As the sixth of seven kids in my family, I rarely wore new clothes. In fact, I can only remember ever having a few new items of clothing every school year, and the rest were "hand-me-downs" passed on to me from my older brothers (and sisters, I'm sure). I'm not complaining, but growing up, I always dreamed of the day I would have a closet full of brand new clothes. But now as an adult, I've come to appreciate going shopping at a thrift store and finding a great shirt for next to nothing.

I have several reasons for enjoying hand-me-down. First of all is the price. I can get a button-down collared shirt for under $2.00. With a price like that, I find that it's okay if I wear it once and decide I don't like it anymore. For two bucks, it's fine if the shirt doesn't fit me perfectly. If I were to pay $30.00 or so for a dress shirt, both of these issues would be upsetting.

Another reason is uniqueness. If I get a hand-me-down off the rack at Goodwill, there is rarely more than one of the same shirt. I got the only one, so I don't have to worry about wearing the same shirt as one of my coworkers. Besides, I don't know of any coworkers that clothes shop at thrift stores.


My final reason for appreciating my hand-me-down thrift store purchases came as a pleasant surprise to me. I get compliments on my pre-owned shirts. A lot of compliments. I can't say why for sure, but I guess my clothing choices are looked at as "retro chic" rather than "cheap dork". Fine by me!

As an added bonus, my 13-year old son has a very different way of looking at hand-me-downs than I did growing up. He often goes with me to pick through the thrift store racks for my next amazing fashion statement, and has started looking for himself, too. I'm really grateful that he embraces something that I had trouble with as a child. I feel like I've broken a cycle or something.

Have you ever bought clothes for yourself from a thrift store? Do you agree with how I view secondhand shirts?