Boone is a great place to get into thrifting. As an avid thrifter who has lived in Boone a few years now, I wanted to share my favorite places to go thrift hunting. As a college student, I wanted to focus on the price range and best type of garments you can find at each shop. At App State, there are lots of students in Boone who enjoy shopping sustainably with friends, and trust me, it’s a great way to spend a day in the High Country! My perfect day consists of getting coffee at Espresso News and then hitting up all my favorite thrift shops. At the end of this article I will discuss why you should start thrifting and some valuable tips and tricks. Happy thrifting!
Price Range: $$$
Best thrifting for: Pants and Jackets
Thrift Smith is my personal favorite place to thrift in Boone. While their clothes are a little on the pricey side, you can find some good deals. Their inventory is always overflowing so there’s always plenty of stuff to look through. Although their overall prices are a little steep, there are lots of things that are worth the price. For example, I got a pair of gorgeous vintage Levi’s for $30. If a product is in perfect condition and I know the quality will last me a long time, I am willing to spend a little more on it. If it’s an item that is no longer produced, it’s bound to cost a little more, and chances are it’s probably still cheaper than buying the same item brand new. Thrift Smith is a shop where you know you’re getting a quality item — I’ve never left their store empty handed. Another thing I love about Thrift Smith is that they post their new inventory on Instagram! This allows you to see new products without going to the shop and you can put an item on hold to purchase.
Price Range: $$
Best thrifting for: Shoes
Plato’s Closet is a very recent addition to Boone. It’s a hit or miss type of place to go thrifting, but I’ve found some great stuff. You often have to look pretty hard to find the good stuff. They are a little bit on the pricier side but not as expensive as Thrift Smith. Most of the inventory you’ll see will be from fast fashion chains such as Shein or Forever21, but if you look hard enough you can find some high quality brands such as Levi’s and Patagonia. Plato’s is the best place to thrift for shoes. I managed to find a brand new pair of all white Air Max 90’s for $20. They often have high quality shoe brands such as Chacos, Converse, Hunter Boots, Nike, Steve Madden, and more.
Price Range: $
Best thrifting for: Home goods
Ram’s Rack is a great place if you love fun knick knacks and home goods. They are very low priced so you can always find a good bargain. They do have clothing inventory but it’s small in comparison to the rest of the stuff they sell. I shop at Ram’s Rack when I’m looking for dishes, books, cooking supplies, or artwork. You never know what you can find here and that’s what makes it fun.
Honorable mentions: Anna Bananas and Goodwill
Anna Bananas is not on my list of personal favorites but I know it to be a favorite for lots of people. It has a great location right on King Street and has a fun atmosphere. Their clothes are more pricey, similar to Thrift Smith’s price range. Quality wise, I think they overcharge for the quality of the clothing they sell. It’s another hit or miss place to shop and I often struggle to find good items. I do however love how they post new products on their instagram, similar to Thrift Smith.
Goodwill is an obvious contender for a great thrift store, and Boone is lucky enough to have two of them. Goodwill is a great place to find affordable clothing and housewear items. It does require more dedication because you have to dig and look pretty hard to find good stuff. Goodwill is very hit or miss but I can usually find something and always for a good price.
Why should you start thrifting?
Thrifting is a fun activity that you can feel good about. By thrifting your clothes instead of purchasing them new, you are part of the solution to end fast fashion and overconsumption.
Thrifting will save you money when you shop for clothes and you can often find higher quality items while thrifting versus when you buy new things. It’s no secret that the quality of clothes being produced today is not what it used to be. Brands that were once known for their high quality and long lasting products have majorly cut back on their quality while increasing their prices. However, when you thrift you can find some of those brands from when they were still producing high quality items and at a much lower price.
I personally used to have to buy new clothes way more frequently then I should have because they wouldn’t last me more than a year. Since I’ve been thrifting, I’ve been able to find so many things that have already lasted me several years and I know they will last many more.
Another plus of thrifting is that when you are done or have outgrown any clothes that are still in good shape, you can donate or sell them back to a local thrift shop and potentially make some money for clothes that would have otherwise been wasting away in your closet.
Things you need to know about thrifting:
- You should be looking through every section of a thrift store. Both men’s and women’s. Honestly, I find more stuff in the men’s sections than in the women’s. Everything is fair game when it comes to thrifting, so look everywhere.
- Know your size (not S,M,L). Knowing your actual measurements will help you more than you know, especially when it comes to pants. I didn’t know my measurements when I first started thrifting so I had no clue which pants to grab. Knowing your measurements will help you be able to shop in both the Men’s and Women’s sections and you’ll be able to find clothes in your size much faster.
- TRY THINGS ON. You will grab a lot of items and chances are that most of them will not fit you. Most thrift shops allow you to try things on so do it. Don’t waste your money on something that won’t fit because most shops will not let you do returns. If you’re worried about the sanitary aspect of trying on clothes, I recommend showering and washing your clothes immediately after you get home to mitigate any health risks.
- Follow thrift shops on social media. Many thrift shops such as Thrift Smith and Anna Bananas will post their new inventory so you can get first dibs on any new products. They will also post about any sales or discounts that you can take advantage of.
- BE PATIENT. Thrifting is something that requires patience and dedication. It’s not always easy. It often requires you to dig through lots of old clothes and try to find something that sticks out to you. And then there’s also the added challenge of finding something that’s in your size. It can be an annoying process to get good at but once you get the hang of it, it becomes so much fun.