Anyone who has a computer and/or has not been living under a rock is probably aware in one way or another of the song of the moment: “Thrift Shop,” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
The song and accompanying music video support and glorify the idea of shopping for … pretty much everything within Goodwill and thrift shops. Despite its comedic approach to the topic, I honestly think a lot can be taken away from the song.
While the economy shows signs of improvement, we teenagers can still recognize when things are a little tight an we can’t afford to order out for pizza as often as we would like. Macklemore shows us a solid argument as to why you really can’t go wrong when it comes to browsing through thrift shops.
He raps (and excuse the awkward paraphrasing, this isn’t all newspaper-friendly), “Fifty dollars for a T-shirt — that’s just some ignorant ****/I call that getting swindled and pimped/I call that getting tricked by a business.”
Macklemore has a valid point. Why spend so much on clothing that very often does not last that long, when you would do just as well to spend less on items that might do you better?
He then offers us another argument, justifying the rationality of going to thrift stores a little more often, “And having the same one as six other people in this club is a don’t/Peep game, come take a look through my telescope/Trying to get girls from a brand? Man you won’t.”
One of the best parts of shopping at thrift and consignment stores is that you won’t be buying the same exact item that a million other people are also purchasing. Sure, it may not be that skirt you were looking at in Forever 21 or a pricey cardigan from Urban Outfitters, but if you like it and it’s inexpensive, where can you go wrong?
It might take a little bit more effort and searching, but I actually think of it as an adventure. If you and a couple friends make an afternoon out of it, you could end up having a fun time and buy a few cool things, too.
One of my favorite places to poke around and eventually buy stuff is the Salvation Army on Main Street in Oneonta. Not only do they have a very large selection of clothing, shoes and accessories, but it has a little bit of everything.
Anytime I’ve needed a costume for Halloween or a class project, Salvo’s was my first stop. I am also a fan of looking through the records and movies that they sell; a few years ago I found a few Beatles records, and we’re talking “Abbey Road” and “Let It Be,” here. That is an amazing find, and I flipped. It’s true what they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
The employees there probably wouldn’t appreciate it if you ran through the store like Macklemore and his friends do in his my music video, and I can’t say I would fault them for that at all. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a fun day out of it.
Another great local spot to grab some good secondhand deals is Shakedown Street, also on Main Street. A little bit more organized than Salvo’s, but still a great amount of fun to go scouring through the clothing racks.
So whether or not you’ve ever been thrift-shopping, I don’t think you can ever appreciate Macklemore without at least experiencing it for yourself at least once. You might even end up saying, “I wear your granddad’s clothes, I look incredible.”
Maggie McVey, a 2012 graduate of Oneonta High School, is a freshman at the State University College at Plattsburgh. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk.