Monday, June 28, 2010

Beacon's Closet

I went to Beacon’s Closet for the very first time recently (finally). I’m sure that vintage loving New Yorkers would be cringing everywhere to know that I have managed to pass by visiting this thrift store/NY fashion institution for the nearly 7 years I have lived in this city. Partly this is because I am just too lazy to travel to Brooklyn very often. Yes, I know it is not very far. And no, it is not because I am a Manhattan snob. I lived in the BX for 4 years, I have put in my outer-borough time. Now that I reside on the main island, I just don’t see the point of leaving very often. Manhattan is where I have always wanted to be, and there is not much that Manhattan doesn’t have to offer that pushes me to search other places for entertainment, shopping, or food.

Anyways, I was short on closet space and cash last week, so I decided to undertake the voyage with some clothes, belts, and purses I wanted to get rid of and finally check out this mecca of second hand shopping that everyone loves so much. I have to say, I was a little disappointed. Yes, it was a thrift store on a grand scale. It had rack upon rack of clothing beautifully organized by color, and was set up to look like a real clothing store. Yes, there were some pretty cool shades, belts, and sunglasses. But because I’ve heard so much about it, I expected something special, some extra pizzazz that would wow me, and set it apart from any other thrift store I’ve been to besides the layout. On my trip, I didn’t find any clothes that I wanted, but I’m sure that if I had been more in the mood for a treasure hunt that I could have rustled up at least one dress to take home.

However, it was still just a thrift store. It had that stale smell of used clothing, and no air conditioning. While I appreciated the trip for what it was worth (and the $25 bucks I made from belts and purses I no longer wear-Free money!), I don’t know if I will be returning any time soon. I appreciate that some people love the thrill of finding a bargain among the used clothing of others, and I love the aspect that one woman’s trash is another’s glorious new Saturday night outfit. It is the existence of thrift stores that keeps me from feeling guilty when I go on a major cleaning spree and get rid of a couple garbage bags of clothing.

And yet, I fail to really understand the allure of the second hand apparel (especially shoes). I just prefer my clothing to be brand new when I purchase it, and the prices in Beacon’s closet weren’t really all that cheap for pre-worn if you know what I’m saying. And the idea of wearing some stranger’s old shoes just skeeves me out. I really want to love the thrift store trend, but each time I prepare myself to go searching for buried treasures among the racks of goodwill, beacon’s closet, or the salvation army, I generally end up dropping off my donations, giving things a half hearted glance, and leaving empty handed before I start to smell like mothballs.

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