Thrift, discount stores provide savings

When shopping for new clothes, I have a constant struggle determining how much money I am willing to spend. After all, college is expensive, gas is expensive, and I prefer my clothes not to be. In the past few months, I have almost completely abandoned the mall so taken my shopping to better deals: thrift shops and discount stores.

Yes, there are plenty of misconceptions about these types of stores that drive people away. People say clothes from thrift stores are dirty and outdated. They say they cannot fathom wearing clothes that someone else has worn. But if you just wash the clothes before you wear them, there is no reason to fear far-fetched germs. If you search hard enough, you can find a stylish item, or maybe you will turn into a fashion pioneer and find an old trend to bring back.

Thrift stores can be hit-or-miss situations. But if you are willing to search through the many racks and piles, you may find a diamond in the rough. Thrift stores, such as America’s Thrift Store off Skyland Boulevard, carry a wide variety of clothes for men and women and are perfect for themed events and everyday wear.

If you know how to sew and you love to alter clothes to make them more original, a thrift store is your sanctuary. The clothes there are great to practice altering on, especially since they cost so much less. You can easily learn how to take an outdated top and make it trendy.

If thrift stores are not your thing, there are other options for discount clothing. If you enjoy popular brands and want up-to-date fashion for cheap, discount stores such as Ross and T.J. Maxx may be the perfect match for you. These stores can be much easier to navigate than thrift stores and have more recent fashions.

Another useful discount store is Plato’s Closet on McFarland Boulevard. I know we all have heard the many commercials for this store on the radio, but it really is great. It regularly updates its inventory with name brand items for each season. If you are like me and hate spending money on shoes, Plato’s is a great place to look. Also, for a little extra money, try selling your clothes there. Depending on the brand and condition, you can make anywhere from $30 to more than $100 just by giving away old clothes.

Buying your clothes from these stores not only cuts your spending in half but also allows you to think outside the box and get creative with your style. The only catch is that you have to have patience. No good deal comes without a little work.

So next time you need some new clothes, think outside the mall. Thrift and discount stores will give you a wide variety of original clothes for a better price than any department stores. Who says bargains can’t be stylish?


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