A Guide to Thrifting

Thrifting holds a special place in Buttoned’s metaphorical heart. Not only is it easy on your wallet, but it’s also good for the environment. However, I’ve come to find that not all synonyms of the word “thrifting” mean the same thing. Understanding the three distinct terms used in reference to buying secondhand items will help your next thrifting session to be more fruitful.

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Thrift – This is the correct term to use for buying secondhand clothing. If a sign states that the shops sells thrifted clothing, you’ve won the jackpot. Thrift shops sell old clothing at discounted prices. In a sense, “thrift” is a synonym for inexpensive. Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange are great examples of the essence of thrifting.

Antique – If antique brings about memories of grandma’s china or family heirlooms, you’d be exactly right. Antique shops are essentially where to buy used “things” – typewriters, furniture, silverware, you get the picture. Rarely will an antique store sell clothing, and if they do, it will be a specific article of clothing and not multiples. For example a fur coat, a poodle skirt, or even a wedding dress.

Vintage – Such a lovely word that’s used when you want to brag about the high school tee shirt you found in the back of your mom’s closet. Shops use it in a very different way. In advertising, vintage equals expensive. Vintage shops are where you’ll find Chanel bags from the 1920s and resale items from yesterday’s movie stars. Unless you’ve got money to blow, be wary of shops advertising vintage apparel.

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Written by: Amanda Seaboch
Photos by: Rachel Caldwell
Edited by: Abby Sowder
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