Author Topic: Thrift stores only for females?  (Read 5314 times)

Christof

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Thrift stores only for females?
« on: July 24, 2014, 05:33:13 PM »
In my neighbourhood there are three thrift store. Two only offer clothes and shoes for females. The third is run by the city and does offer male clothes with a selection for males of the same size as for babies under two years old, so not a lot. I rarely find anthing in my size, much less something that fits or looks good. Both together in my dreams only.

Is that a local problem of my neighbourhood or maybe Germany? How large is the offer in your thrift store for males compared to females?

BZB

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2014, 05:45:38 PM »
My experience in the US is that men have better luck at the thrift shops because often the men's donated clothes are of better quality. There tends to be a lot of selection for men, at least in shops like Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift shops. Now, in my city we have several consignment shops that sell fancier brands of second hand clothes (the person who brings the clothes in to the shop makes a percentage of the sale if it sells). The consignment shops I have been to are typically targeted towards only women or children's clothes. However all the thrift stores I go to (where people donate, not expecting a percentage back on the sale) have men's, women's and children's clothes.

Christof

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2014, 05:52:45 PM »
I see that I have to make one addition... thrift stores are rare here. Only the store operated by the city is a true thrift store in that they only accept donations. The other two are consignment stores where people expect to make a profit. Donating anything but money isn't very popular here.

Rural

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2014, 07:28:33 PM »
We have a variation on your problem here: there are many thrift stores, and they do have men's sections of comparable size to the women's sizes, but most of the men in this area work at manual labor, and clothing gets worn until it's literally falling apart. I can often find shirts for my husband (perhaps they take less of a beating?) but pants always have holes, stains, paint, etc.

iris lily

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2014, 07:32:53 PM »
I"ve been shopping at Goodwil stores all over the city for 20 years. The store's clothing sections are mostly for women.

They are useless for blue jeans because inevitably all of the men's blue jeans are intermixed with women's jeans.

The stores are sort of ok but not great for men's pants. I do buy DH pants when I can find them, he's kind of short so that are not easy to find. But that said I've gone to mall store to buy him classic blue jeans and they don't have his size in stock. doh.

Dh's shirts are almost exclusively from thrift stores, he is easy to fit and there are many nice choices.

MillenialMustache

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2014, 08:43:47 AM »
Based on what I have seen in the US, if it makes you feel any better, I don't have good luck with men's clothing at thrift stores. I buy probably 75% of my clothing from thrift stores and consignment shops, but men's clothing is donated less and if it is, it is already worn out. I rarely buy anything for my DH, maybe a polo here and there. I know we rarely give away anything that still fits my DH - he will work in it until there are so many holes I force him to cut it into rags. Same with my parents - my mom will donate an entire trash bag of clothing, with not a single piece from my dad. He just wears his out.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2014, 08:46:48 AM »
I see that I have to make one addition... thrift stores are rare here. Only the store operated by the city is a true thrift store in that they only accept donations. The other two are consignment stores where people expect to make a profit. Donating anything but money isn't very popular here.

I'm curious, what do people do with their unwanted/outgrown clothing and household goods?

MrsPete

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2014, 09:17:50 AM »
I think the biggest issue is that men's clothing tends to be more classic and doesn't go out of style; thus, it isn't donated in the same quantities as women's clothing.  Even if it's outgrown, men might hold onto the clothes thinking that they'd get back into that 32" waist one day.

My husband, for example, wears khakis or grey slacks and basic button-down shirts to work most days.  On the weekends it's jeans and the same shirts or tees.  NONE of that really "comes and goes" in the fashion world, so he keeps things until they're too old and ratty to donate. 


sheepstache

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2014, 09:34:34 AM »
A few things and of course I'm relying on stereotypes here:

1. Men's clothing is so much cheaper to begin with that men may be less likely to shop at thrift stores so there's less motivation to provide stock for them.
2. Men have smaller wardrobes so their clothing gets worn harder during the time that they have it and so be less suitable for donation.
3. Women's clothing is expected to fit more snugly so they outgrow it quickly with any weight gain at all while men can buy a shirt when it's baggy and "grow into it" until the buttons are about to burst, so, again, less and slower turnover that can be donated.
4. And I think this is most important, women's styles change quickly while men can hang onto the same clothing until it falls apart. (So if it's any consolation women looking for classic styles tend to have a difficult time clothes shopping too.)
5. I'm reaching here, but maybe due to the fact that men are stuck with rather boring clothing, that is to say, a very narrow acceptable range, thrift store shopping may not be very rewarding for them while women can always hope to find something interesting, so, again from point number one, lower customer base results in less motivation to carry inventory for them.

I don't know Germany at all but I do know in the US that thrift store availability and inventory can change a lot from town to town and neighborhood to neighborhood.  While poor neighborhoods are more likely to have a thrift store, if you can find a rich neighborhood with one, their selection will be much better.

Others mentioned consignment shops and you might see if there's something like that there if you're looking for professional wear.

4alpacas

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2014, 09:39:15 AM »
I'm not as patient as many of the other readers, so I go to eBay when I need something.  For example, I have a specific style of jeans that I like to wear.  I find them used (usually in almost new condition) on eBay by setting up an alert (with a price threshold). 

ketchup

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2014, 09:44:44 AM »
The thrift stores we frequent definitely have a bigger selection for women's clothes than men's.  GF is nearly-always able to find what she went in there for, and I'm probably at about 50/50.

Donovan

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2014, 09:45:59 AM »
I've gotten a few good picks out of thrift stores over the years, but I've had similar experiences as other posters as far as super worn-out clothes go. I've also noticed that a ton of the stock in the two nearest to my house are way too big for me.  I'm pretty slim, and I'm always finding L-XXL clothes that I would actually like if they weren't so...tent-like.

Mrs. Frugalwoods

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2014, 09:47:19 AM »
A few things and of course I'm relying on stereotypes here:

1. Men's clothing is so much cheaper to begin with that men may be less likely to shop at thrift stores so there's less motivation to provide stock for them.
2. Men have smaller wardrobes so their clothing gets worn harder during the time that they have it and so be less suitable for donation.
3. Women's clothing is expected to fit more snugly so they outgrow it quickly with any weight gain at all while men can buy a shirt when it's baggy and "grow into it" until the buttons are about to burst, so, again, less and slower turnover that can be donated.
4. And I think this is most important, women's styles change quickly while men can hang onto the same clothing until it falls apart. (So if it's any consolation women looking for classic styles tend to have a difficult time clothes shopping too.)
5. I'm reaching here, but maybe due to the fact that men are stuck with rather boring clothing, that is to say, a very narrow acceptable range, thrift store shopping may not be very rewarding for them while women can always hope to find something interesting, so, again from point number one, lower customer base results in less motivation to carry inventory for them.

I don't know Germany at all but I do know in the US that thrift store availability and inventory can change a lot from town to town and neighborhood to neighborhood.  While poor neighborhoods are more likely to have a thrift store, if you can find a rich neighborhood with one, their selection will be much better.

Others mentioned consignment shops and you might see if there's something like that there if you're looking for professional wear.
Agree, although we actually do OK with shirts--thrift stores here seem to have plenty of men's shirts for sale. Most of my DH's shirts are thrift while most of his pants are discount sale rack from the Gap or Old Navy. We can't ever find thrift store pants that are the right size that aren't beaten to death and in worse shape than what he's trying to replace.

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2014, 10:01:43 AM »
We have a great chain of used clothing stores here called Plato's Closet. DH gets designer jeans (Seven for all Mankind) for $20, Gap jeans for $16, and Polo brand shirts for $10. His whole work wardrobe is worth maybe $150. I have found similar deals on designer jeans. The amazing thing is that they are in perfect condition! Even the hems don't have a single frayed thread!  Who are these people who spend $200 on jeans and then practically give them away to a second hand store less than a year later?!

Unfortunately, we keep and wear clothes for so long that they are no longer trendy enough to trade in for store credit.

Joggernot

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2014, 10:02:44 AM »
First: our thrift store, appropriately named "Castaways", has women's clothing on the left as you enter and men's on the right.  The clothing selection changes with the seasons...shorts and t's come out in the spring; warmer clothing comes out in our winter.  Dress clothing consists of mostly tans and dark grey pant and cargo pants and is available all year.
Second: we were on a vacation to horse country in VA about 20 years ago and saw a sign for a church thrift shop.  We stopped and found it full of high quality sweaters for $1 each!!  Not worn at all; almost new.  We bought several and still have one.

Lesson learned - stop at thrift stores on your vacation.  Specially if you go to an area that is more expensive than your area.

Catbert

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2014, 11:43:55 AM »
Thrift and consignment stores in Palm Springs are the best!  One I visit frequently is Revivals which is in support of an AIDS charity.  It's the only thrift store I've ever been in that has 3 times are many men's clothing than women's.

Christof

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2014, 02:18:18 PM »
I see that I have to make one addition... thrift stores are rare here. Only the store operated by the city is a true thrift store in that they only accept donations. The other two are consignment stores where people expect to make a profit. Donating anything but money isn't very popular here.

I'm curious, what do people do with their unwanted/outgrown clothing and household goods?

Clothing is difficult... We have containers for donating old clothes. As they feature the red cross I imagine that at least some people believe they are donating to the red cross for those in need here in Germany. What actually happens, though, is that companies pay license fees to the red cross, collect clothes and ship them to Africa where they are sorted, cleaned and sold. From what I have heard that has destroyed one industry in Africa and created a new one.

If one doesn't donate via these containers, it usually either sold in consignment stores, flea markets and the church's christmas markets. Or just thrown away.

household goods are often kept, because you never know if you need them again. Anything big enough is otherwise sold on flea markets, ebay, or throuh consignment stores, passed on to others, or thrown away.

It is difficult to claim a tax credit for non-monetary donations, so most people will only donate cash, and that a lot less than in the US, because we see that as the job of the government that is paid taxes already.

Christof

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Re: Thrift stores only for females?
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2014, 02:26:55 PM »
Thanks to everyone who replied! My impression from reading this forum was that there are great deals to have everywhere, but for some strange reason I was incapable of finding them. I'm glad it wasn't just me.