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Davis, California

Friday, October 22, 2021

Column: Thrift happily

Being a college student and decently clothing yourself is not always the easiest thing to accomplish. I don’t know about you guys, but all of my dollars are going towards tuition, rent and textbooks, not an awesome new leather jacket.

There are a couple different ways to approach this lack of money/need for clothes situation. You could call your parents and explain that you’ve spilled jungle juice on the majority of your clothes (not something I’d like to explain to my parents) and you need some cash for replacements. You could save every $5 check grandma throws your way until you have enough cash to plunder the clearance racks of The Gap. Or you could do some valuable research and locate your nearest thrift store!

Thrift stores are absolutely ideal for the college crowd, but unfortunately, some people don’t know how to utilize them, or are afraid to even venture inside. I assure you people, thrift stores are not just for hobos, elderly ladies and themed party outfits.

The idea that almost every item in the store was once rubbing against another person’s skin disgusts some people. Although this may be true, it is a stigma that must be dropped if one wants to become a successful thrift store shopper.

Overall, the benefits of thrift stores far outweigh the drawbacks. When you walk into a thrift store and face the clothing section, you are looking at decades of awesome fashion and crazy fads all condensed onto several convenient racks. Flipping through this diverse catalogue of clothes and picking out what you like is also a highly advantageous for developing your personal sense of style.

Have you been admiring the vintage-inspired clothes out currently in the stores? Well instead of spending $30 on some “eighties inspired” Urban Outfitters top, you can probably find a rad original for under five dollars. Flannels, a winter favorite for both boys and girls, are also found in abundance at thrift stores.

Absolutely the best thing about your new shirt from the thrift store is not even the price, it’s the fact that the kid next to you in 123 Science Lecture Hall will not be wearing the same one. The only time I saw clothes I recognized at a thrift store were ones I donated myself, so it’s a pretty safe bet that your new purchase is totally one of a kind. This individuality is refreshing, and will set you apart from the American Eagle and Abercrombie clones tromping around campus.

I will be honest; there are some hard truths about thrift stores. For one, it’s almost impossible to buy a pair of well-fitting, flattering jeans, unless you’re looking for acid wash. The right jeans are hard to find in regular stores, but at a thrift store, you can’t even try on the next size up. Men’s jeans have varied less in style and size over the years, so a successful purchase in that department is more plausible.

Another drawback is the fact that due to previous usage, some clothes may have rips or stains. Some stains are easily removed with one cycle through the wash. Some rips, especially if they are at a seam, are easily stitched up with the most basic sewing kit.

However, some stains are permanently set and some rips too large to easily fix, and that is when you have to accept that that item of clothing is just not meant to be in your life.

If you’re shopping at a thrift store for style and unconcerned about prices, then you might consider taking your wonderful, but slightly ill-fitting find to the tailor for a custom fit. Thrift stores also hold some hidden gems as far as designer labels go. No, not every other item will be vintage Chanel, but with perseverance and patience come rewards. These are more likely to be present in thrift stores located in high-income areas, so hit up the big bucks neighborhoods.

The city of Davis has a few thrifts. SPCA on Third Street past the train tracks and R&R Thrift on East Eight Street are my favorite haunts. Both of these stores are great, and if you have a car you can expand your horizons even further and head to Woodland for Thrift Outlet, which has 50 percent off all clothes every Saturday after 1 p.m. Sounds rad to me.

BRITTANY NELSON just bought a romper at a thrift store. Reach her with your thrift victories at blnelson@ucdavis.edu.

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