Style on a Budget

Being a fashion major and clothing addict on a college student’s budget, I’ve had to get creative about where to shop so I don’t break the bank.  Recently, my roommate and I were talking about our wardrobes, hers being mostly from H&M, Zara, and Forever 21, and she asked me where I shopped.  It turns out, that question was actually pretty hard for me to answer because I can’t remember the last time I bought something that wasn’t secondhand.  I consider myself a thrifting pro and you won’t find me spending more than $10 or $20 on anything.  Here is a short list of great places around PhilaU and in center city that I’ve compiled for shopping on a budget.


Greene Street - 4313 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127

Greene Street is one of my favorite spots to hit when I’m in Manayunk.  It is a high end consignment chain with multiple locations, including one not so far away in Chestnut Hill.  If you’re looking for some designer finds, this is a great spot to check. The price range is high for some things, but it’s not hard to find great items for under $20.  The shoe section is also to die for, and I highly recommend checking it out.  Since it’s consignment, you could make some extra money by donating gently used clothing.  



Bargain Thrift Center - 5261 Germantown Avenue (at Queen Lane), Philadelphia PA 19144  &  4530 Germantown Avenue (at Berkley Street), Philadelphia PA 19144

This store actually has two locations, the center and the warehouse.  I’ve never actually shopped here, but I’ve heard awesome things about it from classmates and it’s next on my list.  It’s so close to campus, so I had to include it.  The center, which is the first address above, has brand name houseware, books, apparel, and accessories.  The warehouse, which is the second address above has similar things for a $1 or less. 

IMAGE CREDIT: Bargain Thrift Center (Instagram)



Sophisticated Seconds - 2019 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103  &  2204 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146

This store has two locations as well.  Both stores offer high end, brand name items, but for a slightly lower price.  When I went, the people working there were very accommodating and helpful.  They have labels from Calvin Klein and Burberry to Prada and Tory Burch. I got the jumpsuit pictured above for $12 and my roommate got a Lilly Pulitzer tube top for under $10.



The Attic - 4335 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127

This is another one of my favorite places to go in Manayunk.  The Attic is consignment, and is probably more liberal about what they accept.  The Attic is so much fun and they have great promotions and sales on their already discounted merchandise.  Last spring, they had a bag sale, where you could fill up the bag with as many items as possible for $5.  I came away with three tops, two dresses, a pair of shorts and a belt.  You can also sign up for text alerts when they are having a sale, and they have a stamp card program with discount incentives. 



Philly AIDS Thrift - 710 S 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

In my opinion, this is the best place to go for bargains, and I think many would agree.  It has such a fun atmosphere with funky decorations and a deceptively huge location. It is truly an experience and it takes me at least two hours to explore every time I go because I don’t want to miss anything good.  They have apparel, shoes, movies, music, jewelry, and home goods; basically anything you could ever want.  I could furnish a whole apartment with the cool knick-knacks that fill that place.  And the best part is, the establishment is nonprofit and donates $20,000 a month to the AIDs fund in addition to offering free testing in-store.