Once upon a time, before summer, when us college students were in the midst of a stressful semester, we submitted to the no-brainer of putting on our sweats and going to class. It was simple, comfortable, and most importantly CHEAP. One could call it an effortless look, literally. Yet, through all of the excuses we will make to rep our college hoodies, one solution stands right in front of us, and that is thrifting.
I'm going to be honest, the first time I actually heard of this phenomenon was through Macklemore's hit song "Thrift Shop" in 2012. With this fascination, I took my first trip to a Salvation Army that I had bypassed for years and realized just how much I had been missing. Little to say, I've been hooked ever since. Here are just a few reasons I've become slightly addicted:
1. It's bargain city!
If you are someone who feels great joy when you snatch a good deal, get ready to have your socks knocked off. Most items are priced anywhere from one dollar to ten dollars, depending on the store, of course. Yet, for a broke college student this is heaven. Easily, can you acquire six to seven items and only pay roughly $25. Once you start thrifting and seeing how much money you'll save, there's no going back to department stores.
2. There are so MANY stores to choose from.
Not only are there the standard thrift stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Red, White, and Blue, but there are also several other types of second hand shops by location! Companies like Plato's Closet and Buffalo Exchange specialize in junior's to young adult clothing, while places like Housing Works in NYC have a plethora of items from clothes, to furniture, to electronics. Not to mention the sizes of these places. There are rows and rows of items in great condition usually.
3. Statement pieces are treasures.
Many people would argue that some of the clothes at thrift stores could be "old" or "frumpy", but, if you have an eye and are not afraid to get a little funky, you can find some really amazing pieces. Don't be afraid of patterns, embellishments, or bright colors. They can really make an outfit!
4. You can also find basics at the drop of a dime.
Why spend $12 on a basic white tank top or tee when you can find four tank tops for the same price? Thrifting is a great way to stock up on basics. Which obviously are essentials to a college wardrobe.
5. It allows you to channel that creative side!
Often times items can be made into fun DIY projects! Always keep an open mind while thrifting because you never know what you can mix and match or cut, making a masterpiece! Find a cheap jean jacket and paint the back of it! Make cool ripped jeans or sew pocket patterns! The posibillites are truly never ending.
6. Designers are always the diamond in the rough.
While sifting through the racks you never know what you'll come across. On one ocassion, I found a suede Ralph Lauren cowboy jacket for five dollars at the Salvation Army. Little did I know, it's worth was $800 on multiple websites! I obviously kept the jacket to myself because it had special meaning attached.
7. You can try different styles from different generations!
Often times as trends change, a lot of styles come back! So, if you are into trying different looks out from different generations thrifting is an affordable way to do so. Vintage items are often hot tickets in thrift stores but if you keep your eyes open there's a chance you may come across an awesome piece.
8. Halloween made easy!
Thrift stores are the one-stop destination for Halloween costumes! Get a big button down shirt and be Risky Business! Pink shirts and blazers are perfect for Mean Girls! There are so many original ideas you can get from just glancing!
9. On top of being cheap, there are almost always discounts.
Depending on the store, most companies have designated days for certain deals! Red ticketed items could be half off. There's senior citizen days and even deals on miscellaneous items. It really does not get better than that.
10. Your wardrobe will always be one of a kind.
Overall, thrifting allows one to define and declare their style in the most unique way possible. No one will have the same look as you do because the pieces are often so different! There is nothing wrong with buying from department stores, but if you are really looking to make a statement, thrifting is the way to do so.