Pop Some Tags: 5 Reasons to Love Thrift Shops

Macklemore may have educated us on the awesomeness of thrift shops, but there’s really more to it. I’m not talking about your granddad’s clothes; I’m talking about scoring a Michael Kors blazer for $18, isn’t that worth it?

First, let me just mention a small technicality about the difference between thrift shops and consignment shops.

It all boils down to the fact that consignment shop owners handpick the items they want to sell and thrift shops, such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army, rely on donations. However, for the purpose of this article, I’m referring to both thrift and consignment shops. So, here are the reasons to love ‘em…

1. Price

Used clothing is of course cheaper than brand new clothing, but what’s amazing is exactly how inexpensive some of these clothes can be. While prices can certainly range depending on the shop itself expect to see many items under $20.

The prices are not only friendly on your college girl wallet, but they also allow you to experiment and explore. How many times have you walked into a store, fallen in love with a sweater, saw that it was $60, and then not been so in love? You start wondering, do I love this enough to spend $60? Maybe you even start convincing yourself that you don’t really like the color or that it may not go with the rest of your wardrobe. However, with thrift shop prices you can be more adventurous, you can take a chance on a piece or try a style or silhouette that you usually wouldn’t. At lower prices you don’t have to “commit” to the garment.

2. Quality

Most clothing in the shop has been either gently worn, never worn, or in some cases may even have the original tags on it. These clothes aren’t the flimsy wash-it-once type you may get at some cheaper stores in the mall like Forever 21.  The clothes accepted or donated are generally of higher quality. Clothing from brands such as Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Lily Pulitzer, L.L. Bean, Ann Taylor, J.Crew, and Calvin Klein can be found in surplus in these stores.

3) Timelessness

It’s true that some clothing in thrift shops has been out of style for so long it’s only good for Halloween costumes (Ugly Sweater party anyone?). However, don’t let this discourage you, there are also many timeless pieces as well. Basics like black dress pants, blazers and, button down shirts show up frequently throughout locations. Maybe you’ll need to hem the pants or take out the shoulder pads (blame the 80s), but vintage is totally always in anyway. These timeless pieces can help you build up a wardrobe for internships, job interviews and, actual class that will give your look a unique and timeless spin.

4) Originality

Thrift shops are perfect for finding unique and eclectic pieces. Due to the nature of the selection each garment becomes a one of kind work of art rather than a mass produced product. Though the clothes may not be what is currently trending, that doesn’t make them any less of a fashion statement.

Vintage pieces, interesting patterns, varying silhouettes and, fun colors can be mixed and matched to create unique styles and looks. Aztec skirts, adorkable sweaters, lacey tops, plaid pants and, floral scarves all become statement pieces that push your outfits to the next level. All of my Pretty Little Liars fans out there please think of Aria Montgomery and the way she experiments with style. 

5) Jewelry, Bags, and Yes… Shoes

While not every shop has all of the above sections the ones that do are worth a look. First, there are literal gems hidden in thrift shops…wooden zebra necklaces, chunky gold chains, silver cameos, charm bracelets and, flower earrings are waiting to find their rightful owners.

Second, bags are always useful. Want a cheap bag you can tote to concerts or parties? Check. Have an obsession with Vera Bradley? Check. It doesn’t go with anything, but it’s just so amazing and, only $6? Check.

Third, you can pass on the moccasins someone else has been walking in, but what about the cowboy boots with the perfectly worn look? Or the studded flats that are so perfect for going out? Or that pair of strappy heels that match the dress you had to buy for your cousins wedding? You can have them all. Why choose?

I’m not saying it doesn’t take effort. Some days you’ll score and others you’ll come back empty handed, but it’s all part of the thrill of the hunt, and that may be the ultimate reason to love thrift shops. So go out and conquer!


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