Thrifting 101

Every time I decide I need a new outfit – whether it’s for going out Friday night, a job interview or just another day in the classroom – I find myself driving to Lenox. In the back of my mind, I know that whatever I find will be entirely too expensive, but, of course, I put the car in drive and go anyway.

After dragging my feet around the over-priced shopping mall, shedding a tear over the perfect $250 sweater at Anthropologie and finally settling for an $8 Bacon Turkey Bravo at Panera instead, I leave empty-handed and, honestly, a little sad.

Living in a big city like Atlanta puts us students in a tough situation. Everything from food to entertainment to clothing is significantly more expensive than in other college towns, such as Athens or Milledgeville… But it’s not all bad when it comes to style. There are silver linings to the dark, money-sucking clouds that we know as cute boutiques and ritzy department stores.

Said silver linings double as the newest fads for both well-heeled and penny-pinching students alike: thrifting.

“Where did you get those shorts?”

“Oh, I went to a secondhand store last week.”

“I love that coffee table.”

“Thanks, I snagged it at Goodwill!”

Spending under twenty dollars for a great-fitting pair of pants? For designer labels? It’s possible, even easy–especially in Atlanta.


I’ve found Free People shirts for less than $15 at Buffalo Exchange on Ponce de Leon Avenue, high-rise shorts from the 70s at Clothing Warehouse in Little Five Points and many-a-J. Crew-blazer at Goodwill.

The trick is to sift through everything. When nothing looks good on the first rack, keep flipping on to the second. Pull over at any and every consignment or thrift store you see while driving and think creatively. Ask yourself questions such as “Would I wear this?” and “What else would this go with that I already own?”

Every fashionista­–college student or millionaire­–deserves a versatile closet. Thanks to thrifting, a desirable wardrobe on a budget is attainable and easily accessible all throughout our city.