Adventures in Thrifting Adventures in Thrifting: From Our Readers – Weird Thrift Store Finds Laura Owen

I put a call out for weird thrift store finds previously. I know that it can be a challenge to determine what’s “weird”; my friend Bad Cholla pointed out that she’s been thrifting so long that she’s lost all sense of what “weird.”

And I think a lot of it has to do with what you’re comfortable with. For instance, on a recent thrifting trip, Bad Cholla and I found some Prada shoes with blood stains inside. We hastily put them away because a) blood! and b) if the shoes cause your feet to bleed that badly, maybe you don’t want them?

But then when she mentioned the bloody Prada shoes to another friend, THAT friend was like “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? PRADA ALWAYS TRUMPS BLOOD!”

So what constitutes “weird”, I think, depends a great on your particular comfort zone. While for me, blood trumps Prada (sorry!), I buy plenty of things at thrift stores that gross other people out (in fact, the entire existence of thrift stores grosses some people out). Bad Cholla also specializes in vintage nightwear — and plenty of people are skeeved at the idea of buying secondhand lingerie. Me, not so much. After all, you can always clean it, and even new clothes are covered with all the germs of the people who made it, shipped it, stocked it, etc.

[Plus, Bad Cholla and I have speculated that perhaps exposure to all the germs of thrift stores have actually given us hearty, strong immune systems].

But then again, I can’t see myself buying a bra at thrift store. Which may be silly, because bras are expensive, and all the cleaning stuff I just expounded above still applies. But I just couldn’t do it. So, there you go.

But now I’ve gotten off track, and conflated “Weird” and “Gross”, which are really two different things. But my point is: everyone has their own sets of standards and norms and pet peeves. When I put in the selection of really fugly vests, many people commented that some of the vests were really quite cute. Which I agree with! So maybe the term “fugly” or “weird” is wrong — what I’m always looking for is those things you can ONLY find at thrift stores — the one-of-a-kind, saywhat?, you want to laugh and take the item home and LOVE IT FOREVER items.

I guess I could say “quirky thrift store finds” but “Bein’ Quirky” has already been done definitively by Zooey Deschanel, Kristen Wiig, and Abby Elliot (It probably says something about me that I actually think that watering can lamp is really cute — and if anyone finds me a sweater made for an Octopus (with an extra leg for its dreams and ideas) PLEASE SEND ME PICTURES IMMEDIATELY. I also sing “Garbage, garbage, it’s fun to bring home garbage!” when I go thrifting now).

Onto reader finds! Eagle-eyed reader Anna saw this bounce-castle at at thrift store. I WANT TO LOVE IT FOREVER:

I hope that somewhere, someday, someone loves as much as this person loved Donny Osmond:

And speaking of one-of-a-kind, this homemade lightening-bolt leotard…

Made Anna a great Halloween costume:

Another amazing Halloween-related thrift store find:

Eat your heart out, Lady Gaga:

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  1. My thrifting rules: No undergarments, No stains. Other them that, anything goes!

  2. Awwww! Weird and cute! I wish I’d bought the cowboy I saw in the last post. Oh, odd find regret! You’re totally right about the drycleaning issue; pretty much nothIng icks me secondhand except bras. It’s a weird thing.

  3. Anything that you might find creepy to wear, you can get dry-cleaned. I do buy bras, you have to be careful about them and check the condition of the elastics, but the dry cleaners don’t charge too much for cleaning them. My oddest find is here: http://thriftscore42.blogspot.com/2011/08/big-red-head.html I wish I had bought him.

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