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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I was I am

A poem for those struggling with who they were.

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it seems almost like a page

in someone else's book now


how there was

a time that i thought

i could have been happy

with someone like you


a million years before

i knew who i was

and that i should mean so much more

than i ever did to you


i almost can't remember

the way you held your elbows or

the way you said the letter o or

the way you told me goodnight


it seems now

that all i can recall

are my relentless tears and

the fear that this was the love

that everyone spoke about


the fear that this

was what id have to live with

for the rest of my life


i remember those late nights

just you and i

you always got what you wanted

i was always too afraid to upset you

looking back i wonder why

i couldnt leave you then


but you kept me

my misery maintained until

i felt like nothing


that night was the record scratch

When I knew my life

Shouldn't be like this.


It wasn't until I finally broke our ties

That I started to remember

Who I am.

But my mind is clear now.

I can remember

How strong I am,

How perfectly happy I am

On my own.


It seems almost like a page

In someone else's book now.


You're finally fading away.

I just wish my scars could fade as quickly.

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