Lazy thrifting: finding gems with minimal effort
I've always loved thrifting because it means finding unique, good quality clothing at a fraction of the retail cost while being more sustainable than buying new. That being said, thrifting is a lot of work and it takes a good chunk of time to find what you're looking for. Over the years, I go to the thrift store less and less because I have less free time to allocate to the "hunt" of purchasing second hand.
While there is the opportunity to use online thrift stores (like Thredup) I have never purchased from them for a few reasons: 1) they are based in the US and I want to support Canadian businesses, and 2) the addition of shipping (costs, duties and environmental impacts) kind of negates the benefits of purchasing secondhand in my opinion.
So, I've been thrifting less and adding items in my wardrobe that are basics purchased at retail price or ethical, Canadian companies that I'm interested in testing out. But I miss the thrift!!! So recently I've been carving out time to check out my local consignment store for an hour after I run errands on my days off and it's been so fun to experience the thrifting without as much digging.
There are pros and cons to shopping consignment. Obviously, it's more expensive than traditional thrifting, however considering the rising prices at Value Village, I find that sometimes the prices are truly comparable.
Total Cost (if purchased at retail): $402
Total Cost spent (thrifted + retail shoes): $175
This outfit is one that is almost entirely from consignment stores aside from the shoes, which I needed to fill a gap in my summer wardrobe. Considering the brands original retail cost, I got a great deal - however I did spend more than I would've if I purchased at a traditional thrift store. That being said, I can find several items, in my size, in my style in much less time than at a thrift store. Choosing consignment over thrift is really a choice between the cost of time VS cost of money.
Even with the shoes purchased at retail (on sale), the total cost of all these items is less than half what it would've cost if everything was purchased retail. So not only did I get good quality items, I also got them at over 50% off, without really having to dig for them.
Now this is all great, but the most important part of your clothing, regardless of the price, is that you actually get value from them by wearing them. Your closet needs to be practical for your everyday life. I'm going to do a post soon about cost-per-wear and the necessity for practicality - not just style.
I hope this post gave you some insight into why consignment shopping might be the lazy thrifters way to purchase secondhand and the consideration of cost VS time. Let me know if you'd like more comparison cost outfit posts to give a better idea of my thrifted wardrobe and where I spend my money. You can see just from this outfit, that my purse and shoes are the bulk of my outfit cost, but they are also the items with the lowest cost-per-wear because I re-wear them constantly.