The Limits of Thrift

After all these years, I still love thrift shopping for clothes. In the past it was a cheap way to experiment with new looks and learn what I liked. These days it's rare that I find something to meet my stringent guidelines but those holy grail moments make the hunt worthwhile.

Sadly, though, some things are nigh impossible to find secondhand. For those basic pieces I've started investing in real actual new clothes, sometimes at full retail prices (quelle horreur!) but usually discounted. One example is my world-beating socks, since almost all clothing is better secondhand but I won't do unpackaged underwear or foot coverings. I even walked into Brooks Brothers and purchased new dress shirts, a move that would have been unthinkable to Past Andy. Then again my whole relationship with clothes has changed immeasurably, and all for the better.

Shoes are another black swan. Although I've been lucky enough to find a few pairs at massive markdowns, a new Allen Edmonds shoe is a long-term investment. And that's the beauty part: with a curated closet half-full of only clothes that I wear frequently, those new pieces eventually acquire the patina that marks them as beloved friends.

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