Thrifting: College Students Shop for Trends & Deals
For some people, ‘popping tags’ might be nothing more than a lyric in the popular Macklemore song Thrift Shop. For some college students, however, such secondhand shopping is something of a way of life.
One obvious reason so many students choose to thrift is because the low prices of hand-me-down clothes make it easier for them to shop on a college budget.
“I think college kids like to thrift because the clothes are unique and cheap,” said Alicia McElhaney, a rising sophomore at the University of Maryland. “If you want to wear something absolutely ridiculous, but have no money, it’s easier to get it at a thrift shop.”
And ridiculous clothes at low prices are something that college students need more frequently than one might think. Northwestern University freshman Alana Basil said she thrift shopped for costumes for Dance Marathon, a school-sponsored, themed charity event.
Many, though, find thrift shopping not only a bargain, but also a great source for fashion finds.
“I feel like thrifted pieces often fit my style better than new clothing, because I’m really into vintage styles. I think that high-waisted skirts and little blouses fit women so much better than some of the newer, tighter styles,” said McElhaney, who often shops in thrift stores in search of such vintage pieces.
For Basil, thrift store shopping allows her to find clothes that are more personal and unique than those found at department stores.
“It’s easy to go to the mall and buy something everyone else has, but it’s a lot harder to go through a thrift shop and make outfits that are all your own, and I think that makes it way more rewarding,” she said.
The act of thrift store shopping itself can also often be a joy to some shoppers.
“I thrift shop because it’s fun to rework old clothes and make them new,” said University of Maryland rising sophomore Melissa Seitz.
“Thrifting is cheap, but it takes a surprising amount of skill. I find it a challenge to look at a piece of clothing and see its potential,” said Basil. “There is such an art to assembling other people’s clothes, in a way, a piece of them lives on, like weird fleeting human contact,” she added.
And thrift store shopping not only yields amazing deals and experiences, but also amazing finds.
“It was actually my first ever thrift,” Basil said of her best thrift store find: a Threadless brand tee shirt she found for $1 in the children’s section of a Goodwill store.
“I bought a pair of Keds from 1992 that I love from Dr. K’s vintage in D.C.,” said McElhaney, who says she wears the vintage shoes just about every day.
“Also, a couple of years ago I got a Christian Louboutin high-waisted skirt at this thrift store called Avalon Exchange in Pittsburgh,” she said.
Brand names at discounted prices aren’t so uncommon at many thrift stores: Seitz said she found a pair of Lucky Brand jeans for a mere $7 on one thrift store outing.
Popular stores like Urban Outfitters might try and sell the ‘boho chic’ look, but no doubt at your wallet’s expense. If, like Macklemore, you only have ‘$20 in your pocket,’ stay in style without sacrificing your bank account by checking out your local thrift store instead.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
Discuss This Article
More Uloop Campus Life Articles
Recent University of Maryland News Articles
RECENT UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CLASSIFIEDS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
TOP UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND NEWS
- What I Discovered When I Deleted My Social Media
- Torture in CA Jails: New Wins, New Struggles
- Is Having A Pet In College The Right Decision For You?
- Game of Thrones: Bran, Hodor, and the Problem of Power
- Most Common Problems You'll Run Into With Your College Roommate(s)
- The Definition Of "Republican" Is Changing
- 6 Healthy Foods To Help Improve Your Scores On Finals
MOST POPULAR UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND NEWS
BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES
- By CollegeJohns Hopkins UniversityUniversity of MarylandTowson UniversityUniversity of Maryland-Baltimore CountySalisbury UniversityFrederick Community CollegeMount St. Mary's UniversityBowie State UniversityCollege of Notre Dame of MarylandWashington Adventist UniversityCoppin State UniversityFrostburg State UniversityGoucher CollegeHood CollegeLoyola College in MarylandMaryland Institute College of ArtMcDaniel CollegeMorgan State UniversitySojourner-Douglass CollegeSt. Mary's College of MarylandUnited States Naval AcademyUniversity of BaltimoreUniversity of Maryland-Eastern ShoreUniversity of Maryland-University CollegeStevenson UniversityWashington CollegeMontgomery CollegeAllegany College of MarylandAnne Arundel Community CollegeBaltimore City Community CollegeCarroll Community College Chesapeake College College of Southern Maryland Community College of Baltimore CountyHoward Community College Wor-Wic Community College Aesthetics Institute of CosmetologyAll-State Career-BaltimoreAspen Beauty Academy of LaurelAward Beauty SchoolBais HaMedrash and Mesivta of BaltimoreBaltimore Studio of Hair DesignBlades School of Hair DesignCapitol Technology UniversityColumbia InstituteCosmopolitan Beauty and Tech SchoolDelmarva Beauty AcademyDeVry University-MarylandEmpire Beauty School-Glen BurnieEmpire Beauty School-Owings MillsEverest Institute-Silver SpringFaith Theological SeminaryFinger Lakes School of MassageFortis Institute-BaltimoreFortis Institute-TowsonHair Expressions AcademyHolistic Massage Training InstituteInstitute of Health SciencesITT Technical Institute-HanoverKaplan University-Hagerstown CampusLincoln College of Technology-ColumbiaMaple Springs Baptist Bible College and SeminaryMaryland Beauty Academy of ReisterstownMaryland University of Integrative HealthMontgomery Beauty SchoolNer Israel Rabbinical CollegeRegency Beauty Institute-Baltimore Golden RingRegency Beauty Institute-GaithersburgStrayer University-Anne Arundel CampusStrayer University-MarylandStrayer University-Rockville CampusStrayer University-White Marsh CampusTESST College of Technology-BaltimoreTESST College of Technology-BeltsvilleTESST College of Technology-TowsonThe Colorlab Academy of HairThe Community College of Baltimore CountyUniversity of Maryland-BaltimoreUniversity of Phoenix-Maryland
- By State
- By City