With Valentine’s Day right around the corner it makes me wonder about all that lingerie at the thrift store. Does anyone ever buy it, and if you DO decide to buy it how much, ahem, sanitizing does it need? Ahlissa Eichhorn is a lover of flourishing, living, and writing. She writes over at Money is Fickle, and just so happens to be a fan of thrift store lingerie so today she’s telling us all about it.
Every woman, young and less young, know that you can score some real treasures in a thrift store. It’s becoming easier to be fashionable while hunting through the bargain bin, especially with vintage always being “in” along with the unspoken fact that grandpa sweaters will always be cool. But what about the “automatically ignore” section called, “Lingerie”? Lingerie, yes, as in attire worn under clothing or for intimate pursuits, as I like to say. Can a level-headed female even consider prying through camisoles and bras worn by others? Let’s talk about that.
The first issue is undoubtedly hygiene. I do not support buying used panties! That would be crossing the line in many books. But otherwise, lingerie is just like any skirt or shirt you’d buy at the thrift store. It has been worn by another person. “But what if other…stuff…has been on it? You know, because it is lingerie?” Well, no one knows what the girl did in the skirt you just bought and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to know. In any case, the solution is called water and laundry detergent. Genius inventions they are. Now, if you can’t get pass the fact that somebody may have done something steamy in an item, by all means don’t fluster yourself over it.
Reasons I’m Into Thrift Store Lingerie…
1. Used lingerie is cheaper
Keep in mind that the thrift store isn’t the only place to find it. There are thousands of Ebay auctions going on right now for bras, many new with tags, of various brands: Maidenform, Victoria’s Secret, Ambrielle, Frederick’s, etc. All you need is an account. I have won 3 Victoria’s Secret bras in my size and in excellent condition for under $30 TOTAL. Crazy awesome, I know. You can learn practically everything about the bras condition just by looking at them. If there are no visible sweat stains, snags, stretched elastic, or rogue under wires, you are good to go. Don’t hesitate to look for nightgowns, corsets, garter belts, and other pieces as well. Chances are they were worn only once, received as a gift, simply the wrong size, or the original owner just didn’t need the item anymore.
2. If it’s damaged, you can up-cycle it and make it fresh again
Vintage night slips are common hanger holders in my local Goodwill. They are cute, functional, and were well made for a woman’s physique but they may have gotten some abuse over the years. If there is a hole in the lace, replace it. Better yet, revamp it and make it your own. Just think, no other girl in the world would have the same 1950’s full slip with the limited edition Swarovski crystal stretch lace.
3. Vintage lingerie sells very well
Look long and hard for good, quality pieces. Look beyond the 1980’s and try for older decades. Seek out stockings, garter belts, garters, cinchers, bras, bralettes, teddies, robes, camisoles, etc. If you’re unsure about the approximate era of an item, look up any info you have about it. Type in the brand, serial number, or exact item name to start out or ask a lingerie expert. You’ll want to be as specific as possible for customers. To make items with crotch panels more useable, use a seam ripper and replace it with new fabric. If you want to get into the business selling vintage lingerie there is a buck to be made.
There are plenty of hidden beauties at your local thrift store that would love to make you look good and if you think it’s weird that I’m wearing some other woman’s bra that’s okay with me because I’m going to continue be neat and perky underneath your Grandpa Joe’s cardigan. It’ll be our little secret.
What about you, would you consider wearing used lingerie?