One of our favorite things to do in our free time is go thrifting! As college students, thrifting is such a great way to save money buying clothes. This is the perfect way to experiment with style on a budget, as well as be better to the planet. It's also so fun to go and explore new shops with friends and pick out each other outfits!
With all the options for fast fashion and the endless stream of consumerist media, it's SO hard to avoid the urge to overbuy from fashion companies that damage the planet. Thrifting is a way to get some retail therapy while not putting any money into the hands of unethical corporations. In fact, thrifting keeps clothes that have been donated out of the landfills!
We put together some of our fav thrifting options (online and in-person) as well as some tips for getting the most out of your shopping!
This is home of the world's largest online thrift store, selling secondhand clothes in all your favorite brands, even designers! With heavily discounted prices, you can score some really good finds for cheap. ThredUp can definitely be overwhelming at first glance since there is a TON of clothing to look at but there are always great finds and tons of discount codes and sales so it's worth it. The trick with this website is to keep a list of your favorite brands so you can search them to find the new uploads. You can even save your favorite searches to get quick access to the new clothes. Also, use code HELLO for a huge discount off your first purchase!
One of our favorites for the real thrifting experience online is Goodfair! They sell secondhand clothes in mystery box style, where you don't know what color or style you're going to get. You can pick a certain piece of clothing and get a few or you can pick one of their bundles and get fun combinations of pieces, all a mystery! They also do "Vintage Drip" drops where they sell their best vintage finds, a curated selection that updates weekly. Even their merch is printed on secondhand pieces, making them a super sustainable brand! Check them out if you want to get a surprise box in the mail!
Depop, Poshmark, & Curtsy
These 2 apps are perfect for the shopaholic because they give you the opportunity to not only shop, but sell as well! With really easy-to-use shop setups, you can upload photos of clothing you are ready to give a new life and sell them to buyers. This way, you're contributing to a more cyclical life span of clothing, which is much more eco-friendly. Also, you can make your shopping money on the same app you shop on! It's a win-win! These are also apps where you can search for your favorite brands, but these apps also give you the option to search for specific kinds of pieces, in specific colors or styles, making it easy to hunt down exactly what you're looking for, but from a secondhand seller rather than through fast fashion.
Going through the options for thrifting in-person brings us to the difference between the types of stores. Consignment stores are a great way to get started with thrifting since they can be an easier transition from fast fashion to secondhand shopping. Instead of accepting all donations, consignment stores typically use the buy-sell model, where people bring in clothes they are interested in selling for resale. This way, these stores curate their stock based on current trends and popular brands. Prices at consignment stores will be a little higher than a donation-based thrift store, but you have a guarantee of finding current styles you'll love!
Some consignment stores for you to check out near you: Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading, Plato's Closet. But, definitely look for local shops near you too!
Shopping vintage is similar to consignment in that the selection is curated, but prices tend to be a lot higher since they carry good condition, good quality pieces from typically the 90s and earlier. While the price point isn't nearly as cheap as thrift or consignment, these are investment purchases that have timeless style. Shopping used fashion can open the door to buying items you will have and use forever. Vintage shopping is a great way to avoid microtrends that go out of style as quickly as they start trending. These shops will give you unique, beautiful clothes that stand the test of time, and give you a look no one else has.
Typical thrift stores are donation-based and packed with all kinds of clothes! This is the cheapest option for buying secondhand, but it does require practice and a lot of digging. Since no piece is the same in a thrift store, you never know where you're going to find some gems. However, the hunt is a lot of fun and feels even more rewarding when you stumble across something you love! Check out our tips below to get the most out your trip!
Some thrift stores for you to look for: Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers. But, some of our favorite shops are the small shops, so go exploring!
tips & tricks!
- Try things on! It's hard to tell what is going to fit you in the thrift store, so be sure to take your finds to the fitting room before you check out.
- Look for colors, patterns, and/or fabrics you're drawn to! The racks in thrift stores can be super overwhelming, so looking for things you're drawn to can help you get through the racks.
- Shop all the sections! There can be awesome finds in the most unexpected sections, so take the time to go through all of them!
- Look for inspo before you head into the store! Since nothing is modeled for you, it can be hard to picture clothes in the thrift stores in an outfit, so check out Instagram and Pinterest for some ideas before you look through the clothes.
- Try new things! Thrifting is a chance to try out new styles and push yourself without breaking the bank or over-consuming.
Hopefully you guys get a chance to try some of these options out and catch the thrifting bug (it's very addicting). Let us know you score any good finds using our tips or if you're a thrifting pro, let us know what your favorite tips are!
See you soon!