To Thrift or Not To Thrift: Wool sweaters priced to move

Thrift shop sweaters
Thrift shop sweaters

For years, the only way sweaters made it into my wardrobe was because some woman -- sister, wife, Mom -- put them there. At $75 and up, sweaters never seemed a justifiable expense -- I was living in the South, the only cold I really dealt with were walks to the car in January, which I managed just fine in a coat and short sleeves.

Then I discovered the Goodwill -- where the sweaters were FOUR BUCKS. Four dollars for a sweater? Suddenly I couldn't own enough sweaters. I'd drive forth and back among the area's thrift shops, flipping through sweater racks for thirty minutes, hunting for that jackpot combination of size and fashion (I'm not that fashionable, but I know what I wouldn't wear). I'd run home with my woolen loot, throw 'em in the dryer with some Dryel or Dry Cleaner's Secret, and I'd be good to go.

So let's go sweater hunting! Some tips:

Size. This is rudimentary stuff -- don't just hold it up to your chest, try it on. Check the waist length, see if the sweater can comfortably accommodate whatever inner layers you'll be wearing, make sure the arms are roomy enough to let you move freely but not so long that you can't find your hands.