Thrifting for style
Katie Rogers might be found once a month at The Pile Sale in Long Beach where everything is under $5.
“It’s really dirty, dusty and wonderful,” said Rogers, a junior creative writing major. “I just climb up on the pile and accept that there are bugs and dust everywhere, but you find the best things for the best prices.”
Chapman students looking for unique style, low prices and a shopping adventure are going to secondhand and vintage stores that don’t take them too far from campus.
“I started when I was younger because I didn’t have a lot of money and then it became a fun thing and then it became an addiction,” Rogers said. “Now I’m proud of the unique things I find.”
Rogers also shops at The Plastic Closet in Huntington Beach, Buffalo Exchange and Salvation Army near Chapman.
Katie Dorn, a junior communication studies major, also shops at Salvation Army and Buffalo Exchange, along with Goodwill and “Retro Row” in Long Beach.
“Everything is one of a kind and unique. And in a cool creepy way it has a history behind it,” Dorn said. “Plus when you have to dig for it, it’s more rewarding. Thrifting has become a hobby.”
Dorn said people would never guess that her clothes are from thrift stores.
“They always compliment me and ask where I got my clothes. They are surprised when I tell them Salvation Army,” Dorn said.
A pair of Dr. Martens boots for $18 instead of the $120 retail price are one of her proudest purchases, Dorn said. She also said she can’t live without her grandpa sweaters for $1.99 from Salvation Army.
“Fashions change so quickly, so I get to shop a lot more when it’s cheap,” Dorn said. “I will look for quality in brands, but I don’t like labels. It’s not about the name on the tag.”
David Ko, a sophomore public relations and advertising major, said that the label is what matters. He shops at J.Crew, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, as well as Salvation Army and Goodwill.
“I’m a brand-name kind of guy. I don’t say that to sound pretentious or stuck up, that is just the way I have grown up. To always appreciate the finer things,” Ko said. “I think you can definitely find some awesome things at thrift stores since all fashion trends and styles are recycled, but I would prefer something new and my own.”
Rogers said she appreciates both sides of the fashion spectrum.
“I mix it up. Cheap clothes, but an expensive lipstick. It’s important to have both realms,” Rogers said. “Progress in fashion is important so we can’t only have thrift stores. But, some consumers have gone crazy. It’s ridiculous to buy a piece of crap shirt for $10 at Forever 21 that cost a cent to make.”
Elizabeth Berrigan, a junior double major in biochemistry and physics, appreciates expensive clothes, but also loves the bargains.
“Thrift stores can be about recycling styles or providing a necessity for people who depend on it,” Berrigan said. “For me it’s a preference and a necessity because I wouldn’t have the amount of clothes, styles and unique outfits without shopping at thrift stores.”
Not only are students buying clothes for low prices at second-hand stores, but they are also donating and selling back their clothes to the same stores.
“I sell back whatever I can to Buffalo Exchange and then I donate the rest,” Dorn said. “It’s a waste to throw clothes away when people need affordable clothes.”
Berrigan said new clothes have become more available to people lately for reasonable prices.
“I can find really good stuff at Target that is pretty inexpensive,” Berrigan said. “But thrift stores hold the challenge to find cheaper, good clothes with a diverse range in one store.”