PRAGUE -- Being the youngest of three girls afforded me certain luxuries in my childhood. While I was too young to go to the Boy George concert with my sister Shannon or too small to ride the roller coaster with my eldest sister Dana, I was raised by two very weary parents, and often got away with more.

My sisters paved the way to later bedtimes, more lenient curfews and a feeling of parental complacency during my arduous teenage years.

Besides being cast as the annoying little sister, the position of the youngest sibling was definitely grandiose in my mind. I had two walking, talking, bodyguards who protected me, taught me the ways of the world and - best of all - passed along their hand-me-downs.

It's no wonder that I have an affinity for secondhand clothing to this day.

There is something quite comforting about slipping on a worn-in shirt, or bringing back an item of clothing that has long been deemed unfashionable.

I remember finally getting the opportunity to wear that poufy striped Adidas jacket more than four years after it had gone out of style. But it was mine, at last, and I wore it proudly.

My husband suffers from the same ailment we call "youngest sibling syndrome," so we constantly nurse our nostalgia together by sifting through secondhand shops on many of our travels.

Recently, we dedicated an entire weekend to trolling thrift shops in Prague, a must-do for the new clothing challenged, for the bedazzled jean jacket enthusiasts, or for those of us who are just, well, cheap.

The shops
A. Prague Thrift Store, Sumavska 1050/29
B. Second Hand No. 21, Budecska 21 (Children's clothing only).
C. Druha Vlna, Jugoslavska 12 (Women's clothing only).
D. Look 2nd Hand, Belehradska 63
E. SH Fashion, Belehradska 67
F. Exclusive 2nd Hand, Belehradska 72
G. Second Hand Land, Namesti Bratri Synku 3
H. Vyberovy Second Hand, Svatoslavova 30
I. Sty Moda Second Hand, corner of V Podluzi and Svatoslavova (in Nusle area).

Most shops are open Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. All listings are in the New Town / Vinohrady area, use I.P. Pavlova or Namesti Miru metro stops to begin the journey.

Each store is unique with treasures and offers an array of items from baby clothing to appliances -- at times with the cost of scavenging. The fashionable threads you purchase during this off-the-beaten path treasure hunting may not be new, but that's the whole point.

Editor's Note: Jeremy S. Buddemeier, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Public Affairs, contributed reporting.