Welcome to the very first article on TrashFashion.org. In order for you to get to know me a little, I will begin by telling you about the role that shopping at thrift stores has played in my life.
It all started when I was in primary school. Until the age of ten, I never thought about what I was wearing. In the town where I grew up, there was a nice thrift store of the Emmaus chain. That’s where my parents bought our clothes. They did that very well and I looked quite nice:
I never thought about the way I looked really, even though I do feel some shame when seeing some of my old photos:
That collar! (But especially that hair, and that wasn’t thrifted…) When I was about 11 years old, I started to become aware that I was even wearing clothes (overstatement of course) and from that moment on I went to the thrift store along with my parents. I liked it! And from that moment on I started to feel proud when I was wearing something nice. But I didn’t develop a real passion for shopping yet.
It stayed that way in the first years of secondary school. I started buying my own clothes at a rather late age. When I was fifteen, my best friend and me went shopping in the city all by ourselves for the very first time. We went to a grand total of two stores and we both bought the same shirt (“but in a different colour”). I loved it! Shopping was fun! And from that moment on I really started caring about what I was wearing. That’s when puberty kicked in…
I don’t think I was a very difficult teenager. Right mum? Dad? But puberty did express itself in the fact that I became pretty zitty and that I started to feel ashamed about wearing second hand clothes. From the age of fifteen to seventeen I never set foot in our thrift store. My mum would bring me some things once in a while and only if I really liked it I would grumblingly accept it.
Luckily, puberty was finite and at my graduation prom I was proudly wearing a thrifted dress again.
In 2007 I started university and I moved to the city of Utrecht. I was never desperate for money, but when you move out of your parents’ house, the word ‘cheap’ starts having an increasingly nice ring to it. And since I still loved shopping, my mother and I would meet up often to go thrifting. We no longer confined ourselves to our local thrift store; our radius increased along with my passion for thrifting.
I am currently in the last year of my master studies and my love for thrifting has reached its peak. Sure, I still go to ‘regular’ stores once in a while, but I notice that my view on what fair prices are has changed a lot and I now find many regular stores very expensive.
To give you an idea, here’s a picture of the content of my closet, divided into second-hand and new clothes:
I do observe a slight preference.
Thank you for reading and remember: Trash chic is also très chic!