Book title: TheSecondhand Wardrobe: Have Fun Finding Stylish, Earth-Friendly Used Clothing Deals
Author: Cheryl Gorn
Publication date: January, 2011
Publisher: Larmint Press, New York
Where to purchase in Phoenix: Barnes and Noble, Metro Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Online: Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com
Homeschooling families usually are bargain shoppers. Where do you go to find school and everyday clothes that are:
- The right color for you
- Something for every occasion
- A great price
Cheryl Gorn tells us in her book, The Secondhand Wadrobe, that all these conditions can be met by shopping secondhand stores. If you are willing to take the time to look and get past any sense of “snobbery” you might feel about wearing another person’s garments, the thrift outlets give a terrific bang for the buck–sometimes literally for a buck.
*Check out the secondhand stores in Phoenix
We no longer live in a society that finds ways to use and repurpose every scrap of fabric, and it is too easy for most of us to throw away or donate clothes that no longer meet our approval. Most of these items are still in good shape since the majority of people get weary of their outfits before they wear them out. Millions of clothing pieces are tossed away annually, with a good percentage ending up in landfills. Consider the reasons many get rid of or give items to the local charity shop:
- Loss or gain of weight (or normal growth) (or realizing the piece never really fit to begin with)
- Color or style is no longer in fashion
- Item is “Dry clean only”
- The garment is stained
- A button is missing or the zipper is broken
- The owner has died or moved away
- The local non-profit or church is having a charity collection (and it feels great to donate, get a tax receipt, and help someone else!)
As a former museum professional who has worked in the area of caring for and creating historical clothing, Cheryl Gorn has a love for apparel and fashions. She has been thrift-store shopping for years and has created the annual Secondhand Wardrobe Week each February “to remove the stigma that is associated with buying and wearing previously owned clothing”. Her book presents the best reasons for shopping for used items with enough humor and confession of her own “bad bargains” to ease the discomfort some may feel.
The Secondhand Wardrobe gives some great tips on how to shop, what to look for, and what to leave behind, highlighting that often the fashion designers shop the vintage thrift stores to get ideas for the future trends. Gorn describes the various types of stores and what might be found in each one.
The psychology of clothing is addressed in the book, as the author recounts how her son was bullied until he began to dress like the other kids in school. On the flip side, the pleasure that can come from having compliments on a great outfit that cost almost nothing can be a tremendous boost in self-esteem.
The best part of The Secondhand Wardrobe is the laundering tips. Again, for the thrifty homeschooler, saving money doesn’t just stop at the purchase counter. Clothes that need to be dry-cleaned can either end up taking space in the closet, being given away with regrets, or inadvertently ruined by washing incorrectly. Not all that have dry clean tags need that procedure, and Cheryl gives a list of fabrics that can be hand or machine washed. She also gives a website for a recipe for making your own laundry soap, saving lots more cash, and being uber earth-friendly.
On several values that a good many homeschoolers hold dear (saving money, repurpsosing resources, saving the earth and eco-systems, and having a wide range of choices), secondhand shopping steps up to the plate nicely. The Secondhand Wardrobe is a great, handy guide for matching those values with action.
A review copy was provided by the author.
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