Ask anyone who spends time shopping at thrift stores and vintage shops, and they’ll tell you it’s not just “shopping.” It’s a hobby, a calling—some passionate fans might even call it a lifestyle, while others readily admit it’s a vice. So how do you determine if you’re merely a creative yet shrewd fashionista or a full-on thrifting addict? If you can relate to more than a handful of the following signs, watch out the next time a hoard of friends and family show up at your house—they might be staging an intervention!
1. Mild superstition
You only shop on certain days. You wear an item of “lucky” clothing or carry a totem to bring you good thrifting fortune. And you dismiss any and all events that conflict with Tax Free Tuesdays at Thrift Trader.
When your date asks, “What would you like to do?” only one thing comes to mind: bonding over incredible vintage finds, coordinated outfits, and quirky miscellanea at your favorite thrift shop.
3. Halloween ownage
Your Halloween costumes are always on point and you win all the contests, mostly because you spend months (or even the whole year) pulling together the perfect look from a variety of thrift sources.
4. Nostalgia fix
You have a T-shirt for every single one of your favorite childhood cartoons even though you only wear a few of them, and you once bought an impractical fur coat (come on, it’s San Diego!) because your grandma had one just like it.
5. Every section, every time
You must check out every section of a thrift store before you leave—even if you were there two days ago—just in case there’s a diamond in the rough you might have overlooked.
6. Cost-efficient, not “cheap”
You brag about your shopping strategies and deals and roll your eyes when a friend sports $200 jeans, but if anyone dares to call you “cheap”…
7. Alteration procrastination
You stuff gorgeous pieces that need altering back in a sad little corner of your closet, always promising you’ll get around to taking them in...and yet you keep adding more.
8. Wrong-size rage
When you find the Perfect Thing and it’s not in your size—not even close—you feel the flames of anguish rise behind your eyes.
9. Same-size rage
When someone the same size as you is scouring the same rack at the same time, you feel the flames of competitive fury rise behind your eyes.
10. Freedom from fitting rooms
Of course you try everything on before buying, but you also wear leggings and tanks to shop so you can use the aisles as fitting rooms as well.
11. Million-dollar score
You dream of getting rich by finding gold-standard vintage (Halston, Pucci, Chanel, etc.) that’s been inexplicably priced at a few dollars and selling it for bank online.
12. $20 limit
But even if you were a millionaire, you still couldn’t bring yourself to spend more than $20 on a piece of clothing.
Addicts/Connoisseurs/Whatever: Everyone’s welcome!
At Thrift Trader in San Diego, we welcome thrift fans wherever they fall on the enthusiasm-for-thrift-shopping spectrum. And we also welcome your clothes to buy or trade—buying hours at our North Park and Pacific Beach locations run from 10am-6pm daily.