Our (Completely Unofficial) Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge

Psst- We’re bouncing around the West Coast this weekend with a talk and signing in Portland on Saturday at Rejuvenation at noon (for more info call 503-238-1900). Then on Sunday we’ll be in Palo Alto at 11am at the West Elm on 180 University Avenue (RSVP here). Parking isn’t enforced on Sundays so you can park anywhere, or you can purchase a visitors pass at Palo Alto Civic Center and park in any of their lots all day.

There are two irrefutable facts about me. 1) I tend to fall in love with rappers and 2) I’m a fool for a good thrift shop. So when those two passions collided in the form of this Macklemore & Ryan Lewis song called Thrift Shop, the Internet at large was quick to clue me into its awesomeness, which started around the fall of last year and continues well into 2013. So to anyone who commented/tweeted me the link, thank you for giving me my official jam of 2012 and 2013. The clip below is the clean radio edit of the song (if you’re on a smart phone click here to watch it) but here’s a link to the official non-clean video (warning: it’s a bit, um, saltier).

And now that the song is starting to get some radio play (seriously, they’ve started playing it here in Richmond!) it gave us an idea. As J-Boom and I pulled into a thrift store while it played, I was like “Ooh look at this, it’s so meta, a song about thrifting is playing while we’re going thrifting.” And then John turned to me and said “We should do a Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge.” And boom. Just like that I fell more in love with my husband.

Here’s the deal. This “Challenge” is basically an excuse to all (virtually) go thrift shopping together and share our spoils, plus there’s a scavenger-hunt-ish element tossed in for good measure. So it’s meant to be a nice low pressure Friday fun-fest. And just like our little Pinterest Challenges, if you’d like to partake and blog about it, we’ll do a little linky thing next Friday so everyone can share their favorite finds. There are just THREE things you gotta do to play along (well, four if you count blogging about it later, although of course you can play along even if you don’t have a blog).

Step #1. Go to a thrift shop with – just as the chorus of the song says – “$20 in your pocket” and take a picture.

Step #2. Spend that $20 any way you’d like and photograph your spoils. They can be home related, fashion oriented, kid focused, anything. And you don’t necessarily need to make them over or repurpose them at all (although that’s totally allowed too!). It’s just an adventure in seeing what people all across the country (the world?) can score with a twenty at a thrift shop. And if you don’t find enough items to spend the whole twenty, there’s no pressure to buy weird things to meet that number, so it’s more of a cap than a you-must-hit-this-exact-number thing. This isn’t The Price Is Right.

Oh yeah, and we’ll reveal our spoils with everyone else next week…

Step #3. Find one item (or more) referenced in the song and snap a pic. Here’s the scaveger-hunt-ish element that we tossed in because we’re weirdos. And you get bonus points for doing something ridiculous with the item in the photo. After all, Macklemore has some pretty great confidence when he’s rocking those footy pajamas.

If you’re like John and have a terrible time deciphering rap lyrics, we’ve listed some of the items you could hunt for here: clothing with fringe, an all pink outfit, moccasins, a velour jumpsuit, house slippers, a brown leather jacket, a keyboard, a kneeboard, shoes with velcro, luggage, a plaid button up shirt, flannel zebra jammies, PJs with built-in socks, a telescope, and of course… a big a$$ coat.

Feel free to interpret the scavenger hunt items as literally or as loosely as you’d like. The point is just to have some good clean thrift shop fun. Happy hunting! We’ll be back next Friday with a rundown of what we found, and we can’t wait to see what you guys score as well.

Viva la thrift shop!


  1. Brenda says

    Hahaha! I love this! My cousin introduced me to the song a month or so ago, and I’ve just started hearing it on the radio the last two weeks here in the Twin Cities. And my favorite line of the song is the keyboard one, so the pic of John makes me super happy!

  2. Lindsey says

    That coat looks good on you $herdog! And bonus points… it looks a little granny-ish so it totally works with the song (“Is that your grandma’s coat?”)

  3. Claudia says

    This is so awesome! I made my husband watch the video last week and he’s been playing it ever since! I just emailed him a screen shot to tell him my favorite bloggers are doing a thrift shop song challenge and my life is complete.

  4. Tovah says

    Oh my god. I love you guys! This is my favorite song right now!:) And the challenge! Awesome idea!!!

  5. says

    Oh snap. I have a new favorite song – and something to do this weekend. As Barney would say…Challenge….Accepted!

    I’ll be the book signing in NYC next week – so excited!!!

  6. Alice H says

    This is hilarious!! I am up for the challenge!

    We love that song. Even though my 3 year old now says piss! I guess our radio version didn’t block that word out. Oops!

  7. Melissa Irvin says

    In the words of the late Whitney Houston, “hell to the yeah!” No, she wasn’t a rapper, but still a music icon! If you were an exhibitionist/flasher, that big @$$ coat could qualify for an all pink outfit. :)

  8. says

    Challenge accepted!

    I made the mistake of sharing “Thrift Shop” with my co-workers this week and unknowingly played the “salty” version, so very, very awkward. O_o

  9. says

    So… I’ve never heard this song before and now it’s going to be in my head the rest of the day. Which probably has something to do with the fact that I watched it 2 times in a row, okay, maybe 3 but it’s catchy.

  10. Brooke Buckingham says

    Macklemore is from Seattle (my town) so crank him up while you’re here for the book signing! :)