We authors are not, on the whole, the world’s best dressed crowd. There is something about spending hours alone at a keyboard with the imaginary friends you never grew out of – that’s what makes a writer, you know – that leads to a profusion of ill-fitting t-shirts and pants with elastic.
Many of us – moi included – have day jobs. It helps to circulate with the living. Personally, I work at a progressive nonprofit, which lends itself to a certain hipster/thrift store aesthetic. Given salaries at most nonprofits, it’s important to embrace second-hand. And I have with my whole heart.
(Also I find this particular website to have very inspiring moments. Scroll down and click on Stella. She’s a fetus, and yet, I still aspire to have her wardrobe.)
Thrifting is shopping with attitude. It’s gorilla shopping. It’s the sort of shopping that requires a working knowledge of The Art of War and a great deal of patience. Fortunately, there is an excellent second-hand shop down the street from me. (Don’t think I didn’t notice that when I was apartment hunting.)
There are days when going there is painful and useless. (“Who owned these clothes? A bunch of WRITERS? I sincerely hope they never left the house.”) And there are days like yesterday when someone who is exactly your size and who has exactly your taste but just a little bit better DIED. They died and left all their clothes in this shop for you to find. (“May they rest in peace. Also, SCORE.”)
It’s important to prepare yourself. Things could get…aggressive.
You see that green military jacket with the awesome matching belt. It’s your size. You can tell from three aisles over. Out of the corner of your eye you spot another thrifter. Same body type. Her eyes have strayed from the orange flats you already tried on and discarded. Her eyes alight on the green jacket. You look at her. She looks at you. And the only question, my friend, is who has sharper teeth.
I have an excellent dentist.
I also have a spiffy new-to-me green military jacket.
I’m still alone typing to my imaginary friends, but I look much better now.