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. Tarap says

    Love this song. It reminds me of my brother who is always showing up with sweet thrift store finds & rocks his style. We’ve been calling him a sweet a$$ honky. Hilarious.

  2. pat says

    I love to follow your blog and have done so for about a year. I must say I was shocked at the first sentence of this entry..specifically..your note of “white rappers”. I do believe since you love to engage “all” of your audiences that this was simply a mis-stated oversite on your part. I am sure that you would not mean to offend anyone. I think “falling in love with rappers” would have been sufficient.
    Thanks for allowing be to share my observation.

    • says

      Oh no, I definitely don’t mean any offense. I just met Eminem when I was younger and he has been called a white rapper by everyone from CNN to MTV. Definitely didn’t mean any offense :)


    • kathy v says

      I was not offended by the first sentence! We all know $herdog loves her some Eminem. She didn’t use an offensive term.

  3. Shellie says

    Ohh man! I would love to participate but seeing as how I am traveling to Palo Alto to meet you (!!!) I don’t think I’ve got time to squeeze in a thrift trip. But I’ll try! So freaking excited!

  4. says

    I love this! I am going thrifting this weekend and am up for the fresh challenge.
    Can’t wait to show the weird pictures!
    Holla for a dolla – or $20!

  5. Nicole says

    Yay! This is the best scavenger hunt thing ever. My husband is so obsessed with this song he was Macklemore for Halloween. Of course we had to go to the thrift shop and buy a crazy ugly coat. . .

  6. Shanee says

    BOOM! Love it!

    I’m totally in on this challenge! I’ll wear your grandpa’s clothes. I’ll look incredible….LOL!

  7. says

    Looking forward to meeting you both at Rejuvenation tomorrow. If this is your first time to this store, you are going to love it. Btw, the link to RSVP isn’t working. See you mañana in Stumptown!


  8. Kayleigh says

    By FAR the best post ever. Seriously.

    Boyfriend is obsessed with this song – for his birthday, our friends and I organized a surprise Thrift Shop Scavenger Hunt. First team to find EVERYTHING IN THE SONG won. Thank god we have about a bajillion Goodwill/Salvation Armies in our town.

    DAMN! That’s a cold a$$ honkey!

  9. Jessi says

    Ahhh! This post just made my day– love, love, LOVE me some Macklemore!! I think I may just have to make this the first YHL Challenge I do… woot!
    PS- If he does a show near you, definitely go. At 29, my hubby and I felt slightly geriatric among all of the high schoolers, but it totally didn’t matter. We partied our socks off, and it was ah-mazing.

  10. Alana says

    How’d you know I was heading to Goodwill today? Guess I have a game plan while I’m there. P.S. My husband thinks I’m a dork because I call my Goodwill trips “Goodwill Hunting”…ha, get it? Sorry :P

  11. says

    I went to a Thrift Store Party a few months ago with this song as the theme – we were all encouraged to go deck ourselves out from the thrift store before we arrived. I bought a HUGE blue neon argyle sweater and a pair of bright neon yellow jeans! This blogging version sounds so fun!

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