Thrifting can help you weather the heat
By Hanna Nelson
As summer dawns upon the rest of California, many parts of San Francisco are still doused in fog and chilled by winds.
Just the way I like it.
I have no shortage of crisp scarves and comfy beanies to keep the cold at bay (no pun intended). This autumnal wardrobe, however, is not helpful when I venture too far away from my humble abode.
I recently went out of town to Santa Rosa for my mother’s birthday, and found myself smack dab in the middle of summer weather. That I did not pack for.
Many eco-chic ladies will be able to relate to the dilemma of packing too little. We take bus or train trips to just about anywhere for a few days, and are responsible for schlepping everything we expect we’ll want to wear. We pack the bare minimum since we’re the ones responsible for toting this baggage, and sometimes that leads to seasonal miscues. The result? Black jeans in hot, seizing weather.
This is not so bad indoors, but as I set out for a walk with my sister I realized what a terrible mistake I had made. The bright sun was absolutely baking the richly-dyed denim wrapped around my legs. Ugh.
But at the top of a hill stood a beacon of hope: a neighborhood Goodwill store. Perfect. The place was certain to harbor at least one pair of jeans that my butt would look good in. I entered and felt the cool circulated air wash over me, and I set out straight for the pants section. Not needing to be picky, I grabbed a pair that didn’t look too shabby around the derriere and tried them on. (I refuse to buy any article of clothing unless I have tried it on first, even at thrift stores.)
Once I found a match, I asked the clerk at the register if I could borrow her scissors. Not without a strange look, she agreed. As I set about shearing the legs off the jeans I had just bought for a meager four bucks, the clerk helpfully advised me not to cut them too short. After this impromptu wardrobe-repurposing session, I went back and changed into my new jean shorts.
I rolled the frilled edges up for a cute cuffed look, but I could have left them down as well.
One can take this approach to other clothing mishaps as well: buying a cheap cardigan to layer on during a day that turned out colder than expected — a frequent practice of mine in the fall. Broken shoe? Find a Goodwill store for a quick fix!
Now, when it comes to these “emergency clothes,” as I call them, I’m looking more for comfort than fashion. The three questions I ask myself in these situations are: Does it fit? Is it a more comfortable solution than what I was wearing before? Can I wear this without getting stared down on the street?
If the answers are yes, yes and yes, I’ll usually spend the $5 for the convenience of being more comfortable. Other great emergency items include sunglasses to replace the broken or forgotten pair at home and large purses for occasions when the clutch you brought simply too teensy. (Like maybe when you’re trying to sneak in candy to the movies? I don’t judge.) For men, ties and button-down shirts can be found quickly and cheaply at almost every Goodwill store, and are great for an outfit change in a snap.
Hanna Nelson is a second-year English Education major at San Francisco State University and an avid thrift store shopper.