Viewpoint: Stylish on Salt Spring

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By FRANTS ATTORP

Normally, when one thinks of the world of haute couture, trendy places such as New York, Paris and London come to mind. 

But who would have thought tiny Salt Spring Island, long known as the home of hippie attire, has as much to offer as these global fashion centres?

For weeks, prompted by criticisms from my daughter, I have been looking to buy a chic pair of trousers to replace my increasingly ventilated sweatpants. My search has taken me to such high-end fashion boutiques like big box stores in Victoria, but all to no avail. The pants there are either way beyond my budget, or have legs so skinny only a ballerina on a Keto diet could squeeze into them.

But then a stroke of luck! While browsing through the pants and jeans section at Lady Minto Thrift Shop, I hit the jackpot: a pair of like-new Tommy Hilfiger trousers that were my size, my style, and my colour. And best of all, 100 per cent cotton!

At two dollars, I have to admit the price was a bit steep, but at least the money was going to a good cause, so I decided then and there to splurge. It would be a Christmas present to myself!

As I handed over my toonie at the counter, I noticed that the check-out lady had a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. She obviously enjoyed seeing so many happy customers passing through with their new-found treasures.

But there is more to this story, for when I got home, I immediately tried on the pants to make sure they were right for me. To my great surprise, I found a loonie in the right hand pocket, bringing the price of the garment down to just one dollar. I am now left wondering if the coin was simply forgotten by the previous owner, or if it was placed there on purpose as a little joke to brighten my day. What to do? I have never been a very good money manager.

Needless to say, I highly recommend Lady Minto Thrift Shop for an amazing one-stop shopping experience. The selection is fantastic, the prices reasonable, and the personnel friendly and helpful. Even if you’re just going to buy an item of clothing, you might come away with other useful stuff, such as an egg beater or a rare collection of coloured coat hangers.

Let’s keep in mind that nothing at Lady Minto Thrift Shop would be possible without a small army of dedicated volunteers — individuals who, even during a pandemic, receive, sort, inspect, price and display the local finery and then process the transactions. To these hard working members of our community, I say thank you very much and may you all have a great Christmas and New Year. You have outdone Marks and Spencer and helped your fellow islanders make it through these trying times with style and panache!

The writer is a Salt Spring resident and frequent contributor to the Driftwood’s opinion pages.

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