Hunting for discounts

April 5, 2013 | 11 a.m.

Students have become increasingly inclined to save money by shopping for clothes at thrift stores

Culture | Lexi Beasley

Hunting for discounts

Photo for The Clarion courtesy of Lexi Beasley.

Five years ago, the words “thrift store” may have conjured up images of last year’s Halloween costume or matronly turtlenecks embellished with shoulder pads and frills. However, within the last few years, thrift stores have gone from a place where our grandmothers find antiques to a portal for finding individualistic style at a cheap price.

Though some still may feel uncomfortable with the idea of “secondhand” clothes, the trend in thrifting has been ever increasing. And yet, to a select few, thrifting is not a trend in which they have jumped the bandwagon; it’s a lifelong hobby.

Katie Riesenweber, a junior at Bethel, has been going to thrift stores her whole life. In fact, she believes that 75 percent of her wardrobe is thrifted items. To her, thrifting is economical.

“It makes sense to invest a little portion of your money into things that aren’t going to last a long time – like clothes,” Riesenweber said.
Not only does it make sense for your wallet, it is also an incredibly fun experience if you know how to do it. “When you walk into a thrift store, it’s huge,” said Riesenweber. “You need to know what you’re looking for, otherwise you’ll feel so overwhelmed.”

One of Riesenweber’s strategies is setting a budget ahead of time. Doing this before you go can help you keep yourself in check when you see deal after deal. Also, Riesenweber recommends checking the price tag before you try anything on. Doing so before you “fall in love” with the item will make sure it’s in your budgeted amount.

Thrifting can also create another way to bond with friends. Looking through the stacks of sometimes hilarious clothes can be highly enjoyable and produce lots of laughs. “It’s not the same as going shopping at Target or at Macy’s or wherever,” Riesenweber said. “You have to work to find something that you want.” And when you do, “it’s more fun because you don’t have the same thing as everybody else.”

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