The 5 Ws of thrifting


Amber Roldan

Daily, thrifters stumble upon hidden gems, such as this brand new NC when perusing the aisles of their favorite thrift stores. “Finding clothing for such low prices when thrifting is surreal and always keeps me on my toes,” sophomore Lorenzo Alarcon said.

Amber Roldan, Staff

For shoppers worldwide, thrifting provides customers with numerous fashion options, enables them to channel their unique fashion sense and challenges their comfort zones without forcing them to spend absurd amounts of money. Thrifting allows customers to replenish their closets affordably while staying ahead of the latest trends and reliving old ones all while befriending the environment. 

WHERE to thrift shop

Nationwide, thrift stores remained widely popular over the years. An attempt to drive within a 15-mile radius of NC without stumbling upon a thrift store would quickly prove futile. Unique thrift stores await your expedition just miles away from your home, school, or workplace. Plato’s Closet, Uptown Cheapskate, Goodwill, Park Avenue, and St. Vincent de Paul constitute the most prominent places to thrift in the area surrounding NC.

HOW to thrift shop

Thrifting may seem like a daunting task for first-time thrifters: perusing the aisles may appear tricky but practicing patience perfects one’s shopping experience.  However, it becomes easier with experience. Before thrifting, shoppers should keep a specific budget and shopping list in mind, as this minimizes stress, chaos, and saves time all at once. It’s essential to keep what you’re shopping for in mind and to stay open-minded. Always try on outfits, regardless of where they lie in your comfort zone. 

WHY should you thrift shop

Thrifting offers multiple benefits that remain unavailable at mainstream stores. For one, thrift stores sell similar clothes to those found at a local mall; the only difference between these clothes lies in their price tags. Thrift stores carry quality clothing for low, reduced prices; and unlike the newest shirt released in the spring line from American Eagle or Hollister, clothes found in thrift shops rarely clash or match with those of your peers. Thrift stores rarely carry two of the same products, for every shopping spree you embark on a one of a kind purchase awaits. A spunky, pink Led Zeppelin shirt found crammed in between a recreational league soccer jersey and an ugly Christmas sweater at Goodwill would prove practically impossible to find at Uptown Cheapskate or St. Vincent Depaul.

WHAT to shop for when thrifting?

Thrifters find numerous intriguing apparel, home decor, and electronic items enclosed within the four walls of a thrift store. Thrifting resembles scavenger hunts and contains abundant pleasant surprises and hidden gems. Thrifting takes time and effort, but if done correctly, shoppers can walk out of a thrift store saving money eager to show off the newest addition to their closet.

“I have a passion for thrift shopping and I primarily shop for clothing but, sometimes I end up walking out of a thrift store with furniture or decorations for my room,” sophomore Lorenzo Alarcon said.

WHO should you shop with

Thrifting becomes enjoyable with a multitude of people including family, friends, and significant others. The uplifting vibrant energy felt throughout thrift stores creates the perfect location for a first date or simply hanging out with friends. Thrift shopping also serves as a solitary activity, providing shoppers with stress relief and relaxation.

WHEN should you thrift shop

 Worldwide, thrifting success can occur 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Donors constantly donate new items that become distributed throughout thrift stores. Experienced thrifters recommend thrifting early in the morning so you become one of the first customers to view the newest inventory. Loyal thrifters quickly memorize inventory trends and schedules to assure shopping success. Thrifting remains an all-year affair. 

Thrift stores create not only an enjoyable shopping environments for those looking for clothes but also the perfect work environment. NC alumni Gina Nordmann spent numerous hours of her high school career thrift shopping and now works at Uptown Cheapskate. Nordmann loves her job and always looks forward to going to work.

“I love getting to have such a cool job, I work at a family-friendly environment where I get to see new clothing come in from different vendors daily,” Nordmann said. 

Nordmann finds that the majority of her closet from Uptown, she carefully peruses the aisles looking for items to add to her closet using her store credit.

Similar to snowflakes, no two thrift stores look the same. Each store contains new, exciting, and distinctive items waiting to find the perfect home. Thrifting creates a fun, affordable, environmentally safe approach to shopping that creates endless possibilities in one’s closet. No matter what thrift store you stumble upon a unique shopping spree awaits your arrival.