Color Me A Hunter Of My Own Kind

3 January 2008 at 9:53 pm 5 comments

When people find out that most of my clothes are from one vintage store, clearance rack, or another, the next thing they ask me is to teach them how to shop. “What do you mean?” is my initial reaction, because unlike Stacy London, I’m not sure what rules there are, if any, of shopping to share. “I mean, how can you go into a second hand store and know what to pick out? How can I put my outfits together? If I tried to wear what you’re wearing now, it would look terrible. Teach me.” is what people tell me next. (Can you tell I’ve had this conversation on numerous occasions?) So this is what I have finally decided is my one shopping-tip to share, and what I am going to start telling people when they ask me to teach them “how to shop”:

Shopping is like hunting: you have to enjoy it enough to be patient and persistent, and without a good attention span it doesn’t really work out too well. 

For example, Goodwill. When most people think of this particular charity shop, an abundance of unpleasant things probably comes to mind (I’m thinking dirty, unorganized stores, hard-to-work-with sales people, broken things, frumpiness, and all sorts of odd odors). Well, if you look hard enough, there is a way around all that. I have discovered the new best thing: a local branch of Goodwill that is — *gasp!* — cleanly, organized, staffed with pleasant salespeople, lacking the smells usually associated with second hand stores, and full of good finds. Many long hours I have spent in this Goodwill sifting through endless racks with friends and finding unique pieces that people think I actually paid lots of money for. (They are mistaken! You could probably buy a pair of Marc shoes with what I have spent on my wardrobe in the last few years.) Just like any other girl, I love to shop; but what I love even more is the challenge of going out to a vintage or resale shop with X amount of money and saying ‘I am going to come out of here with something good for this much money’.   I like The Hunt.

When you go vintage/secondhand/Goodwill shopping/hunting, the big things to keep in mind are patience and persistence. If you get bored really easily or can’t shop for more than three hours in one store, going to Goodwill might not be such a great idea. (Regular vintage stores can most usually be managed in a much smaller time, but Goodwill being what it is usually takes longer. At least, that is my experience.) Here’s how I do it: I go to Goodwill. I pick a rack. I start on the left. I flip through it piece by piece, and imagine what colors I could mix it with and if it’s really ugly how to make it look good with what I own (that is the fun part!). If I’m not sure about something, I pick it up anyway, because you can never tell from the hanger what a piece will look like on your body. I’ve realized that it’s pretty worthless to go to Goodwill with a list of really specific things because you never know what will be there or not there. Then after I’ve conquered a section, I move on to the next section (ie, tops, pants, shoes, accessories, etc…) and finally, it’s off to the dressing rooms to decide what works. Another thing to keep in mind: just because it’s completely hideous, don’t disregard it. Take it off the rack and try it on, I dare you, because it’s the ugly pieces that you integrate into normal outfits that get the best reactions.

copy-of-new-year-2008-005.jpg Some other Goodwill tips: bring friends with good taste/style/eyes and get yourself a cart. If you’re anything like us, you will need it. Every square inch. copy-of-new-year-2008-012.jpg

(Not only can “Goodwill Hunting” be good for your pocket and style, but it can be good for laughs too…)    



copy-of-new-year-2008-016.jpgSo if ever you were having too much anxiety about the general grossness of certain secondhand shops and difficulty of finding worthwhile things, buck up and get yourself out there! You never know what you’ll find if you are patient, persistent and bring the right people with you.

Have fun. Be creative. Don’t be afraid of mixing and matching colors, prints, etc, and by all means, fear not the hideous.                                                         



Entry filed under: fashion oddites, fashion=fun, musings, questions, thrift finds.

Color Me At Tiffany’s Color Me A Hunter Of My Own Kind, Part 2

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. scarfgirl  |  21 February 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve noticed something lately: even if I don’t feel like I look particularly cute, but still smile and don’t say self-degrading things like “I look so ugly,” or “I wish I looked like (fill in the blank) today,” I feel really good about myself. So, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution is to never scowl at myself when I look in the mirror (and you guys know what I’m talking about!) and not say degrading things about myself. It may sound corny, but seriously, it works!

  • 2. Sarah  |  25 February 2008 at 9:39 pm

    ok…. seriously ur blog is sooo well-written (and so funny)
    yes i think we have had this conversation many times…
    very good advice… someday soon i will kidnap u and test it out lol

  • 3. colorcast  |  25 February 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Sa-rahh, thank you so much! I’m so glad you like it ^ _ ^ lol. we’ll see if you secretly contain master goodwill hunting skills….

    scarfgirl, thanks for your comment! I have to completely agree with that, and it’s so wonderful to see your awesome, beautiful attitude. Way to be! Keep feeling good about your fantabulous self, my friend.

  • 4. scarfgirl  |  26 February 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Colorcast, sometime we need to have a Junk party and use all of the stuff I got at Urban Source! Right now I have zippers-film strips-tissue paper-leather strips-plastic-thing-a-ma-jigs galore in my room just dying for re-usage! Yeah for recycling!

  • 5. colorcast  |  26 February 2008 at 10:20 pm


    You have no idea how glorious that long list of random… nouns ^ _ ^… sounds! We certainly must do that…. I have buttons!

    Imagine what we could do with all that junk…


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