Last year I kept track of all my thrifting on small post-its in my planner. I tried to see what are my patterns—how much I’m spending and what type of things I buy. I didn’t look much at what I bought for the kids, husband or home, but only the pretty little things I bought exclusively for my own enjoyment.
I justified a lot of the shopping with the fact that after losing weight this year, I really needed new clothes. But of course, I never needed too much. And then there are the bags. And the scarves. And the jewelry. No need for that many of those. But let’s not dwell on that and kill the happy mood of this post. Because this is about magic.
My greatest scores this year have been (besides that bag and that planner) a maxi black wool Eileen Fisher dress, two EF silk sleeveless tops (white and black) and an EF maxi black silk skirt. A short wool EF sleeveless dress also made it into my wardrobe along with a pink linen vest and a short-sleeved grey linen cardigan (which used to be long-sleeved) by the same brand. Then there were a maxi skirt and a maxi dress, both black, both made of a linen and silk blend (a fabric that feels amazing!).
I also found the greatest mini quilted leather bag that I wore all the time when we visited India this winter and it was perfect, a silk/cotton blend grey scarf that works with everything from a lovely beach town, and a tan leather bag from a special store in Montreal. Some silver jewelry has also been added to my collection. I am particularly happy with the arrowhead pendant and the long beaded necklace that I can wear many ways .
I try to not buy pottery anymore, because I already have a small collection and I have been gently encouraged by he who does the dishes most often to avoid anything that is not dishwasher-safe. I still got these adorable milk and sugar set for special occasions.
I don’t think I need to sing the praises of thrifting here on the blog, because it is clearly a more ethical and ecological sort of shopping. So it’s relatively guilt-free. (Yes, imaginary critics, I do realize it is still shopping, still consumerism, but a more inoffensive kind, right? And yes, it’s not entirely guilt-free. Nothing is, for me.) However, it’s not only that. What makes it addictive, for me, is the treasure hunting feel of it. I get that feeling that I’m something special, like a thrift-shopping witch conjuring all my wishes into the store racks. I’m also enjoying the delayed gratification aspect of it: I never get a particular item whenever I want it, but when fate arranges so that it comes my way.
I don’t think I am going to change much about my ways in the new year. I already have good rules in place to keep me from making bad decision and going overboard (for example, I only buy natural fibers and only black, white or grey colors–with a little powder pink for good measure).
I don’t necessarily look at the brand, but I do enjoy finding brands that I admire, such as Eileen Fisher, for example. But I also leave the branded clothes on the hanger if they are not natural fabrics (they usually are, but not always). I get quite happy, of course, when the clothes are manufactured in the US and when the fibers are not only natural but also organic. That happens rarely, however; I usually can bet when something is made in the US, it is made of rayon. Even in India, the land of cotton, I noticed this year, that everything was rayon.
No, there won’t be many changes for me this year. I’m going to continue chasing the magic, whenever I get a chance. I don’t see any other way. Let the otherworldly forces of thrifting do their thing!