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I have mentioned Jacob Tobia here before. Jacob is an author and also one of the people that remind us that gender is a construct and that being who we are is more important than conforming with societal norms. Shopping while gender non-conforming (as doing most things when not fitting on the binary idea that people have of how other people should look and act) is basically an act of defiance for many people. Gender non-conforming people really show how all of us to give ourselves permission to create our own narrative by crafting our own niche and going against the super-coded spaces that retail shops impose on us. That can be achieved by choosing and picking exactly what it is that makes us happy. Here's when thrifting comes handy.

I remember the first time I went to a thrift store as if it were yesterday: we were looking for something to wear on Halloween and I had literally only a few bucks to my name. One of my friends, who was a very talented florist,  took a whole group of us to a thrift store to get a costume but I ended up not buying anything for that Halloween. What I did was that I bought two pairs of vintage 501's (button zipper and already shrunk to fit!!) two oversized white button down Oxfords and three bow ties from the fifties. And a long-term romance with thrifting was born, because for many years I supplemented my wardrobe with thrift store treasures that nobody else would have.

Nowadays I don't buy thrifted clothes as much as I used to (hey, graduating from college does have one or two advantages) but I still indulge when I find something I like. One of my finds is a cozy WWII, below-the-knee olive green trench coat. I found it in a state sale and paid $25 for it and it is my go-to during the super cold winters we have here in Chi. I love that coat. It looks pristine because it was probably hanging in a closet for years before I stepped in and found it in an attic in a house that was being sold after its last owner has passed away. Her great-granddaughter was selling everything in the house. She was the one who told me the story of that coat and how she had known about it forever. I had it dry cleaned the same day I bought it and have worn it ever since.

So next time you plan a weekend, or just in a spur of whimsy,  try and go to a thrift store. Alone or with someone else. And just let yourself explore one of those treasure troves and see if there's something that awakens memories or just simply tickles your fancy. As I mentioned, I don't go thrifting for clothes much anymore but I do go hunting for vinyl records and stupid things like one of those old fashioned View-Masters or a 1950's portable radio. A few weeks ago I found in an awesome thrift store in Milwaukee an old portable Underwood typewriter that I have if full display in one of my bookcases. I also found a 1940's black rotary phone (!!). I snatched it right away.

And always remember: one person's trash is another person's treasure.

Happy thrifting!



  1. The first time I stepped into a Goodwill store was when my brother was in a high school production of Bye Bye Birdie. But him being 6 ft 7 we didn’t find anything. The next time was when I was losing weight. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes while I was still losing.

    Now about that typewriter...are you going to use it to write the next great M2M romance novel?

    XOXO 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨

  2. For years I Thrift Stored. I used to buy blazers and still have several of them today. When I lived in Hawaii,a local thrift store had a Dollar Bag Day once a month and whatever fit into a brown shopping bag was yours for a buck.
    I loved that!

  3. Used to thrift it quite often when I was in theatre. Great finds. One actor used to buy all his suits there - designer stuff. He always looked so dapper.

  4. I enjoyed that video a lot, thanks! I like his taste in earrings.

  5. I wear dead peoples clothes. But, I'm always on the hunt for Israeli glass.

  6. Some of my favorite and most loved pieces came from a thrift shop...and I still thrift. When I shop, I go every where from Bergdorf's all the way down the chain to thrift shops. Curranting your closet is no different then curating your hoe to me. I take my old and new and mix them together, sometimes even with trendy pieces. Your own mix of things is what becomes your personal style perfected. My best find was a short sleeve summer shirt, navy blue, white mini polka dots. Vintage Christian Dior from the 50"s. I paid $9.00!!!!

  7. Yay to Thrifting! Like you, I visited quite often a long time ago, but now I may visit just a few times a month. Mostly, I'm looking for unusual gifts, craft items for my Planner, or maybe shoes. Usually I have a vision of what I want when I go in, and end up coming out with something totally different.(lol) It helps that I can use my military discount to get even more savings. There are actually groups on Facebook that specifically focus on Thrifting, which I thought was really cool. Hugs, RO


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