« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

By John Lamb and Sam Benshoof, Forum staff writers, Published April 21 2013

VIDEO: Forum reporters Sam Benshoof and John Lamb go thrift shopping with $20 in their pockets

FARGO - Secondhand stores never really went out of vogue, but with the ubiquitous beats of hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ hit “Thrift Shop,” recycled shopping has never had a higher profile.

In the spirit of Earth Day, Forum reporters Sam Benshoof and John Lamb went to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch and Savers in Fargo to reuse and recycle some clothing.

With only $20 in their pockets, the two men went thrift hunting, looking for a come up and found something awesome.

JOHN: Sam, what’s your approach to thrift store shopping?

SAM: I like to look for clothes that are more eccentric and unique, and perhaps several decades old.

You can buy basic clothes anywhere, so I prefer to keep an eye out for the kinds of things that you might regret passing up down the road.

Take, for instance, the bright teal-colored blazer I once found in a Goodwill store – that was a real keeper, even if I couldn’t wear it very often.

JOHN: I envy your skinny self! As a man of sizable girth, I have to hope some stylish tubby fella just joined Weight Watchers. I tend to start with shirts and go from there.

I’m guessing you start with neckties.

SAM: I can’t say I’ve ever had much luck with neckwear – thrift stores don’t often have a very extensive selection of bowties.

You kicked off our shopping excursion last week with a trip to the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. Did you find anything worthwhile?

JOHN: I always find something worthwhile at the DBR.

I start with shirts. There weren’t as many nice selections for the XL fellas, but I found a few. There was a nice plaid shirt from Anheuser Busch. Who knew they made clothes other than Spuds McKenzie T-shirts? Alas, it was too big, even for me.

I did find a nice navy gingham shirt. And it fit! I never saw myself wearing Ralph Lauren Polo, but for $6.99, it was a good find. Maybe now I’ll join a country club.

SAM: I could see you joining a country club. Who knows – with warmer weather finally on the horizon, maybe you’d even become a regular, especially now that you have the appropriate apparel.

Before we headed to Savers to see what I could find, did you try on anything else at the DBR?

JOHN: Yeah, but not as much luck. I don’t know whose size 36 pants I was trying on at the Boys Ranch, but they weren’t going to be mine. You had more luck at Savers, right?

SAM: I sure did. Like you, I started with the shirts. Right off the bat I was intrigued by a particularly ugly white and multicolor-striped shirt, which I tried to combine with a pair of light blue pants with an elastic waist.

Though I enjoyed the eccentricity and the contrast, I don’t think you shared my opinion, or particularly wanted to be seen in public with me wearing that.

JOHN: Yeah, I think I said you looked like a rodeo clown. Sorry about that.

SAM: I was asking for it. So instead I went back to the racks and found a green suit-and-pant combo for $14.99 that fit me quite well. With a matching $4.99 tan-colored shirt, I was all set, even though with tax I was slightly over our $20 limit.

All things considered, that was a much better decision than the rodeo clown outfit.

JOHN: It was a sharp fit. Quite classic. I’d be more jealous if I didn’t let my eye wander and find a nice navy houndstooth sports coat, for $9.99. So screw the country club, I’m joining the yacht club.

And as an added bonus, I found a wrapped Halls cough drop in the pocket.

SAM: A very nice-looking coat. And what do you know, I also came away with a surprise gift – a used, folded handkerchief in the pockets of the pants. I didn’t examine it too closely.

All in all, a pretty successful trip. Both of us were right near or under $20. We may not have looked “incredible,” as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis rap in their song, but it’s safe to say we looked pretty good.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535 and John Lamb at (701) 241-5533