August 25

National Secondhand Wardrobe Day


Roselyn hoped she didn’t ruin the beautiful designer dress.  The blue silken fabric was thin, and the beaded details around the collar and left sleeve looked especially delicate and fragile.

It was such an amazing find.  The original purchaser had taken good care of the dress, and had probably been reluctant to part with it.  But it was good to know that clothing could have a second life, passed along to a new, appreciative owner.

Before the apocalypse, Roselyn was a frequent bargain-hunter at secondhand shops.  She’d visit Goodwill or other donation-based thrift stores, where she’d slide hangers along rusty racks or would dig through table-heaps of unsorted clothes, hoping to uncover a neglected gem.

She’d also visit shops announcing “nearly new” or “gently used” clothing, where the best deals hung on a stingy clearance rack at the back.  Vintage clothing stores attracted her as well, but the classiest items there were usually well beyond her price range.

Now, Roselyn pulled gently at a blue sleeve, hoping the beadwork wouldn’t come loose.  The mannequin’s arm was bent at an awkward angle, and it made an unpleasant snap as she tried to straighten it.  The fabric felt loose, like an elderly woman’s skin, as she continued to pull it over the ill-positioned arm.

At least, once Roselyn got this sleeve free, the other would be easier to manage.  She’d already rolled a large cement block out of the way, for better access to the zipper at the back.  Like with most fine dresses, the small metal teeth didn’t align well and the zipper had threatened to snag loose threads when she’d pulled it down.

Fortunately, the blood had pooled mostly in the mannequin’s hair and behind her head, with minimal spotting on the dress.

Roselyn knew she was going to a lot of effort, moving with almost surgical precision to save the beautiful article of clothing.  She liked a bargain, though, and could tell from the mannequin’s figure and the cut of the fabric that the dress would be a perfect fit for her.

Besides:  the previous owner didn’t need it anymore.

The apocalypse was a terrible thing.  Food was really difficult to find.

But clothing?  There was no excuse not to look good.  The whole world had essentially become a massive secondhand thrift shop.