A Welcome to the Fashion Column + an Introduction to the Art of Thrifting


Lydia Jacoby, Fashionista

Welcome to my new fashion column! I’ll be updating it regularly throughout this school year, so keep checking in for clothing-related content—fashion tips, introductions to different styles, shopping suggestions, and to start off, a short intro to the art of thrifting (complete with photos and insight into real shops around the country).

So, to begin, it’s important to understand that there are several types of thrifting. When you picture thrifting, what do you think of? Racks upon racks of unsorted, slightly odd-smelling garments? Or maybe carefully organized and curated designer items set out in a boutique-like shop? Well, believe it or not, each of these, and anything in between, can be considered a type of thrifting.

In the dictionary, the word thrift is a noun that describes the quality of using money and resources carefully and without waste. So, when thrifting first started, it was all about shopping cheaply from places where you can find clothes without spending money wastefully. Overtime that’s developed. As thrifting became more popular, people started stepping in as middle-men between the thrift stores and the buyers. Small businesses began popping up calling themselves consignment stores, exchange stores, or trade boutiques. Basically, the people who own these middle-man stores buy all the nice, high quality, or designer items—anything of “worth”—from traditional thrift stores and resell them for higher prices in their own fancy boutiques.

So, now that you have a feel for what thrifting is, and where it came from, I’ll talk you through a few of the many benefits of thrifting!

  • You can find unique and interesting clothing no one else is wearing.
  • It’s often more affordable than shopping at regular stores.
  • It’s eco-friendly (rather than getting thrown away, that clothing is getting reused!)
  • Many thrift stores are locally owned, and those that aren’t often put money into good causes, so usually your money is going towards something good.
  • Even if you don’t find anything you like the first time around, next time you go there will be an entirely new selection of clothing!

Thrift stores can be found all around the world. Whenever I travel, one of my favorite things to do is to go thrifting. Below you will find images and comments on some of my favorite thrift stores I’ve visited!

  • There is absolutely no doubt that Seattle is one of the top thrifting destinations. The city is full of interesting people doing many different things, which means that there is a wide variety of discarded clothing. Some of my favorite thrift stores in Seattle are Buffalo Exchange and Crossroad Trading, which are both actually national chains.

  • Recently discovered, and super fun, is Pavement which is a chain of thrift stores in Austin, Texas. It’s a really great place to shop because of the awesome atmosphere. The dressing rooms are also 10/10 and the clothing selection is fantastic!
  • Even if you aren’t specifically looking forward to the great thrifting in any given place, there are still lots of good, hidden gems all over the world. In Knoxville, Tennessee and Raleigh, North Carolina, for example, there are lots of fun places hidden in strip malls or tucked into small corners of downtown. (If you type “thrift stores” into your maps app, there are always a few that pop up!)
  • Lastly, we can’t forget our own local thrift store, Ukanuzit! It’s a great place not only to find clothes, but to look for anything you may need. You’ll never see the same thing in there twice; even if you don’t find anything you need the first time, you never know what might be there when you go back.