It's the most important rule of being a successful thrifter. There's a lot of good stuff out there, at dirt cheap prices. It can e difficult not to scoop up every little thing, because its "only a couple of bucks." But truthfully, if you don't need or really can't use something, its a waste of money at any price.
I, like many thrifters, fell prey to this shortcoming for many years, but I feel I have improved on it immensely. I now believe that thrift shopping should have the effect of making one even more particular about what comes home with them.
Case in point:
Two days ago, I visited my new favorite charity thrift store secret, the one where I was actually given a pair of pants on my first visit. The place was bursting with incredible stuff: a 3 piece grey herringbone suit from Rogers Peet (too big), a pair of J.Press khakis with only three locations on the label (pre- San Francisco), and a Brooks Brothers flannel sack blazer (also too big...probably the same guy.) Such is second hand shopping.
And then I saw it: Brooks Brothers early 1960's cream colored dinner jacket with a shawl collar, in brand new condition, $8.00. Kinda like this one:
(it is my dream to wear a tux for real someday, just once. more on that later.)So I left it behind for some fortunate soul who needs it.
Though I don't know how many guys who wear formal clothes regularly enough to own them are shopping in the church charity store.
You see, there was a time when my closet was packed to the gills with things like this, fantastic cheap finds that I never wear which ultimately just take up closet space, which is at a premium to begin with. My new system is to accumulate all this stuff in the store, then lookit all over and put most, if not all of it, back. I try really hard not to buy stuff I won't use. Additionally, I regularly weed through my stuff and donate back those items that rarely make the rotation. You might call it the minimalist approach to thrift shopping.
Still, I can't stop thinking about that jacket, and what might have been....