Sunday, December 9, 2012

Twinkies and L.L. Bean

Successful thrift shoppers keep an open mind while sweeping the racks. Thrift shopping isn't like going to the mall. You won't be able to pop in and grab that one thing you need. It doesn't work that way. Looking for a specific item will only bring disappointment.

Even though you can't get too particular, you can still keep a running wish list of things you hope to find. Keeping some focus to the flexibility makes for thrifting victories. Here are some items that are currently on my list:

1. Leather bomber jacket (wishful thinking)

2. Fitted denim jacket that I can cut the arms off and make a vest

3. The Dude's sweater (vintage Pendleton Cowichan Cardigan)

4. Red plaid thermos

5. 1950s Pyrex, especially a blue snowflake print

6. High-quality champagne bowls

7. Egg cups

8. Vintage rotary phone, preferably in robin egg blue

9. Cashmere sweaters (even slightly ugly ones are fine-I like them to bum around in)

10. Vintage children's books about sloths

11. Retro L.L. Bean apparel (men or women's)

So...this list is a little weird. If our items reflect something about ourselves, our inner psyche, I think my items show that I am...weird. Big surprise. 

Well, this weekend, I found something on my wishlist: A vintage (I think) L.L. Bean goose down vest. 

I'm going to pair this with skinny jeans or a skirt.

I always keep an eye out for L.L. Bean things because (1) I like the timeless preppy aesthetic and (2) their stuff really holds its own in quality. Some brands are like yogurt-not a long shelf life. Other makes are like Twinkies (R.I.P. Hostess); they keep forever. 

I want to go hang out in Freeport (in July).

L.L. Bean is like a Twinkie in that you can trust that it will be just as good 15 years down the line. I don't know if the friendly folks at the Bean would appreciate the Twinkie analogy. They would probably prefer something more crunchy granola, but granola gets funky after a couple months and I can't think of any politically correct food that works with this comparison. Besides, the L.L. Bean people and their golden retrievers are all the way up in Maine and are probably too busy snowshoeing through the forest and cozying up in mountain lodges with big plaid blankets right now to concern themselves. I'm not too worried about retribution. 

Hopefully, my luck will transfer to any of you readers who likes to hit up the local Salvation Army (go on Wednesdays for the 50% off apparel deal) and you will find something on your own wishlist. Happy hunting. 

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