Thrift Shopping: Creative Dressing at Low Prices

Rosa Stern Pait

At a thrift store, senior Sophie Singer-Santoro found brand new Nike sneakers with the tags still on them for $5. At a different store, junior Diyana Tekleghiorghis found a vest with a caterpillar on it. Senior Jordan Fried and his friends found a set of matching 80th anniversary hats someone had ordered and then given away.

Thrift stores such as Savers, Goodwill, Urban Renewals and Garment District allow high school students to experiment with unique fashion while saving money.

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The jean jacket that senior Eema Karim is from the thrift store. Karim said she began thrifting with her sister in freshman year. “My sister likes making costumes, but fabric’s expensive, so me and her would go to Savers and find pieces of costume for her,” Karim said.

Because it is secondhand, thrifted clothing tends to be very cheap. Senior Eema Karim has bought clothes for $3 with a student discount. Fried once found a pair of running sneakers for under $10. The cheapest thing Tekleghiorghis has ever found was a t-shirt for 49 cents.

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Junior Diyana Tekleghiorghis wears an outfit entirely composed of thrifted pieces. Rosa Stern Pait / Sagamore Staff

Tekleghiorghis said that she started thrifting around when she was in kindergarten when her family was having financial problems. Her mother would take her to thrift stores to get her necessities and she loved buying secondhand toys. When her family was more financially stable, Tekleghiorghis began to thrift shop for fun, which she said her mother didn’t understand.

“We were financially stable, but I still loved going,” Tekleghiorghis said, “And my mom would be like, ‘No, that was just the bad times for us, you don’t need to go anymore,’ and I would be like, ‘No, this is fun, I enjoy this.’”

Tekleghiorghis said she enjoys buying and wearing clothes that no one else around her will have. She said that sometimes when people ask her where she got a particular piece and she tells them it was thrifted, they’ll ask her which store she got it from.

“You’re not going to find it!” she said, laughing.

Tekleghiorghis recommends starting out with simpler pieces of clothing.

“Go get things that aren’t too out of your reach that you’ll feel comfortable wearing, and then after that come back again,” Tekleghiorghis said.

According to Tekleghiorghis, people shouldn’t be judgmental of those who thrift shop because sometimes secondhand clothes are what they can afford. Tekleghiorghis said that she went thrift shopping with a friend who complained of the smell. She said that people should think about their surroundings and take the good with the bad.

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Both the orange sweater and black boots that Singer-Santoro is wearing were thrifted from Savers. Rosa Stern Pait / Sagamore Staff

“If you want to be here, you have to take everything in,” Tekleghiorghis said.

Singer-Santoro said that she never knows where she will find clothes she likes, and suggests exploring.

“Look everywhere in the store. Don’t just look in one section. Even in the kids’ section, there are a lot of huge sizes that will fit a lot of people,” she said.

Fried said that people might be surprised by how much they like things they find at thrift stores.

“Look around,” Fried said. “There’s a lot of stuff to look at. Every time you go, there’ll be something new.”