Thrift Cities: Durham, NC

Though several of my peers are desperate to put their hometown in the rearview mirror, Durham and I have a pretty good relationship. I don’t necessarily want to live here forever (I don’t necessarily want to live anywhere forever), but the thrift stores would certainly support me if I chose to do so. I’ve visited many lovely thrift and vintage shops in the area, but in this post I’ll start simply with the new TROSA thrift store and a brief mention of the Goodwill on Garrett RD.

Something that I’ve been ruminating on for the last week or so has been how and why some people consider your usual, department store/mall shopping excursion to be a social experience. In the past, when I’ve gone non-thrift store shopping, I’ve always been on a mission, looking for something very specific that’s going to look a certain way. And there always seems to be great pressure to find that particular item or concept, at least in my own mind. I can’t imagine who would want to accompany me while I try on six different styles and sizes of generic skinny jeans and then agonize over whether they make me look wide(r).

Thrift shopping, though, seems to alleviate some of that pressure, perhaps just because I can accept the fact that it’s nearly impossible to go in and expect to find exactly what you’re looking for. It promotes a calmer, more zen-like attitude, in which you just have to let go of assumptions and allow yourself to be open-minded. I realize this all sounds very quaint, but I have noticed that I am much more likely to enjoy the company of others while thrift shopping. Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

Anyways, here’s what I found (comments welcome!):

It's nice to find a sweater with a suitably wide neck, so that your hair remains intact when pulling it off. Rarer than you may think and $5.99 at TROSA.

It’s nice to find a sweater with a suitably wide neck, so that your hair remains intact when pulling it off. Rarer than you may think and $5.99 at TROSA.

This dress, though somewhat charming, is a size too big for me and though workable in everyday life, it may be better suited as a bathing suit cover-up. I made the mistake of spending $19 on it, but am not entirely filled with remorse.

This dress, though somewhat charming, is a size too big for me and though workable in everyday life, it may be better suited as a bathing suit cover-up. I made the mistake of spending $19 on it, but am not entirely filled with remorse.

Add a sweater and it almost works for autumn.

Add a sweater and it almost works for autumn.

I like the split side in this skirt and the warm colors. My love affair with maxi-shirts in general continues unabated.

I like the split side in this skirt and the warm colors. My love affair with maxi-shirts in general continues unabated.

This golf themed skirt is the perfect example of the kind of thing you'd balk at in a regular store but would take a risk on when thrifting. I like the vintage flare and the ridiculous pattern is just a bonus.

This golf themed skirt is the perfect example of the kind of thing you’d balk at in a regular store but would take a risk on when thrifting. I like the vintage flare and the ridiculous pattern is just a bonus.

This is the reason no one watches golf on TV.

This is the reason no one watches golf on TV.

This shirt is a Goodwill find from some years ago and though it is, quite literally,  just someone's ragged t-shirt I love how it hangs.

This shirt is a Goodwill find from some years ago and though it is, quite literally, just someone’s ragged t-shirt I love how it hangs.

This jacket was also found at Goodwill and I couldn't resist the print. It also adds a unique edge to casual outfit.

This jacket was also found at Goodwill and I couldn’t resist the print. It also adds a unique edge to casual outfit.

Close up of the detailing. Exquisite.

Close up of the detailing. Exquisite.

Though perhaps not on the scale of larger metropolitan areas, I can’t find much to complain about it when it comes to Durham thrift.

(cover photo from http://law.nccu.edu/about/durham/)

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