shop with him was priceless.
Below are few pictures of Cole’s new wardrobe. The quality of the pictures was impacted by dwindling daylight, snow flakes that had to be photoshopped out of each picture, and a kid that was impatient and cold. Notice the clinched teeth in a few pictures and imagine my tense, annoyed voice in the background behind the camera.
New look for teen
Mother plans to “borrow” shirt
Isn’t 17 too young for cashmere?
Look Mom! No Holes!!
Favorite Dog. Jacket is a deep brown color.
Favorite Wool Sweater! Leather patches on sleeves
Not bad for three hours work and a budget of under $200.00
I still love Nordstrom’s and Dillard’s, and Cole will still visit Lucky from time to time (hard to step back from those cute girls admiring your butt), but thrifting adds another resource to our shopping experience. And frankly, I would rather shop at a thrift store than at Macy’s. At least, you know what is on sale. I highly recommend checking out the thrift stores in your area (keep in mind all thrift stores are not created equal, so you might have to visit more than one) to see if you can find a treasure or two, If you live in the Chicago area, you might want to snap open your smart phone and book a thrifty shopping trip with Nancy D, the thrifting fairy godmother.
Do you thrift shop?
Odd Loves Company!
I did not shorten Nancy D’s name. As long as I have known her, through several past lives, we have always called her Nancy D.
This post comes from the heart not from trading services.