We’ve all been there at some point. That gut-wrenching moment when you realize you only have five bucks in your wallet and you can’t seem to afford anything of your taste. This may apply to food as well, but when you’re in the middle of a three-story mall with numerous stores whispering your name, this may possibly be one of the biggest controversies in America today. Go ahead. Laugh all you want, but what you may not realize is that millions of individuals are spending more than they have because of the pressure put on by the media to spend on the hottest item. Whether it’s that hot pair of Jeffrey Campbell’s or next month’s IPhone, you’ve definitely walked out the door and into the big heap of prices. What many don’t bother to understand is that these daunting prices are easily avoidable. How so? Vintage shopping has evolved from our dusty history books and into thousands of stores across America, allowing people to reap versatility, accessibility and more bang for your buck.
“Vintage is regularly featured within the pages of the leading fashion and lifestyle magazines” (Palmer 197). Although this may be true, thousands of women still flock towards the latest designer brands, simply tossing their money around at their own leisure. This usually has to do with the constant battle of quality versus quantity. But why not have both? “Today, vintage dressing encompasses choosing accessories, mixing vintage garments with new, as well as creating an ensemble of various styles and periods” (Palmer 198). Walking into a vintage store can sometimes feel like coming out of a time machine. Aside from the smell, these golden years throughout history came with their own stylish wardrobe and appear to be right under your nose. Various style icons that strutted through many red carpets and photo shoots wore lavish garments that appear to be magnificently scarce today. The fashion for vintage has expanded the sale of second hand clothing into an innovative, diverse consumption for all. You can always mix and match different eras with a simple trip to a vintage store.
Despite technology, social networking and celebrity styles, vintage shopping has definitely boosted its position in America’s trends today. According to the Association of Resale Professionals, “the numbers of thrift stores have increased by 7% for the past two years” (Save the Environment with Thrift Store Shopping). Excuses are inevitable when it comes to shopping. There’s just no time, no gas, no money, or maybe you’re just afraid of going alone. And if you have the absolute worst habit of impulse buying, listen up and take notes. Millions of thrift stores are strategically scattered in areas closest to you to lure you away from impossibly expensive stores that could poison your bank. Maybe you should consider a post-workout pit stop to a quirky thrift nearest you.
When I mentioned “more bang for your buck,” I never promised skipping the guilt trip along with these impeccable deals. For Patrice Williams, a 29-year-old freelance writer living in New York, shopping at thrift stores started as a way for her to fit in at work, but still feel savvy. “I didn’t tell people I thrifted at first. Now, I proudly tell my friends that my dress cost 50 cents” (Tully). As you can see, no guilt trip was necessary here. And why should she? Stylish, affordable and chic should always be three words to describe any outfit. You may be wondering, how is this woman relevant to vintage shopping at all? Just like Patrice, we all owe it to ourselves to pride over a one dollar outfit. If the dollar menu was made accessible for starving Americans, why not devour cheap chic with a side of confidence?