hidden treasures: tales of an amateur thrift shopper pt.1

12:10 PM

For the longest time, I was turned off by the term thrifting. I felt it embodied everything I strongly dislike when it comes to fashion- dirty, worn out, and dated. Images of dusty shelves and grime-covered floors accompanied by overwhelming amount of clothing penetrated my mind anytime I heard someone mention thrift shops. However, as someone who spent many of her teenage days scrounging through the deep pits of entire rooms dedicated to clearance sales at already chaotic stores like Forever 21, I had more of a leg up than I thought. When I finally stepped foot inside a second-hand store, I felt equipped to scavenger through the less desirable items in order to find a treasure or two. It definitely took some practice and focus. The first few times I entered a thrift store, I was overwhelmed by it all, and I just sort of picked out random things I didn't need or really actually want, for that matter. 
I've since refined my shopping skills, only purchasing items I find very unique, or items that I've been looking for.  If finding one gem means rummaging through 50 well-loved dresses of all shapes and sizes it seems worth it to me. 

My big thrifting breakthrough occurred in the early spring, when I skipped out on class (sorry mom and dad) and wandered about the city. I needed a "me" day, which inevitably involved coffee and clothing. A few of my favorite C's. In the past, my shopping habits have been undeniably tame and maybe even a bit boring. Since high school, I've known which shops I like (and which I can afford) and I've stuck to them. I live in a neighborhood that is uphill and east of downtown Seattle, but I had previously never explored my neighborhood for clothes shopping. I played it safe, always taking the twenty minute walk to downtown where I could find my safe, reliable shops like H&M, Nordstrom Rack, and Forever 21. On the day I played hooky, I visited one of my favorite second-hand shops, Crossroads and a few others I hadn't been to before. There is a really tiny store tucked between a fabric store and a couple hole-in-the-wall restaurants called Le Frock. With rounders and racks full of fun vintage pieces as well as newer ones, the store is quiet and relaxing. This comes as a contrast to most shopping experiences I've had, which involve loud music, long lines, and carefully navigating the store to avoid other shoppers. I spent some time perusing the different items. I found this killer vintage coat with a brown and orange palette and brocade fabric. Unfortunately it was a bit out of my price range, but boy, was it absolutely gorgeous. I ended up leaving the store with a Marc by Marc Jacobs blouse and a small red handbag.

I was particularly excited about the small purse. It's from a brand I'd never heard of before called Freedom of Animals. When I got home I looked up the brand and discovered that they are a cruelty-free and eco-friendly handbag line. It was a happy accident that I happened upon this brand. Though it's small-time and relatively unknown, its ethical production makes a big impact. Over the past few months I've visited their site to keep tabs on the gorgeous designs they are coming out with. If you're looking for an ethical brand to support, I highly recommend looking into Freedom of Animals.

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