I love thrifting. You may have gathered that. I experience flow while thrifting – it is the perfect combination of stimulation, decision-making, analysis, and excitement for my kind of brain.
According to some books I’ve read, expertise is a function of experience. Applying that to thrifting, my ability to quickly pass through racks of clothes and pull out a few gems (or at least nice looking costume jewels) is less a gift than a practice. And goodness know, I have practiced enough.
Take these tops I recently thrifted for example:
These were surprise finds at a thrift shop where I don’t enter with high expectations. So finding anything interesting is an unexpected surprise. Perhaps a dopamine rush?
The first top I found is the silver-grey one on the left. I love anything a bit asymmetrical, as you might have guessed from my choice of hair styles. Rina Zin is a well-regarded, high-end Israeli designer. I have found a few of her pieces through the years, but it is not an every day find. In terms of re-sale, known Israeli designers tend to sell well. I decided to take it.
The white top is by Anne Fontaine. Anne Fontaine, a French design house, makes beautiful white shirts and other clothing. Anne Fontaine has stores in several upscale Israeli locations. When I see an Anne Fontaine label at a thrift store I grab whatever is attached for further examination.
The first thing I noticed was the size is marked 3. The 1,2,3,4,5 sizing indicates an older shirt – her newer shirts have European sizing 38,40,42,44,46. (I believe a lot of designers are missing out by not offering bigger and smaller sizes, but, for now, that is what there is.)
Some items date quickly but a classic white top by Anne Fontaine has longevity. With older clothes (and all white items) I check carefully for yellowing or stains. This top appeared excellent condition with no stains. Size 3 supposedly corresponds with a European 44 or 46, but I could eyeball the shoulders and see it might work on me. Regardless, good potential re-sale value. So I took it!
Thrifting has taught me that label size is just one clue when it comes to finding clothes that fit.
The pink top in Marina Rinaldi. Marina Rinaldi is an Italian label. According to Wikipedia she is a plus size designer. Thrifting has taught me that label size is just one clue when it comes to finding clothes that fit. I think this top fits me just fine. Re-sale for a top like this is not a sure thing, and if I was a very strict thrifter I would have left this one in the store. But right now I am having a weakness for pink. If I had not been thrifting at a charity shop I might not have taken it, but for under $3, and given my current pink phase, I decided to take that one too.
Now the real decision-making must come in. Which to keep and which to sell? What would you do?