Thrifting can lead to shopping-related compromise. A shopper who would never consider purchasing a brand new pair of jeans that have a stain at the hem might be perfectly willing to plunk down a dollar for said jeans at a thrift store with the intention of cutting them into shorts. Another shopper would scoff at a coat that’s missing a key button in a department store, but might consider a similarly buttonless coat as a DIY project waiting to happen should that coat turn up at a secondhand store. But we’ve all got our thrifting deal-breakers. And here are mine:
I have tried remedy after remedy, friends – from vodka to sunshine to vinegar to salt. But vintage polyester that’s had someone else’s BO cooked into it through years of wear and dozens of trips through Hot Dryer? Just can’t do it. I’ve tried, and I’ve given up.
OK, OK, if a stain is in a portion of a garment that I fully intend to lop off, that’s different. But visible stains on used clothing can prove challenging. If a thrift store find is stained, it’s possible that the person who donated it did so specifically because that stain proved stubborn. And although I believe that Palmolive can deal with scads of common household stains – even long after the fact – I know a permanent blotch when I see one. Most stains are deal-breakers for me.
Missing buttons that can’t be replaced
Button-front shirts in classic colors generally feature buttons in colors and styles that can be found at most fabric stores. Older and fancier blouses, coats, and skirts often feature buttons that you might spend a lifetime attempting to match. It’s true that many button-adorned garments will have a spare stitched to the hem. And I check. If that sucker is gone, I generally pass.
Aside from pit stink, these problems can be dealt with post-purchase: Tailoring or over-dyeing can mask or remove some stains, and swapping out ALL buttons on a buttoned garment often works. But the root question is this: How much time and energy are you willing to invest in this item to make it wearable? And the follow-up question is this: Would you be willing to do the same if the item were less expensive and/or brand new?
What are YOUR thrifting deal-breakers?
Image courtesy OUI.