Thrift Store Junkie

I am a thrift store junkie. 

The other night I had the opportunity to ditch all three of my babies (thank you Tiffany) and hit the town in style. Thrift store style, that is. 

As I headed out the door I did a quick wardrobe assessment. Casual attire, check. Clip in hair, check. High-heels, che–wait a second. No one successfully wears high heels to the thrift store without looking trampy. Quickly ditched the heels. 

As I cruised through the smells-like-used-clothing isles, I realized something wonderful. If a person wants to sing loudly with the thrift store background music, they can go right on ahead. Half the people there will just chalk you up as a crazy loon on a tight budget, so why not take advantage? How often does a gal hear Debbie Gibson anymore, anyway?

And I love that I’m the only person alive who still uses a VCR every single day. The thrift store has an absolute treasure trove of VHS movies. I picked up The Little Mermaid, Snow White, The Land Before Time (the original, not one of the 47 knock off’s)–every one of them was under three dollars (and it was “fifth item free” day, yay!). Where else can you find mint videocassettes that no one wants? Show me a juvenile DVD collection that isn’t pock riddled and covered with yogurt. Four-year-olds don’t care about quality.

When I was a kid, one of us would precariously balance and twist the antenna (yes, I said antenna) so the other could watch fuzzy, purplish Smurfs on Saturday morning. It worked fine if it wasn’t raining. You bet, that one episode I saw was great. 

And I have no qualms about wearing thrift store clothing. All it takes to pull off thrifty attire is good old-fashioned pride. I stepped out today in my new, albeit slightly used, heels from my recent escapade and no one was the wiser (until I loudly told them).

One of my girlfriends buys most of her shoes at Norstrom and wanted to know where I got them. You should have seen her face when I told her. She had that sick “I’ve been had like an investor at a Time Share presentation” look. I clicked off to the car, happy as a poor church mouse that got into the give-away bin.  


  1. A girl after my own heart! Although I’m known to just risk looking trampy & I wear the heels to the thrift store. I can’t remember the last time I wore jeans with anything but heels. I wouldn’t know how to walk without them anymore.

  2. Every other thing I wear is from SAVERS! (Savers is way better in Hawaii!)

    I can so relate to everything you just said, from the VHS video’s to Debbie Gibson.

    Great post!

  3. Ha! To Natalie’s comment, I haven’t worn heels in 11 years as my husband abhors them!! Sad that I wouldn’t remember how to walk IN them anymore!

    You’re hilarious, Annie. I’m all about the thrift stores too, and I also love the do-whatever-you-wantness of the atmosphere there.

  4. Sarah Knight says:

    Hey girl, we are 7ish hours from Disneyworld, not exactly close. Unless you are driving and will be driving by us on your way down, which I cannot imagine, it’s probably not very reasonable. But have so much fun. Ron saw a commercial that said go for free on your birthday. I don’t know if it starts now or next year, but he’s already planning everyone’s birthday trips. We love Disney. Let me know when you are going. You never know, we might need a spontaneous vacation to Orlando!

  5. annie valentine says:

    It WAS Savers! How did you know?

  6. I am so jealous!! The closest thrift store to here is about 2.25 hours away!

  7. I can’t thrift. It’s not that I think I’m too good for it, you’ve been to my house, you know about my ‘hood, it’s just that I have neither the patience nor the eye for that kind of thing. I go once a year with all my sisters (who have the eye and I’m hanging out with my sisters so I don’t really need the patience) other than that I just can’t do it. For clothes anyway, I do have some thrift trips planned for the day I have to start thinking about decorating the kitchen.

  8. Lisa, is your husband short or something? 🙂

    Annie, where on earth is your column?! I’m going through withdrawals!

  9. Sure…it smells like urine and moth balls but where else can you get an Ann Taylor sweater for $3.99. I can hold my breath for that kind of deal 🙂

  10. That’s awesome! Also, I loved the post on you needing a little mattention, very cute, Annie. I hope life is getting better since then. 🙂 I did let Jenny know that every time I see or think about salami or pepperoni, I think of you. I’m still trying to decide just how strange this is. I picture you standing in front of your fancy fridge eating salami and just getting thinner. It’s strange, I know. I need to get out more.

  11. Love it. You are me, in a much slimmer, funnier body. And I’m sorry I didn’t look you up, I can’t wait to meet you someday. I think you should come here for a girls trip though, and see Tiffany and Sue Q. too. . . maybe you can write it off as a business expense, since you blog for money now.

  12. Once at our local Goodwill we picked up a TV armoire for $80. Apprently the Target donates all the boxes that had been dropped or mangled. It was such a sweet deal. When we found it I didn’t wear my heels….actually, I don’t think I own any shoes that would technically be considered heels….but I’m also frumpy, clutzy and fashion-challenged.

  13. Remember those “perfect” jeans we found at that thrift store while I was all depressed over my kind-of-breakup with Rusty?

    Those rocked. And I definitely say “LONG LIVE THE VHS!!!” Dvd’s are a pain with kids, and I’ve already purchased a spare VCR for the inevitable day when one of ours breaks. WITH fast rewind, of course.

    And I think I always wear heels – unless it’s summer and they’re flip-flops or jellies.

  14. I love this. I try to go to the thrift stores at least every couple of months you can find clothes with tags still on them sometimes. It is my relaxing day. We have several second hand clothing stores in town and I love those two. Some are better then others but they are the best for clothes and a new outfit is usally reasonable.

  15. Natalie: (Sorry, Annie, for having a conversation going in your comments here.)

    My husband is 6’1″ and I’m 5’6″. Imagine you’d never ever heard of high heels. Never seen them or thought of them. Then one day you DID see them. What would you think? Weird, impractical, pointless, ugly etc. (at least I think I would think those things). That’s what my husband thinks about heels. That they’re totally unnatural and they make you walk funny (he even thinks this about girls that can totally walk in heels)

    I gave them up as a sacrifice for him to show him my love, and also so he wouldn’t retract his marriage proposal. Kidding. Sort of.