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Behind Emma’s Glasses: Pay Close to Nothing and Look Like A Million Bucks

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rider chapter.
There is nothing more satisfying than having someone say, “I love your outfit!” and think to yourself, “I paid 10 bucks for the whole thing!”
It is true, I am a thrifting master. I thrift probably 90% of what I own and wear. I have given up on malls and paying full price for anything.
There are some guidelines that you should keep in mind when you enter a thrift store.
  1. Have a general idea of what kind of things you are looking for/that you like– It can be very overwhelming to enter a building that is stacked to the ceiling with items.
  2. Don’t pay much attention to the sizes on the labels- sizes change with the culture. Women were considered “normal” to actually have a waist and hips in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s {unlike today… but that is another story!}. The sizes do not coincide with what you will find in a clothing store, if you like it try it on! On the other hand, if I thrift a skirt that is to the ground but I am in love and know I will wear it A LOT, I will spend the money to get it hemmed.
  3. For the love of god—wash whatever you buy. To be honest, if it says dry clean only, I don’t spend $10 to dry clean something I bought for $3, I throw it in the wash even though you are not suppose to. Clean shoes with an antibacterial gel wipe-down or scrub with soap and water.
Some of my favorite shopping spots:

Rescue Mission of Trenton {98 Carroll Street, Trenton, NJ}– By far the best thrift store in this state. You never know what you are going to find. Everything that they sell (cheapest thrift store around) has been donated and the money made gets funneled back into the Rescue Mission to help fund their other amazing services for the Trenton community. They also have furniture at amazing prices! I can go in this store and spend a whole $10 and get two blazers, three skirts, four blouses, and a pair of shoes—while still scoring a sweet end table for my apartment.  Definitely worth checking out. I will (and have) traveled from far away to visit my favorite store!
Red, White, Blue {Rt. 33 Nottingham Way, Mercerville, NJ}- I have only been here once or twice, it is large, packed with merchandise, and most of the time really busy with people. Not as cheap as it probably should be.
Salvation Army {436 Mulberry St., Trenton, NJ or 103 Enterprise Avenue, Ewing, NJ}– Average priced, many around, has some good stuff.
GoodWill {one just closed close to Rider, but there is one 594 Rt 206 Trenton, NJ} – I just shopped at a GoodWill in my hometown this weekend and got seriously 20 items total (I really got 5, my mom got the rest) and spent only $40 for two huge bags of amazing clothing! For example- I got a Ralph Lauren button up in brand new condition- $3! At this point you should be saying… whatttttttttt?! Look for signs that tell you what colored tags are 50% off that day in the front of the store and use a student ID for a discount of an additional 15% off everything else!
Green Street Consignment- Consignment stores are notoriously more expensive than thrift stores—keep that in mind. This store is more on the expensive end with more high end labels in Princeton (honestly not really worth it- who wants to pay $20-$30 for a previously warn shirt?! Not me). But I have scored amazing brown leather cowboy boots for a whole $9!

 Udelco {Udelco 210 6th Ave, Hawthorne, NJ}– Kind of far away, but definitely worth the trip. This is a warehouse with boxes piled to the ceiling of clothing, shoes, purses, and accessories. Seriously amazing—plan to spend a few hours looking–the sheer amount of merchandise {see picture}!
Of course there are many other thrift stores around. At another store in my hometown, I thrifted a sick pair of Michael Kors nude cork wedges for $5! See—you never know what you are going to find!
That is the thrill of thrifting, even if I had a million bucks, I would still thrift. It is recycling at its best & most of the time shopping for a good cause.
Bottom line: why pay a million bucks when you can look like a million bucks for close to nothing? No one has to know you thrifted your stylish new outfit—unless you want them to!
See more of my thrifting finds at my personal fashion blog: behindtheleopardglasses.blogspot.com
Are you a thrifter? If you are, what are your favorite stores? If not, is there a reason why you don’t? 

A New Jersey native, Amber S. Brown is an ambitious communication/journalism student who aspires to have a career in the magazine world. Amber is a well-rounded and committed student who has repeatedly earned herself a spot on the Dean’s list at her university. Her thirst and energy for writing, style, and fitness keeps her one step ahead of everyone else. Driven to bring something fresh and new to the magazine industry, Amber continues to be focused, motivated, and has an unbreakable “anything’s possible” attitude.