I stopped by American Thrift Store on Chicago Avenue near Hermitage in West Town. Seems to be a mom and pop shop rather than part of a chain. Doesn't seem to be a charity shop. The disinfectant smell was fainter than in a previous visit years ago and no pickpocketing team stalking me this time around. The distaste from the second item is what kept me away for so long. Today was quieter, a young mother was shopping for her toddler and grandmotherly ladies were looking for church outfits. clothes were sorted in neat long rows by color, age/size, and gender.
Today I was looking for slim fitting navy pants for my son and tee shirts (instead of polo shirts), both to wear for school uniform. I found new looking flannel slacks for him, a tee shirt, while I was at it a couple of warm weather girlie tops for my daughter. She has her big brother's outgrown school things, but I like for her to have some things to pretty up the monotonous color scheme. I must say I would love to wear lots of navy over the plaid I wore as a school girl. The prices seemed fair about $3 per piece.
Then my brain kind of shut off as I went around finding more to fill up the relatively petite green cart. Things for myself and I wasn't even on the list: a black linen dress, a black pin stripe jumper (new with tags, more pricey, but less than $8), navy floral skirt, several silk and linen shirts, more and more, until a heaping heap collected. Regretfully, a pretty Liberty shirt was not in my size. I felt vaguely nervous about what the damage to my credit card would be. I wheeled over to the check out, and felt relieved and stupid. There was a hand lettered sign saying CASH ONLY on neon magenta board. I told the clerk I'd have to put some items back. She graciously said that she'd do that for me and was apologetic that she didn't have a machine. I went off to the front sorted and used another cart to cull away the items that were not coming home with me today. So I spent $29 for about 8 pieces of natural fiber clothing. Not as good as free, but still happy not to be buying new. I was grateful to have been stopped short from going overboard and not made to feel foolish, grateful to the people who donated their clothes, grateful to the people who sewed them (5 countries represented in the tags).