Thrifting to afford fashionable clothing

College students have many expenses to worry about as they find themselves paying for tuition, books, rents and other miscellaneous expenses, often moving clothing down the list of priorities.

With so many stores in the Santa Monica community, varying in style and price, students have a wide variety of options to shop. While many might prefer department stores or high-end boutiques, shopping at local thrift stores, like Wasteland and Crossroads Trading Company can end up being the more cost-effective option.

In most thrift stores, like Crossroads, customers can buy, sell, trade and consign used clothing. To receive cash for clothing, the customer takes his or her clothes into the store and a buyer decides what pieces of clothing they would be able to sell.

"Students can remain fashionable, fresh and stylish while getting quality items," says Lia Finkelstein, district manager for Crossroads.

In order to sell your clothing, you must be 18 years of age or older. The store accepts clothing that is current and contemporary.

The clothes purchased for resale is based on the current season. The customer receives 35 or 50 percent cash if they choose store credit.

For higher-end pieces there is consignment, meaning the client receives his or her money after the item is sold. Some students might see an appeal to buying high end items from thrift stores because the stores usually carry pieces that are out of season, or no longer sold in other stores.

The clothing items are much more affordable than they would be if purchased at the retail price since they have been gently used and can sometimes be out of season.

Santa Monica College sophomore Omari Joseph, 19, says he enjoys thrift shopping.

"I love finding good vintage things because to me, they tell a story about what time they were worn and how fashion can quickly change, but some things still remain relevant," Joseph says.

Joseph typically shops at thrift stores for shirts, pants, jewelry and vintage sunglasses, he says.

"Crossroads and Wasteland are great, but Wasteland can be a little more expensive," Joseph says.

Student Tracey Castillo, 20, says thrift shopping not only saves money, but clothing and accessories that you can find are often name-brand and still in good condition.

"You could buy something for $5 or $10 and in reality, it could have so much more value to it," says Castillo. "Especially when you need something for a one-time occasion. Nobody wants to spend too much money on something you'll only wear once or twice."

Whether on a budget or for the love of vintage pieces, some students have grown fond of thrift shopping. For the thrill of finding rare pieces or affordable prices, a student on a budget can find a thrift store a resourceful place to shop.

Lorena GarciaComment