The Great Canadian Thrifting Theory

The secret to obtaining affordable and inspiring vintage clothing came to me while studying Fashion Design at Lethbridge College. Okay, so in this case the “studying” was taking place at a residence party (don’t tell my instructors) and the quiz was a simple, “Where are you from?”

After living in Regina for 18 years I’ve become accustomed to the genitalia reference, the forced interest, the half hearted ‘Oh… Cool’ that inevitably comes along with getting-to-know-you conversations. However, this particular response shocked me more than a snowfall in April (which is actually not surprising at all for Saskatchewanians.)

“No way! Regina has the best Value Village in Canada.”

This reaction, like the apple falling on Newton’s head, instantly spawned The Great Thrifting Theory. As I’m sure my fellow fashionable Canadians already know, what the north lacks in high-end availability we make up for with an abundance of second hand treasures. Value Village, or Village des Valeurs as our friends in Quebec know it, dubbed themselves Canada’s Favourite Thrift Store and as a professional thrift addict I can affirm this statement. Value Village is like the X-Marks-The-Spot for said second hand treasures, but with over 100 locations across Canada where is a travelling style fiend to begin? Enter: The Great Thrifting Theory.

City Size / Vintage Stores = Probability Of Thrifting Success

For example, plug-in Toronto. Big city, lots of potential for high fashion hand me downs. But when you divide the population by the number of vintage stores scoping and snatching the goods, only to go off and double the price, you’re left with a lot of warped fitting t-shirts and not nearly enough gems. Enter: Regina, or any other locale with a Little City/ Big Town status. The city is just big enough to have style potential, but just small enough to veto those pesky vintage stores from picking over the product.

So next time you go searching for the perfect steal, or your home town solicits an eye roll from a stylish uppity, remember the Great Thrifting Theory and your true, patriot love. Our home and native land will provide us with sartorial goodness yet.