Fashion

The Bins

About two years ago I started running out of blogger swag to sell and I didn’t have a ton of money for new inventory. I started researching ‘reselling’ and found out that it as not only a massive industry of small business running independently, but there’s a huge source of inventory that’s practically free. It’s the goodwill outlet, otherwise known as The Bins. No decor, just big blue bins full of stuff that didn’t sell. It’s clearance on steroids. A couple of weeks ago I went out to forage for merchandise and found out things were a little different thanks to COVID-19.

Luckily I had gotten my days mixed up and got there an hour and a half early. And I still wasn’t the first one there. Some guy ran up to me and pointed at the line…random objects used as placeholders. After I finished laughing in his face, I realized that this ratchetness was real. I actually had to stand on line, which is never my favorite activity. Then I realized how early I was and resigned myself to misery. I’m luckier than the folks in the third pic, though. That was the line when I left.


It wasn’t as crowded, since they had crowd control, but it was still hard not to bump into people. Even though there’s tons of stuff to sift through you still get people who operate from a scarcity mindset. They can’t help themselves, they have to fight for everything even when no one else cares. They bring out new items on a rotation, so there’s no way you can strike out. If anything, without pushing or shoving, there’s so much inventory and it’s all so different that it’s impossible to leave empty handed. I always end up having to throw back half of what I pick up because I take the subway to and from, and I can only carry so much. There’s no point being greedy because there’s always more.

A never ending stream of cast off items of varying value to be had for less than $2 per pound.


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The leopardskin cardigan, or what makes an item of clothing your best friend.

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One day I was walking around in the Village, near Washington Square Park and saw this cool thrift store. I went in and started poking around. Finding the prices reasonable and the merchandise appealing, I settled in for a good long browse with intent to buy.

After looking, holding things up, turning things inside out, feeling fabric, sniffing, trying on, discarding, and searching item by item and rack by rack for the ONE thing? I found my leopardskin cardigan. Behold the resulting sartorial glory!

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The print is a perfect palette of neutral browns and a hint of black- as a result, it goes with ANYTHING. Just anything. It’s just thick enough and is made from a soft, stretchy cotton that has held up to repeated washings without fading. The 3/4 length sleeves make this rock with a retro dress or tshirt and pencil skirt, but then you can get grungy and put it with a rock tshirt and coated jeans or shiny leggings. The card has it’s own swagger, but can be a backup singer if neccessary.

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(the cardi goes to NYFW. I love this outfit so much)

If I’m feeling lost and alone, I throw on my cardi. Ok, that’s weird- but I do end up looking through the cardigan pile and saying -‘hey you! let’s go out’ and putting that cardigan on. I cannot say enough about my leopardskin cardi.

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Thank you.