11 Ways To Thrift Shop Like A Fashion Student

11 Ways To Thrift Shop Like A Fashion Student

Because it's important to treat yo self, even when you're living on a college budget.
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Let me tell you a dirty little secret. It can be challenging to be a fashion student. Beyond the obvious struggles of our curriculum and the many assumptions made about fashion students, both of which I’ve delved into in the past, fashion students can also face an additional pressure of always looking put together for class. In a world where we are expected to keep up on all of the latest collections and industry developments, there can be added pressure to constantly dress the part, embracing and adopting the latest styles to be shown across fashion week, all while living on a college student’s budget.

Fortunately, there exists a mythical business where customers can choose among a copious array of merchandise, all priced at reasonable costs: Thrift Stores.

For fashion students from all socioeconomic backgrounds, these stores hold with them untapped potential for truly environmentally responsible, unique clothing at impossibly low prices. Ask any fashion student, chances are they’ve frequented these establishments on more than one occasion, in fact they may have already planned their next excursion to their nearest consignment store.

After spending countless hours perusing the racks of our favorite Goodwill, Salvation Army, Buffalo Exchange and Arc Thrift Stores, most fashion students have picked up the art of thrifting by second semester of their sophomore year, however, for those of you who haven’t gained the knowledge that comes with years of scouring over merchandise at your local thrift store, here are a few pointers for channeling your inner Macklemore.

1. Find your store.

In order to begin thrifting you need to have an actual store where you can shop. Most of the hardcore thrifters I know have one or two particular stores that they stop in regularly. Although you can usually find good deals in any thrift store, some shops are better than others when it comes to pricing, selection and convenience. There is one small non-specialized store where I have found everything from a new Marc Jacobs sweater with tags, a Lily Pulitzer top, again brand new with tags, to a vintage Givenchy dress.

A lot of best thrift stores tend to be located in remote areas without much foot traffic, or in bustling areas in a constant state of frenzy, respectively. Either option ensures that there will be merchandise, since items are rarely picked up, or constantly reintroduced, thereby increasing your odds of finding the perfect item.

2. Get inspired.

Do some research online before you begin your thrift shopping endeavor. Look on Instagram, Pinterest or wherever you draw your outfit inspiration before setting foot in the store, that way you can have an idea of what styles you like and can look for similar garments or colors during your time in the store

3. Research the store's schedule before arriving.

When does the store receive most of its new merchandise? Although many thrift stores put out new merchandise perpetually throughout the week, some put out new merchandise on specific days. Know these days. If you go to the store on the first day merchandise has been introduced, you'll have the first pick of the goods, rather than only being able to select from clothing that has been on the racks for a while.

4. Look for color and textiles first when scouring the racks.

This is one area where fashion students have an unparalleled advantage over non-fashion majors. Chances are every fashion student has had to take a textiles course over the course of their academic careers. As a result, most can identify a garment’s overall quality by merely looking at the garment’s material.

That being said, looking at color and textiles are a good way to begin selecting merchandise for anyone. If a color or pattern sticks out, pick it up. If a fabric looks like it’s well made, try it on. It might be the dream find.

5. Examine the label.

Chances are you will find at least a dozen fast fashion items throughout your search. If you spot the dreaded Forever 21 label, avoid it. Most fast fashion retailers focus solely on providing trend items to customers immediately at a low cost. Since quality tends to be overlooked in this rapid production process, the garments are not likely to last long once you take them home. Plus, the trendiness of the item will likely subside quickly. On top of everything, these garments tend to cost less at retail new, meaning that you may only be saving a few dollars buying the garments from a thrift store rather than in the original store itself.

Nevertheless, if you fall irrevocably in love with a fast fashion find, you should undoubtedly buy it.

6. See the potential.

Sometimes you find the perfect garment only to learn that it’s five sizes too big. Maybe you find a fabric you love but are put off by the silhouette. Whatever the reason, sometimes a thrift store find isn’t just right. Fortunately, there are professionals who can tweak any garment to make sure it fits you and your tastes perfectly. Tailors are your best friends when thrift shopping. Although they can add onto the price of a garment, getting an item altered ensures that you have access to nearly custom apparel at a cost that is still cheaper than buying clothes new.

7. Follow your instinct.

Say you find a garment fall in love with it, but aren’t sure whether your friends will like it. In those moments, you should buy the garment anyway. The biggest part of being fashionable is being confident. If you like something wear it. If you think your friends would appreciate something, but you aren’t a fan, leave it. Buy whatever makes you happy, and rock it.

8. Try the garments on before leaving the store.

Since most thrift stores do not accept returns, you should have an idea of how each purchase will look on your body before committing to the garment. All clothing looks different on the hanger than on a human form. You should have an understanding of how those garments will look before taking the plunge.

9. Don’t overlook the denim section.

The jean section tends to be abundant and highly populated throughout most thrift stores. With the resurgence of trends such as the flare, destroyed denim and the mom jean, chances are many of the styles that may have sat on the rack for years are now back in fashion. Embrace the resurgence of these trends and look through the pant section fully.

10. Make time for thrifting.

Unlike most stores, thrift stores are stocked with fully individualized, poorly organized items. Sorting through this wide array of merchandise can take considerably more time than it takes to shop in most stores. Although the actual amount of time it may take to work through the merchandise can vary according to the size of the store. Nevertheless, the process can take hours even when done effectively. Carve out time in your day to ensure that you can explore each of the items being sold fully.

11. Be persistent.

Thrifting is like fishing. Sometimes you get lucky and find the dream buy, other times there's nothing. Much like fishing, patience is essential for thrifting success. Even if you don't find the perfect vintage Givenchy dress this time, doesn't mean it won't be there the next time you go out. Remember that it is really just a game of chance and to keep looking. You never know you'll find the perfect garment.

Cover Image Credit: www.incimages.com

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
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They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Hailey Miller's Debut Single Is 'The One'

"The One" is available now across all streaming platforms.

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Being able to blend genres well is a true testament to a great artist, and Hailey Miller has done just that. Breaking onto the pop-country scene with her debut single "The One", the song speaks to the lessons that come out of unfortunate heartbreak, and definitely resonates with people going through one. I got the chance to talk with Hailey about her music, Nashville, and plans for the future:

1. What inspiration did you pull from to write "The One"?

"The One" was inspired by a relationship I was in. It was young love, not the healthiest relationship, and was dragged on for way longer than it should've been. I'd pretty much worked through all the heartbreak by the time it was fully over, and this song felt like the final piece to the puzzle. To acknowledge that some good came from the whole experience, and that lessons were learned. It just kind of poured out of me. It was exactly what I needed at the time. I wrote it and instantly felt peace. Like I could finally let it all go. It's a different kind of breakup anthem, and I hope that people can connect to it in the same way I did.

2. Do you tend to pull from personal experience to write or do you write using a third person perspective?

I definitely prefer to write from personal experience. I've written from a third person perspective, but it always feels more genuine for me to write about things I've been through first hand. It's just easier! It flows better, and feels more honest. Especially if I'm planning on using the song for myself. As an artist, I always want the truths I'm speaking to be genuine. I feel like people connect better that way. If I can't fully connect to the stuff I'm singing, how can I expect the listeners to? Personally, as an artist, the stories behind my songs are just as important to me as the song itself. That being said, if I can connect to someone else's experience deeply, writing third person can be just as fun!

3. What has your experience been like being a woman in the music industry?

You know, I don't have anything negative to say about my experience so far. I've felt respected as an artist from almost everyone I've personally come across in the industry. This being said, I'm very aware of the challenges females tend to face on a larger scale, especially in country. But I try to not let it phase me. In my mind, I'm just an artist…not a "female artist".

4. Growing up in Oregon, what/who inspired you to move to Nashville and write country music?

My earliest inspiration was definitely my aunt. She was singing country music professionally when I was super young, so I grew up seeing that and my family was super good about surrounding me with all sorts of music. My dad had this thing where he would always tell me to "listen to the words" and then at the end of the song I'd have to tell him what I thought it was about. It made me realize at a young age that music isn't just sound, it's stories. I fell in love with country music and its stories. Then came along these powerhouse female singer/songwriters…like Taylor Swift, and that was it. I knew it was something I wanted to do, and I knew Nashville was the place to do it. So, I learned the guitar, taught myself how to write, and made the move as soon as I possibly could! It's pretty much a 19 year old dream in the making at this point.

5. How has Nashville shaped your artistry and/or songwriting since moving there?

Nashville has already shaped my artistry and songwriting immensely. I think the biggest thing is being around so many talented artists and writers. It's super inspiring! Every time I go to a show or writer's round in town, I go home wanting to work even harder. That's the magic about Nashville. In a place where the industry could feel very competitive, the community is so amazing that instead of feeling intimidated, I feel inspired. I think that's so cool. Being able to learn your craft in an environment like that, where everybody is willing to collaborate and learn from each other. There's no room to sit still and not work hard. I think that alone has made me a better artist and writer. I've discovered my own unique writing style and sound, and can't wait to develop it even more.

6. What has your experience been like releasing your first single independently?

It's been amazing! I've had the best time with it. The process was so fun, and such a learning experience. Since it was my first release, I tried to go into it with little to no expectations and I've been blown away! The support I've received is beyond what I ever expected, and people are listening!! That's all I could've ever asked for. I think putting out music for any artist, independent or not, is always a little scary because there's this fear that people won't connect to such a personal part of you. There's so much work behind the scenes that goes into it. But it is so rewarding to read people's messages about how they connect or relate to the song. It's the best feeling in the world!

7. What are your future goals and aspirations within the music industry?

I ultimately just want to keep writing and putting out music that I love, and that other people love. Whether that's on a small scale level, or a larger scale. As long as I'm continuing to make music, I'm happy! That being said, I'd love to do some touring soon, and work towards my first EP/full length album.

8. Do you have plans to release new music soon?

Plans are in the works. I don't have a definitive date for you guys quite yet, but new music is on its way! I've been writing tons and I have some stuff that I'm dying to get out. I'd keep an eye out in the upcoming months for sure.

Listen to "The One" across all streaming platforms now and keep an eye out for future music from Hailey!


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