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Thrift Shop, Don’t Stop

 

With the song stuck in our heads and spring finally hitting Southern California in full force, it just makes sense to do a style blog piece on our new favorite trend, thrift shops! Macklemore gave us an earful of his catchy, penny-pinching tune, but now it’s time to tone down his fur-addled craziness and give the ever-feared thrift shop a wearable spin. The first look is “Spring Fun”:

I paired a satin pair of flowery, high-waisted H&M shorts with a large men’s chambray shirt I thrifted. Don’t be afraid to look in the men’s section or get sizes that seem too large or ill-fitted, they’re always good for potential DIYs or a nice little tie-job like I did here. It shows a little midriff, but not enough to make you uncomfortable if that’s not your usual, and it’s just a fun and playful everyday look.

 

The next is one I actually wore to class recently, so it’s my “Spring Collegiate”:

This one pairs a playful, chiffon skirt with a thrifted denim work shirt and a thrifted thick-knit beige cardigan. The skirt is flirty and plays around your legs as you walk from class to class, but the structured denim shirt gives the look stability, and the thick-knit cardigan softens it all up and keeps in time with a very classic color palette. Denim shirts came back into style about one to two years ago, and now you might have a hard time finding these in your local thrift shop, but grab ‘em while you can! The quality of usual thrift-shopped items is on-par, if not better, as compared to higher priced items in quality stores. My cardigan was originally for $120, but a year or so ago I found it for $20 at a high-end thrift shop, and haven’t stopped wearing it since, all year round!

 

With that being said, here I have “Spring Royalty”:

I found this Grecian-inspired black maxi dress at a Crossroads, a more publicized type of thrift store (i.e. Buffalo Exchange), where there is a variety of your favorite general brands like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters, along with more sophisticated names like Roberto Cavalli or Hérve Léger. This particular gem has been used by me for several different occasions, both nighttime and daytime alike. I paired it with the very same men’s chambray shirt from the first look, but now it’s a sort of cardigan-like addition. To be completely honest, not only are my thrifted pieces my favorite in my closet, I have found them to be the most versatile and wearable out of all the clothes I own.

 

Next is what I call “Spring Princess of Bel-Air”:

One of my absolute favorite shows was the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and along with that, Will Smith and his unique style. He brought a “fresh” zest of something widely accepted as fashionable and yet altogether his own, and that included a bit of a grungy, colorful nineties vibe. Our little hoodrat Taz was on an XL men’s shirt that I thrifted and cut into a muscle tank, then paired with high-waisted black denim shorts. If you want high-waisted denim shorts of any size, shape or color, thrift it. If they don’t have shorts, buy mom jeans and cut them. Thrifting lets you do this, giving you these great personal styling opportunities you really wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

 

Lastly, we have “Spring into Da Club”:

Personally, I actually wouldn’t wear this into the club, but I would however wear it to a dinner, a date, or any sort of night outing that isn’t terribly formal or exceptionally…sweaty. Again we exude classic nineties vibes, but that’s another thing about thrift shops: you find gems from a time lost, pieces no one else would have as opposed to your generic assembly-line clothes and shoes found at your local trendy hotspot. I have been sporting this thrifted flowery jacket for years now, and never have I found anything even remotely similar. Plus, I get a great rush of satisfaction when I see the fallen faces of biters after I tell them it’s thrifted and they realize they have to tuck their copycat tails between their legs and slink off.

I understand the fear behind thrifting: bed bugs, semen stains, foot fungus, etc. But many thrift stores know the worries keeping buyers at bay, and often they will take in donations and disinfect, wash and clean them so that they are ready for sale. Naturally, I always wash my finds before wearing them, but it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and if you don’t take some risks my friend, you’ll be missing out! So get your butt to your nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army, and come back with a banging new spring wardrobe, sans overdrawn bank account. You’re welcome.

 

Stephanie is a second year Political Science/Journalism double major at UCI. She usually doesn't know what she's doing, but she really likes art and people and places and stuff. And so she writes.
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