Jab, cross, hooked on thrift shops

Jab, cross, hooked on thrift shops

Exercising your rights to good prices on workout gear

By: Larissa Johnston


Are you cuckoo for Lulus?
You likey Nike?
You needa Adidas?
You a fan of Fila?


Me too. But not the prices.

That’s why I pop some tags, only got $20 in my pocket.

Just joking. But like Macklemore, I do love me a good thrift find. Especially when it comes to workout gear. It’s my go-to way of shopping for clothes to wear to Cascadia, biking to work, or hiking around Vancouver Island.

Some of my luckiest finds: an Everlast tank you may have seen me rocking in class, probably thinking I’m a professional boxer (guaranteed no one thought that) and a $13 Gore-tex rain jacket for hiking that retails for $450 online. I’m a rich bitch in the woods, but a poor girl in the hood.

I often get questioned about my thrift-shopping ways by people who haven’t been converted yet.


Doesn’t it take forever to go through the racks?

Yes! But that makes it even more worth it when you luck out on an item. And all your hard work pays off – literally! Imagine this: It’s a rainy day, you’re going through the racks pushing aside granny sweaters that reek of moth balls, zip-up hoodies sans zipper, stained boxers …. then *Chariots of Fire plays* Lulu tights appear. Your size. Brand new. Tag on. Life complete.


When did you decide to start thrifting?

The moment Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen talked about it on Oprah. I was about 15. My BFF and I slunk out the front door (feeling my suburban parents’ judgment of our newfound hobby) and slid into a pair of $3 suede high heels at the local Salvation Army. I was hooked.


Isn’t it gross wearing sloppy-second hand-me-downs?

Wash them. Duh. Unless of course there are sweat stains, or any other mysterious stains, then I put those back on the rack, no matter how good a deal they may be. I also avoid the underwear and bathing suit section.


What are some of the best thrift stores in Victoria?

Best variety: Value Village. They have a huge selection, but their prices went way up when thrifting became cool (just to be clear, I started thrifting before it was cool), and only a tiny portion of their profits go to charity.

Best deals: Salvation Army. Bonus if you check out their occasional 50% off days.

Best quality: The W.I.N. store on Goldstream Ave. This location curates their product and only puts out quality items. If you’re into brand names, they have a Boutique session with higher end items for good prices. Plus everything you buy supports women in need in our community.

So whether your New Year’s goal is to save money, be green, be charitable, or be fashionable, thrift shopping has you covered.

I’ll see you soon at Cascadia, and hopefully you’ll be rockin’ some sweet retro workout gear or second-hand sweatbands!

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