For this post, I had two classy guys lend me their thoughts. It’s great to see how people can have different perspectives about thrifting. Enjoy their experiences, and I hope this helps out any tentative male thrifters out there!
“When I’m in a thrift store, I usually just browse because if you go into a thrift store looking for something specific, you will literally never find it. Instead, you have to go in with an open mind. When thrift store shopping, I look first for style, and once I see something I like, I check the label to see if it’s a brand I recognize. If I’m cool with both style and brand, I will try it on. I generally shop for button down shirts, polo shirts, tee shirts or jackets. No pants or shoes.
Regardless of what you buy, wash before wearing. But never dry clothes from a thrift store because you could damage them. In terms of where to shop, most towns tend to have one or two good thrift stores. I like Plato’s Closet and Salvation Army, but those vary from place to place. I have also visited consignment stores but they tend to be more expensive and they gravitate towards women’s clothing.
Some of the best things I’ve found at thrift stores: Lacoste bed set, ralph lauren varsity cardigan, a tee shirt from one of my favorite restaurants in montreal, that I found in new york, and maybe half of my current wardrobe! Fellas: if you’re sick of paying a lot for clothing and also want to dress differently from your other guy friends, I would recommend checking out your local thrift store. If Macklemore can do it, so can you!”
“We spend so much of our time in sterile, lifeless environments. To enter a space with such a distinct personality may be enough to trigger one awake from the higher-pressure environments we don’t even realize we’re accustomed to. You won’t find wall-sized ads with airbrushed models pressuring onlookers to buy the products that make them so happy in photographs. Quite the contrary, thrifting environments may feature wrinkled grandmothers volunteering in their spare time to collect a few dollars for their local church, smiling just because of the company you offer them. I gravitate towards the small, cramped thrift stores in lieu of the usual giants of Goodwill and Salvation Army.
Regardless of the space I’m in, I do tend to have the same approach. Some people look for high-end brands or fancy materials. I, however, am almost problematically thin. When style is concerned, it’s all about a proper fit, and my shirts are all XS. After that, I can focus on aesthetic. I don’t like wearing any clothing with logos, so American Eagle and Lacoste are out. After that, I check out the material. I don’t wear wool or leather for ethical reasons, and I choose not to buy secondhand items with those materials as well. Defining what I need in advance helps me prevent clutter. If I don’t genuinely love it, it doesn’t deserve the space on my rack.
While larger stores may offer a better choice of shirts and pants, the item I’ve had the most luck with, regardless of the location, is the necktie. Skip past the obnoxiously large ties of the nineties and see if you can find anything slimmer. I favor the look of simple matte cotton ties, but wear whatever you love, and even if you’re not a tie-guy, $0.25 isn’t much of a commitment. If you don’t like it, just re-donate! (note from Gab: look out for a post on this soon.)
Thrift stores are different for everyone, but if you’re only using them for Halloween costumes and ugly Christmas sweaters, you’re drastically under-utilizing your resources. Treat these places as a treasure trove of classic and vintage style pieces, a raw material supply store for projects (my favorite practical accessory is my school messenger bag, which was custom-made from pieces of thrifted [non-wool] suit jackets.), or even just as a dumping grounds for the remnants of your middle-school “scene” phase. If you’re creative and inspired enough, you can use the versatility of thrift stores to provide you with a staggering array of options.”