It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.
- A League of Their Own
Hang the eff on. You thought you were browsing a blog about SHOPPING, i.e. something that’s supposed to be FUN. What’s with this ‘hard’ shiznat?
You’re right. Shopping’s def supposed to be fun. But is it really? I’m talking fun of the epic material buzz ilk. Fun unmarred by buyer’s remorse. Fun that doesn’t compromise your credit score or put you in debt. The kind of fun that makes you want to shop all the time.
Shopping might be fun in theory. Throw a 300% mark-up into the mix, and it changes the action. You’re not shopping. You’re lusting after things you can’t realistically afford. Fun? OY VEY.
I was raised on retail. Spoiled rotten by it. I mean, I felt a teensy bit guilty about using my emergencies-only gold card to buy $200 jeans, but it’s not like I had an alternative. Needs are needs, right? WRONG. Shortly after I graduated from college and moved to the nation’s shopping capital, my magical thinking met its abrupt end.
My daddy took away my credit card. Bye bye Amex. Hello reality.
Where the eff was I supposed to shop NOW? Old NAVY?! Beotch please. DVF and J Brands set the bar for my closet. My lust for labels wasn’t going away anytime soon, nor was that all-American need for shiny new shit. This meant I had two choices: I could stop shopping altogether and leave New York for Lancaster County, and learn via milking cows or whatever how to be virtuous and grateful and unmaterialistic et. al. Nightmare. OR…
I could boldly go where no JAP had gone before. Somewhere off the grid, far far away from Scoop, Bloomies, Barneys and Saks. An island within this island of which I’d only heard whispers; a veritable Atlantis of brands for less. Promising. Also terrifying. I’d never set foot in a thrift, resale, vintage or consignment shop in my life. Maybe I’d be inspired by gently worn gems; maybe I’d be eaten alive by pit-stains. Either way, change was out to get me, and change is pretty effing scary. At first.
For the modern materialist, the world of the gently worn is salvation. With a tap of its wand, things you want become things you can actually afford. Its transformational powers know no monetary bounds.
Shopping secondhand sustains more than your budget. It breaks the cycle of waste attached to everything shopped new. No buyer’s remorse. No credit card debt. Just you and the brands you know and love, in their cheapest and greenest form.
Does shopping sustainably require a bit more time and energy than shopping retail? You bet. But when your efforts net you $220 jeans for twenty-two bucks, you walk with more than a pair of J Brands. You acquire a thing as gratifying as the designer denim itself.
The thrill of the score.
It’s that thrill that makes secondhand shopping fun. Fun of the epic material buzz ilk. The kind of fun that makes you want to shop all the time.
Secondhand shopping is a game. The hard… is what makes it great.