Thrifting to get fly: t’s a cultural phenomenon propagated by the hipster. Their affinity for vintage has made “thrifting”, clothes shopping at a thrift store, a requisite for asserting one’s cool. On the one hand, it pushes style into premier space and allows people to aptly represent their identity, without the limitations of money. Someone not of an elite financial class can enter exclusive circles, projecting self-worth through their thrifty style. On the other hand, it has become another hipster cliché and often overwrought. I’ve had the awful experience of witnessing folks who look more like extras in a period film than party-goers with their garish patterns and dated colors and silhouettes, a reminder that some trends should be allowed to die // CLICK THROUGH TO READ MORE + enjoy
While frying up some chicken, I got to wondering what thrifting means to people? The greatest allure, I think, is cost efficiency. However, there’s more to it. There’s something special about knowing that you will never find another dressed like you. Immediately prior to the thrifting craze, style could be acquired on a budget at stores like H&M and Forever 21, but purchasing a poorly manufactured knock-off only meant that every girl in your tax bracket was wearing the same thing. Thrifting corresponds with the woes of our economy, while it allows for the persistent desire to live a lush life.
I remember thrifting as a kid, back when it was beyond uncool. It was something only poor families dared to do out of desperation. Now it is a way of life to couple a FUKK hat with a recycled label-less shirt, but the cultural movement of the prior decade was about newness and expense. Folks went through near impossible lengths to keep their Air Force Ones looking like they were purchased yesterday. Remember how Forces used to get creases in the toe after a few wears? My brothers used to buy their sneakers a few sizes too big and stuff the toe with socks to keep them from creasing. They couldn’t afford what some others did, which was to buy fresh Forces on a whim. Even worse, do you remember all the knock off designer bags that filled the streets. It was kind of pathetic that women were willing to risk the shame of embarrassment just to carry faux-Gucci.
The hipster rose amidst frustration at the artificial façade of fashion. We were sick of whitening our sneakers every night. We were wax figures, afraid to get dirty or to stray from the mainstream. Now, our clothing is recycled, but the value is priceless, because it reflects the individual. Clothes are a reflection of self rather than wealth, thanks in large part to the allowance of thrifting.