The 3 Benefits of Thrifting and Consigning

While you’re young, take advantage of your ability to slip into vintage without looking dated. From the neighborhood Goodwill to a hip Buffalo Exchange or swanky designer shop, thrift stores and consignment boutiques are where all the cool kids shop today. Pre-owned pieces are seriously beneficial in the sense that they are unique, eco-friendly, and high quality. Let me explain.

1—Unique. It’s a thrill to dig and find that rare piece of treasure! Thrifted or consigned apparel are sometimes historical and always one-of-a-kind; they are definitely unavailable at your local Forever 21, Zara, or H&M. Legendary costume designer, Patricia Field, admittedly prefers putting actors in used clothing. This way, film audiences are more focused on the plot rather than identifying which trendy retail stores the characters’ ensembles come from.

2—Eco-Friendly. Did you know that the textile industry is one of the largest polluters in the world? Cotton growth consumes a substantial amount of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, and textile treatment or dyeing contributes to 20 percent of fresh water pollution. If you care about the earth, you should consider buying secondhand. Clothes should be recycled because quite frankly, fashion trends follow a rotation. Contemporary styles frequently mimic looks from previous times. Thus, it is judicious to rock recycled, revamped, original, and most likely cheaper versions of the current craze.

3—Quality. Back in the day, mass-production did not exist. Moreover, products composed of fine construction and were created with exceptional handwork. Fabric was made with 100 percent natural fibers, rather than with synthetic fibers (polyester, rayon, viscose, etc.), which results in a rich and breathable feel. Detailing was hand sewn, stitched, embroidered, or beaded, for a delicate appearance. Beads were made of pure glass, rather than plastic, thus they glimmer under lights and clink with movement. Since pieces from the past are without a doubt luxurious, Fashionistas commonly tailor vintage to cater to their tastes and fit them like a glove.

Shopping gently-used attire can be a serendipitous and experimental experience. If you decide to wander into a thrift or consignment shop sometime, remember to wear a simple outfit that is easy for try on. Skim the entire store, keep an open mind (don’t look for specific items), and don’t let sizes constrict you to certain areas (different decades rely on different scales). With practice, patience, as well as an eye for design, you will soon begin to understand Macklemore’s enthusiasm for thrifting!

Have you ever thrifted or consigned?  What kind of gems did you find? Let us know in the comments below!

Fashion and Beauty Culture Shocks From Taiwan

Despite my Taiwanese ethnicity, some would say that I’ve been “white washed.” I was born in America and have lived in areas with low Asian populations my entire life. This past month, however, I had the pleasure of flying to the great motherland of Taiwan to see family and adventure to attraction sites. During my stay, I discovered five fashion and beauty “culture shocks” that I’d like to share!


Ever since Coco Chanel’s accidental sunburn from her Riviera trip, tanning has been all the rage in western civilization. Yet in Taiwan, society finds beauty in pale skin. This perspective stems from ancient dynastic times when fair skin resembled wealth, nobility, and feminine beauty. Thus, people in Taiwan, especially women, will go to great lengths to avoid evidence of sun on their skin by applying skin whitening formulas and carrying umbrellas on sunny days to shade from UV rays.

2—Hair Texture

With the humid and sweltering weather, it is impossible to maintain frizzy hair. The solution to this issue is perms! Perms are basically a necessity because they allow men and women to attain smooth or curly hairstyles without much fuss throughout the day.


Since the workload for high schools is more rigorous and demanding than for colleges, public schools require students to wear uniforms from elementary to high school years. The main purpose is to create unity to reduce distractions. Additionally, for scholarly reasons, students typically do not cater to their appearances with cosmetics, hair products, fragrances, etc. until they begin college.

4—Dress Code

Although both Americans and the Taiwanese will wear black to a funeral, they definitely have conflicting dress code beliefs. Americans dress to the nines to exhibit respect for the dead, as the service is an honoring event. In contrast, the Taiwanese pay tribute by dressing sloppily to show distress from the dead’s passing. Moreover, it is inappropriate to attend in Taiwan a funeral in a lace dress, fancy veil, sleek tuxedo, or pair of pointy pumps.


The weather in Taiwan is cooler and more bearable in the evenings. Therefore, it is common for streets to be bustling even at midnight, and night markets are quite popular! Night markets are streets filled with boutiques, restaurants, and vendors that open for business once the sun goes down. Many teens buy clothing from these hotspots, as pieces are more affordable from night markets than from malls. Fashion from night markets is extremely trendy (you can easily find identical items in multiple shops) and generally imitates Korean or Japanese styles.

I oftentimes forget that an abundance of civilians on earth lives by completely different rules than I do. My vacation to Taiwan, the country of bubble tea and designer Jason Wu, reopened my eyes, exceeded my expectations, and brought me closer to my native culture. I highly suggest taking a trip to Taiwan sometime in the future, and if you do visit, save your receipts because they double as lottery tickets!

Which fun fact did you find most amusing? Let us know in the comments below!

Cheap and Easy DIYs to Revamp Your Wardrobe

We can all agree that summertime is the best. But as days pass by and friends begin to leave town, it’s easy to find yourself literally dying from boredom. There are only so many episodes of Gossip Girl on Netflix, so many romance novels to check out from the library, and so many malls to stroll through before life becomes utterly monotonous and dull.

Have no fear, I have the perfect solution for this crisis! DIY projects are cheap and easy ways to pass time, get the creative juices flowing, and revamp one’s wardrobe with trendy yet unique pieces for back-to-school. Here are five DIYs for you to try out on slow summer days:

One of my favorite methods to spice up a piece is by sewing or ironing on patches. By adding a simple patch to the upper corner of a top or choosing a few of your favorite patches to attack a pair of jeans, you can completely transform the vibe of your old and boring apparel!

If you love to get crafty, you will have a blast with embroidery. Trust me, it’s not as hard as it looks! Step one: select a design. Step two: use a pencil to sketch your chosen design onto the attire of your choice. Step three: thread your needle and begin stitching along your sketch. Embroidery is an innovative technique to personalize an article of clothing or even a pair of sneakers.

Another classic way to change up clothing is cutting up garments! Chop your mom’s vintage 501s into a pair of flirty shorts, perfect for the hot weather. Add interest to a band T-shirt by incorporating the cold shoulder or keyhole effect. Revamp an old flannel by cutting off the sleeves to create a light vest for cool summer nights. Never underestimate the wonders one can generate with a pair of scissors!

If you have time, try experimenting with dyes and bleach. Turn a pair of faded jeans into essential black bottoms, “grunge” up denim by dip-dying or splattering with bleach, and enhance a plain top by integrating color gradation or tie dye designs.

Finally, you probably know that the lace-up look is everywhere nowadays. But did you know that you can easily hop on this trend without breaking the bank? All you need is a pack of grommets, a snap fastener plier from your local craft store, as well as ribbon or shoe string!

Comment to let us know which DIY was your favorite! Also, post pictures of your finished results on Instagram and tag us at @Cfashionista!