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You can bet your bottom dollar that I won’t be a walking billboard.

{Let me preface this by saying that the purpose of this post is to be light-hearted. If you buy name brands, I’m not judging you in anyway. This is solely a personal preference.}

This is going to sound strange because I have a degree in Business/Marketing…but I kind of dislike brands. Especially when it comes to clothing. And especially name brands.

I understand the struggle that comes along with finding clothes that fit. When you finally find the perfect pair of jeans, you stick with the same brand so you can avoid having to go through that time-consuming, awful process ever again.

But besides the “this brand fits me” exception, I think the act of buying brand new brand name clothes is illogical.

This hasn’t always been the case though. I clearly remember wanting to shop for name brand clothes. Luckily – in hindsight – I rarely did. Mama Amy was too smart to succumb to sneekster marketing schemes.

I think my favorite brands now are either ‘Clearance Rack’…or ‘Thrift Store’. But it has taken me a long time to be okay with that.

I use to dislike going to thrift stores. As a kiddie, I kind of detested Goodwill and Salvation Army. Looking at decorations and furniture was one thing, but purchasing second-hand clothes was something I never intended to participate in, let alone prefer. Lucky for me, five or six years ago I made the liberating (and money-saving choice), to make a distinct separation between the words “thrift store” and “dirty”.

Now I’m like, where dem cheap, cute clothes at?! And seriously, what’s the difference between hand-me-downs from my mom’s friend’s daughter and second-hand clothes from a thrift store? Definitely not enough to discourage me from finding some sweet diggity dealz at Goodwill and the like.

I like to think that I’m relatively fashionable thanks to clearance racks, thrift stores, and hand-me-downs. At times this is affirmed by people asking, “Ooh, I really like your dress. Where’d you get it?” I use to find myself making the decision to lie, tell the truth, or claim forgetfulness. On rare occasions, I still do. Because in general, the statement, “Thanks! I got it at a thrift store.” doesn’t reflect the ideas or elicit the responses I want it to.

Especially to a stranger or an acquaintance. Generally this answer throws people off. Should they feel sorry for me?

I experience a great deal of satisfaction from finding a fashionable and reasonably-priced piece of clothing on a clearance rack. It’s a choice I choose to make, not out of necessity per se, but out of logic. I enjoy the “hunt” that comes with shopping at thrift stores and the element of surprise that comes with an ever-changing breadth of items. Simply put, I enjoy it.

There’s an undeserving stigma attached to purchasing clothes at a thrift store. Whether it’s an intentional choice the buyer is privileged to make, or the only option someone has.

It’s a strange phenomenon. Somehow the act of purchasing a Halloween costume from Goodwill has transcended the thrift-store stigma, but the casual purchase of a second-hand shirt still has transcending to do. I continually recognize the preference individuals have for the hand-me-down from their co-worker’s daughter (who they’ve never met), to the sweatshirt (boasting original tags) at the thrift store down the road.

This being said, there are still some pieces of clothing I prefer to buy at the Targets and TJMaxx’s, but I can tell you that when choosing between a North Face jacket and a quality coat on the clearance rack at Kohls…my morals and personal philosophy would choose the latter.

And this isn’t to say I don’t own Nike shorts or fancii brands of any kind…if they’re reasonably priced, quality products, I’ll purchase them. But I do my best to refrain from purchasing based solely on brand name.

I believe this mindset shifts the purchasing decision from a reliance on brand name to a decision based on product quality and personal need.

And let’s be real, if I’m going to be modeling a name brand, I better be the one getting paid…not the one paying.

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5 thoughts on “You can bet your bottom dollar that I won’t be a walking billboard.

  1. Hi Lola,

    I completely agree with you. As you get older, you find there are a lot of expenses that you have no way of buying at a reduced cost, so to save lots & lots of money on clothing is awesome! That’s the beauty of Craig’s list as well. Furniture, collectables, exercise equipment, cars, snowmobiles! All second hand products to save thousands of dollars.

    Cheers to you!,
    Uncle Tim

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