Ballin on a budget: A How To guide to get the most bang for your buck

By: Sophie Pierce

Clothes shopping can get expensive; have you noticed that you seem to almost always end up spending $90 on two shirts and a pair of pants? There has to be a better way to get the Look™ you’ve always wanted. Everyone knows about thrift shopping, but it takes a skillful eye and a sixth sense to find the best places with the best options. I’ve taken the liberty of talking with kids who rock mom jeans and statement tees without breaking the bank.

The first step to successful thrifting is to know where to go. If you’re looking for deals, steer clear of Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet.

“Never go to Buffalo,” senior Izzi Ceccanese said. “It is way too expensive, and the whole goal of thrifting is to try to find the best stuff for the cheapest price. It’s pretty rewarding to find a shirt for $5 that is usually like $20.”

“I only go to Buffalo if I made a lot of tip money that week because it’s really expensive and unnecessary,” South senior and weekly thrift shopper Henry McBride said. “But St. Vinnie’s on 11th is the sport — always got good stuff there — and Eugene Jeans.” The Goodwill out by Sheldon and the St. Vinnie’s on Oak are also a few top picks.

The next step to an economical shopping spree is to know what you’re looking for ahead of time and your own personal style.

“I look for bright and different things that are older and vintage,” Ceccanese said. “And it helps to have inspiration before going, like a certain pair of pants or jacket. It helps to narrow down items in the store.”

“I look for basic stuff that is older, ‘80s or ‘90s looks, that have good silhouettes and are unique. I try to stay away from stuff that is too worn out or has too many graphics,” McBride said.

“Don’t be afraid to grab a bunch of stuff to try on,” senior Rupa Stein said. “It might look ugly on the hanger, but it’ll probably look cute on you.”

The overarching theme in their advice was to know your style and what you want beforehand and really take the time to look.

“You have to have time and patience to dig, because my arm gets tired,” said Ceccanese, “You have to be fit to be a thrifter.”

Sometimes it is hit-or-miss, so keep in mind that you might not be buying something every time you walk into a store. Don’t be discouraged if you didn’t find a $15 Gucci jacket on the first try.

Consumerism encourages the acquisition of goods in ever increasing amounts, and large-scale retail stores heavily promote this ideology. They mass produce clothes that will just be thrown out next season, leaving barely worn leftovers in the trash. On top of that, most big clothing companies jack up the price of their clothing and use marketing strategies to increase consumer spending. Basically they screw you — the consumer — over by making you pay an inflated price.  

“Thrift shopping is much more environmentally friendly,” senior Indio Almarys said. “The cycle of fast fashion perpetuated by retail stores is gnar.”

In summary, thrift shopping is perfect for styling yourself on a budget while doing your part to protect the environment. Plus, it’s a great way to ensure you’ll never be caught wearing the same shirt as someone else!


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