Thrift Cities: Durham, NC (Part II)

Thankfully, I have made it to winter break. And as per usual, being faced with actual free time has spurred me to spontaneously forget what I like to do and I have now resorted to lying on the floor with a blanket. Lately I’ve directed my obsessive energy toward trying to win an American Apparel contest (not very thrifty, I realize, but for once in my life I want to win a sweepstakes), and so I think I’ll just spend the next fourteen days worrying about that and spamming everyone on Facebook with my constant entries.

Oh, and I’ll probably blog too.

Last weekend I visited the Durham Rescue Mission thrift store and had my mind blown. The place is massive and full of exciting treasures. I will, without a doubt, be returning at some point in the future. This visit, though, I picked up only a few things, one of which is a long jean skirt which I realize is totally out of fashion. It’s a risk, and the verdict is still out, but it was $4.99 so my worries are not too severe. Anyways, it’s pictured below so tell me what you think!

(Upcoming: I’m going to NYC for the first time a couple days after Christmas, and you can bet your ass I’m gonna be thrifting like mad. Hopefully, my finds will be on the blog by the new year. Wish me luck!)

I've been looking for a pair of tan heels for a while now and was delighted to find these for $8.

I’ve been looking for a pair of tan heels for a while now and was delighted to find these for $8.

As you may have noticed, I'm absolute sucker for maxi skirts. The high slit in this one makes it especially elegant. $5.

As you may have noticed, I’m absolute sucker for maxi skirts. The high slit on this one makes it especially elegant. $5.

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I just bought this poncho from Forever 21 for $27, and even though it’s not thrift it goes pretty well with the lines of this skirt and I’m completely enamored with it.

I love the figure flattering cut of these sort of button up shirts. The tag says it was originally from Eddie Bauer but I got it for $4.

I love the figure flattering cut of these sort of button up shirts. The tag says it was originally from Eddie Bauer but I got it for $4.

Added a red scarf and a red coat (not pictured) to insert some warm colors into the winter.

Added a red scarf and a red coat (not pictured) to insert some warm colors into the winter.

And now for the finale: the controversial skirt. I can't bring myself to have a single regret because of the lovely waistline. I added my dad's service belt from the Coast Guard (he no longer needs it, don't worry) and a chambray shirt from Old Navy ($10).

And now for the finale: the controversial skirt. I like the waistline quite a bit and it’s vaguely rugged air. I added my dad’s service belt from the Coast Guard (he no longer needs it, don’t worry) and a chambray shirt from Old Navy ($10).

I just got this coat for my birthday from H&M, and it makes me feels like a cross between a cowboy and a Game of Thrones character. I love it.

I just got this coat for my birthday from H&M, and it makes me feels like a cross between a cowboy and a Game of Thrones character. I love it.

Stay tuned for Manhattan thrift, coming soon!

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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/)