I've been thrifting since high school. Buying used clothing has never bothered me one whit, and I encourage all stylish women to consider hitting the thrift stores virtually any time they need new duds. But I know there are many longstanding biases against thrifting, and I'm curious if any of you are loathe to thrift for these reasons:

The stigma of buying used

I've never experienced this one directly, but I've heard from many people who have. I feel like used clothing doesn't carry the stigma it did years ago, but that could vary from region to region. I also get the impression that young people who are only just learning about money, clothing, and associated statuses might disdain used clothing. But it could be more prevalent than I realize.

Germs and personal residues

Most seasoned thrifters avoid buying used items that are renowned for hanging onto germs: Lingerie, tights, towels. Some also avoid hats and shoes for germ-related reasons. But many non-thrifters can't get comfortable with the idea of wearing used garments because of germ potential, or even just the personal, energetic, or spiritual residues that may imbue a used item. Such concerns don't seem to apply as often to used furniture, artworks, or cars, but since clothing is kept so close to the body, I can see how it might seem more residue- and germ-prone.


Many fellow clotheshorses have said that they love the idea of thrifting, but in practice they just can't take the hassle. Thrift stores are renowned for being crowded, badly organized, and difficult to navigate. Even smaller, more selective consignment stores can feel daunting. Shoppers who are easily overwhelmed would rather go to malls, boutiques, or shops that have fewer but clearer options.

Do you avoid thrifting for any of these reasons? Are there other biases against thrifting that I'm missing? Do you feel like some of these might be generational?

Image via Voodoo Trend.

Sally McGraw is the author of Already Pretty, a daily blog about the intersection of style and body image. 

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