One man’s trash is another’s thrifted treasure


Picture yourself in a land of colour-coordinated wonder, but the rainbow is one you can touch. When you do, it’s not Skittles, (like the ads might suggest), but a variety of textures, from soft cotton, to harsh wool. No, you’re not in a fantasy -you’re at the thrift shop.

Some of the great T-Shirts selections at Talize.

Some of the great T-Shirts selections at Talize.

Aisles of woolly Cosby sweaters (can we still call them that?), just a few feet away from authentic mom jeans.

Shoes born in several decades past.

A seemingly endless array of accessories perfectly sorted by colour to feed any accessory lover’s craving.

The start of another fall season brings the need for a new wardrobe.

Unfortunately for students, fall season also means the start of a new semester, and with it comes a hefty price tag for both tuition and textbooks.

So how does one upgrade into fall affordably?

Thrift stores.

Thrift stores are orphanages of piles of threads, from designer to vintage, mall brands to the brands you’ve never heard of. Something is sure to be begging you to take it home.

Whether you’re a thrifting novice or a self-proclaimed expert, hitting up one of the many thrift stores around ensures you can get the best bang for your buck.

Shopping at thrift stores is a great way to find what you need to look great and make sure you’ll be one-of-kind with your unique finds.

Let’s face it. No one wants to be that person staring down someone wearing the exact same thing.

Javier Zuniga, 26 doesn’t recall the first time he experienced a thrift store. Since he’s been old enough to buy his own clothes, thrift stores have been a staple in his shopping.

Whenever he wants an item in trend right now, Zuniga first looks to the second hand stores.

His methodology, not flawed. A few seasons ago after seeing them in stores, Zuniga was able to find a varsity letterman jacket, which he frequently uses, claiming it as his ultimate favourite thrift store item.

Zuniga’s notion of finding today’s trends in yesteryear’s throwaways is basically what the fashion industry is based on. All fashion (be it good, mediocre, awful) takes inspiration from the past. What goes around, comes around…but hopefully in much more comfortable material.

“Other than finding sweet stuff for really good prices, my biggest tip for thrifting is to go with friends. If you take a really good buddy, you can easily spend a whole afternoon there. Sometimes you’ll be able to find better things for each other and sometimes it’s fun just to try on really strange clothes that nobody would wear and laugh at each other.

Even though some items might seem a bit unappealing, Zuniga believes that with the right attitude, it can work.

“Style is about confidence. You can wear a used pair of shorts from 20 years ago and still rock it with confidence. This past summer scored these nylon retro Adidas gym shorts, kind of obnoxious, but definitely worth it.”

Great looks that won't break your bank.

Great looks that won’t break your bank.

For those looking to spend as little cash as possible, the best spot to hit up is Goodwill.

Goodwill is by far the cheapest of all the thrift stores, but what they make up for in bottom dollar pricing they lose in clutter. Goodwill stores will require a fair amount of time to weed through, but it can definitely be worth it.

Next on the cost scale, Salvation Amy, decent prices, and beautifully arranged by colour, but still very compressed in terms of space.

If less chaos and more open space is your preference then Value Village or Talize would be your cup of tea.

Both are well organized and super easy to navigate, displayed to almost make the customer feel like they’re in a store selling new goods.

The convenience of being well-merchandised means you can spend little time here, and still find some great items.

The downside of these bigger stores, and their organizational skills is they tend to bear a higher price tag then either Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Talize (located less than 10 minutes away from Davis campus) offers students 10 per cent off, everyday with student ID.

Often, all of the above mentioned stores feature great sales promotions, but they vary from store to store on the specifics of dates and details.

Your best bet is to check up with your local store.

Check out a detailed map of some of the aforementioned places here.

Former Sheridan student Erin Kitchen, 23 was initially reluctant to wear thrift store clothes.

“I had a friend, who was always bragging about the stuff he’d find from Value Village, but I thought it was gross.”

After being dragged in and out of thrift stores over the years by friends of hers, Kitchen became more opened to the wonderful things she could find in thrift stores.

“I still feel kind of grossed out, but I suppose that’s why washing machines were invented.”

Sure, spotting whether or not the “designer” goods are legit may take more than a novice, the price on that Yves Saint Laurent tweed jacket might be too good to pass up.

YSL (even if it’s faux) for eight dollars, “Y” not?