By Alisha Ashford
Shopping at thrift stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army is no new thing. Second-hand shopping has been an incredible and helpful way for people to buy without breaking the bank for quite a while. But “thrifting” among young people is no longer just a way to stay within a budget. Instead, for many people, it is the cool way to find unique and vintage-looking clothing without breaking the bank.
It’s pretty common to see the 70s, 80s, and 90s clothing styles work their way into modern-day fashion. I am not sure what it is about vintage styles that are so intriguing to younger generations like my own. We see it in more than just clothing; Polaroid cameras, vinyl, and even typewriters are only a few of the outdated objects that have become relevant again—Even I have each of those things in my own home. It appears as though we feel nostalgia for a time in which we didn’t even exist or at least don’t remember, which compels us to replicate certain things for our own time… one of those things being the fashion.
Stores like Urban Outfitters sell clothing that imitates these decades, but it’s far more inexpensive to purchase these styles at thrift stores. In the Orlando area, one of the trendiest thrift stores is one in Winter Park called Avalon Exchange. At Avalon Exchange, they buy, sell, and trade clothing, shoes, and accessories. You can find anything here from an old Nirvana t-shirt to a designer Louis Vuitton wallet. I often come here with my friends to find clothing that is in style yet isn’t something that everyone already has.
I think that is the reason that many people are drawn to thrifted clothing as opposed to only shopping at mainstream stores you see in the mall. Originality is something that I have noticed many people my age striving for. There’s no simpler way to show other’s that you’re unique than to dress the part, right?
Some people prefer to shop at vintage resale shops like Dechos, where you can find more upscale vintage clothing including brands like Chanel and Gucci. Places like this are less for the folks trying to find stylish clothing for low prices, and more for people who like vintage name brand and designer clothing. This place can certainly help towards originality, but not solely to save money.
Now, the thrifting fad doesn’t only include doing so in these somewhat under-the-radar shops. Large chain thrift stores like Goodwill are also commonly a part of this trend; it just takes more sifting through large racks of randomness to find what you came for. I remember hearing Miley Cyrus talk about how she likes to shop at Goodwill. Then, in 2012 Macklemore came out with his song Thrift Shop—which I think everyone is glad is no longer stuck in our heads. I think it was around that time that more people started to become open to seeing thrift stores as a place to discover unique items. It’s comforting to know that some people who have no other option don’t have to feel embarrassed about where they shop—I think all young people like to save money and we are less afraid admit that.
It brings me joy to see that in a sense, we have become just a little less materialistic in the way that we dress. It’s not as much about the amount of that money was spent on an outfit, it’s more about individuality and self-expression.
Alisha Ashford is a graduate of Lake Mary High School that spent a year in Spain through a student exchange program. She is currently a journalism major at Seminole State College.
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