5 Thrifting Tips for Every Student on a Budget

Thrifting is the perfect way to shop for students who are on a budget. If you love the idea of thrifting but aren’t sure how to do it successfully, you are not alone. Learn how you can get the most out of your thrifting trips and money with some of these helpful tips. I always keep these things in mind when I am shopping.

1—Go thrifting with an open mind

After years of thrifting, I have found that entering the store without expectations will yield the best results. Have fun and embrace the eclectic collection of clothes, shoes, and accessories waiting to be found. Thrift stores tend to have merchandise that changes quite often, so you never know what you might find on any given day.

2—Deals are everywhere

Beyond offering already deeply discounted merchandise, many thrift shops will have a special deal for each day of the week. Keep an eye out for these! Try to go on student discount days or attend early bird specials to save even more. Others may have colored tags that correlate to markdowns and rotate by day.

3—Thrifty is trendy

Thrift stores house many hidden gems. A second-hand, silk, lingerie top could actually become a staple in your wardrobe. Some current trends that I have found at my local thrift stores include embroidered tops, velvet tanks, mom jeans, and more! At this point, I would say the majority of my closet is thrifted. So, it is definitely possible to accumulate classic pieces over time!

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

4—Embrace all sizes and labels

Clothing sizes are not universal, so the thrift store is no different. But, this is actually positive news! A top that you would typically not consider because it may be too big, could turn out to be an adorable oversize shirt with endless styling possibilities. It is also helpful if you don’t focus on labels when thrifting. Sometimes you can find high-end clothes. Other trips, you may not spot any, but don’t let that keep you from exploring new (and old) brands that you may not have heard of before.


Shopping second-hand is great for the environment. Since the retail industry has been largely wasteful with the rise of fast fashion, thrifting is a great way to make a positive impact on the fashion industry and environment. You can take it a step further and try donating your own used clothes. Each time I go thrifting, I try to donate the same number of items that I purchased. It is a nice rule to make for yourself that will keep your closet decluttered and make a difference in the world. Imagining others up-cycling your own pieces is so exciting and inspiring, too!

Hopefully, you are able to take these tips to your nearest thrift store and discover unique new pieces for your wardrobe. Tag @Cfashionista on social media so we can see your thrifted purchases! Don’t forget to comment below your favorite part of thrifting as well!

Additional photos by Lex Kelly and Maddy Haller.

5 Thrifting Tips for the Fashion Girl on a Budget

I’ve always loved going to Goodwill and searching through racks upon racks of clothes to find the hidden gems. I bet you would never believe that I bought this velvet dress or this eccentric white clutch from Goodwill! Many people simply do not see the potential that lies in secondhand clothing from thrift stores or even the clothing they already own. So here are five tips to remember when thrift shopping to help you score high-quality pieces for a fraction of the cost.

Vintage Vibes in Downtown Little Rock

1—Shop in the right area. To get the most bang for your buck while thrift shopping, scope out the higher-end neighborhoods. Thrift stores in these areas are more likely to have clothes from big-name labels and made of quality fabrics due to the location of their donation center.

Vintage vibes in velvet

2—Hunt for quality brands and fabrics. The low prices of thrift stores can make it tempting to fill up your cart with impulse purchases. But before you buy that faux fur coat, remember that in the long run, high-quality clothes last a lot longer than ones made of cheaper fabrics. Be picky!

3—Look for stains and holes. Give each garment some serious eyeball for stains, tears, snags, or signs of over-wear. When I was a newbie, I came home to find my fair share of stains on clothes that I’d purchased from thrift shops. I know how disappointing it can be to discover after leaving the store!

Face minimal jewels and space buns

4—If it grabs your attention, grab it! Do a loop around the entire store, grab anything that catches your eye, and try it on. (You never know what might surprise you.) What you see is what you get, and you never know if it’ll be there one moment and gone the next!

Goodwill Eccentric Clutch and Embroidered Mules

5—Wash your clothes as soon as you get home. Before you wear clothes from the thrift store, you should always launder them carefully. Pay special attention to details like the armpit areas of a blouse and make sure to add plenty of fabric softener!

minimal jewels and vintage vibes

velvet dress and embroidered mules

Thrift shopping is my favorite kind of shopping because it is environmentally friendly, affordable, and ultimately the most personally satisfying because I feel like I defeated a challenge every time I walk out of there. When shopping secondhand, quality is always better than quantity. By taking your time and shopping for the best items, you can come home with items that look (or are) brand-new. The best part? Thrift shopping is almost always in your budget.

What are you best thrifting tips? Let me know in the comments below!

Distress Jeans to De-Stress From Life

One of my favorite timeless trends is distressed jeans. As a millennial, I am sure I am not the only one who has been mocked by the older generation when I wear them. They say, “Why do you pay for holes in your clothes?” I would always just roll my eyes at this, but then I started thinking… I do pay a lot of money for holes in my jeans. I should just do it myself!

I picked up a pair of Levi’s for only $5 from a thrift store in New York City. They were oversize and had no holes in them—so I had some fun with them. And let me tell you, it is fun—and relaxing!

I had seen a bunch of different ways to distress jeans, but I used a combination of techniques that I found worked the best for me. Here’s how I was able to achieve this classic grungy look.

Step 1—Get yourself a pair of slightly oversize jeans with few or no holes in them. Try your local thrift store, or even a Marshall’s or T.J.Maxx. These are the best places to find a cheap pair of good quality jeans.

Step 2—Cut slits in the jeans that are about one inch wide. Start out with just two, and then you can build your way up.

Step 3—Grab a pair of tweezers and start pulling out the blue strands of denim that run vertically so that only the white strands that run horizontally are left.

Step 4—Cut another slit above or below the first one. Make sure it’s parallel to the other one, but don’t end it in the same place so the rip doesn’t look like one big box. You can pull on the edges of the holes to make them less boxy and more rounded.

Your first pair may not be perfect, but hey, ripped jeans aren’t supposed to be perfect! You get the hang of it the more you do it. You might even find it extremely relaxing like I do. Last semester, during finals week, I started working on a pair of Bermuda shorts, and every time I needed a break during studying, I would make a new hole in them. I was distressing jeans to de-stress from school and ended up with an adorable pair of shorts that no one else has.

Did you try this distressed jeans DIY? Make sure to share your unique jeans with @CFashionista on social media.

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Thrifting

If you are like me, fellow Fashionistas, you are someone who is always keeping an eye out for the latest trends. One major fad that you may have noticed, especially on Instagram, is the resurgence of the ’90s vibe and vintage clothes. This trend is high-waisted bottoms, vibrant colors, graphic T-shirts, brand names, and more. Because this style is from a slightly older era, I figured that thrifting would be a fun way to find trendy clothes for less!

I shopped at three different thrift stores during a period of seven days. I only ended up finding good stuff on five out of the seven days and at only two of the three stores that I went to (Plato’s Closet and Goodwill), but what I did find ended up being pretty rad. Here are some of my tips for first-time thrifters!

1—Take your time. Look through everything in the sections since things often aren’t always placed back in the right section. I wanted to find something to add to an all-black outfit for an upcoming concert. After about 45 minutes, I found an oversize red, black, and white flannel, completing my outfit!

2—Look everywhere. Clothes do not fit everyone the same so you can definitely make things work for you no matter what area they’re from! Also, clothes in thrift stores are often not in their correct sections. I ended up finding two of my favorite pieces of the week in the pants section! A red skort and a black and white flannel.

3—Try everything. Okay, not everything, but definitely try the things that catch your eye. You would be surprised how different types of styles and clothes fit you!

I looked in the Men’s section and found a ’90s flame graphic bowling shirt! I probably would not have picked this up on a usual shopping trip but it ended up being one of my favorite thrifted items!

4—Come back soon. Don’t be afraid to come back to the store the next day or a couple of days after because people do drop off new clothes every day. On my final day (after going 3 days in a row) I found an amazing item: the Adidas tear-away tracksuit bottoms that a lot of celebs have been rocking.

5—Wash your stuff. Clothes may be washed when they’re put on the racks but people do come and try things on and those items are just placed back on the racks. So wash your clothes as soon as you get home just to be safe!

How do you feel about thrifting? Can you see yourself incorporating thrifted threads into your style? Let me know in the comments below!

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!

How 20 Dollars Can Thrift You a Style for School

Those dreaded back to school signs are starting to appear everywhere and your first reaction is probably the constant flinching from the money signs flashing in your brain. While getting ready to go back to school usually means buying expensive textbooks and figuring out how many loans it takes to be in forever debt, dressing for a new semester doesn’t have to be added to your financial build up.

What… what… what… Macklemore shouldn’t be the only one getting deals at a thrift shop! These stores can be packed with fashion trends that you can’t find cheaper anywhere else! You can find popular store label pieces for half the price! Just pair it with any kind of vintage brand to get your own personalized look.

Flannels have become my ultimate weakness over the past years, and every single one that I own has come from a thrift store—more specifically, from the men’s department! My personal style finds me constantly in the men’s section of the store where I believe the best deals can be found. The material is usually much more comfortable and looser, more preferable than the noodle tight fit that you can find on many of the women’s flannels on display.

I found my red flannel in perfect condition on one of the racks for only $5.99! Any flannel can’t be finished without pairing it with a graphic T-shirt which I found here for a smashing bargain of $1.99! It was also a bonus because who doesn’t love New York?

My denim mini skirt was from Abercrombie and Fitch for only $3.99! This was definitely a steal! A mini skirt like this can go perfectly with any kind of leggings or tights which can give it an edgier look.

My favorite pair of Sag Harbor wool shorts comes from the thrift shop as well, with a price of also $3.99! These shorts are great because you can dress them up or dress them down. Here they’re displayed with a graphic T-shirt for a casual look. You can dress it up by pairing it with a fancy, solid color top if preferred!

Turns out you really only need 20 dollars in your pocket!

Find any other thrift shop deals as good as these? Let me know in the comments below! Or show us on social media! Remember to tag @Cfashionista.

5 Fall Runway Looks You Can Find Thrifting

Fashion shows have always intrigued and confused me. They have intrigued me because the makeup, hair, outfits, and accessories are so intricate, beautiful, and new. Yet they have confused me because, often times, the fashion I see being displayed on the runway is far from what I would consider fashionable and trendy. The outfits are artwork, sheer masterpieces, yet are not often wearable for a night out on the town.

However, there is a reason why we hold fashion shows in high regard: they are our source of inspiration for the coming season’s newest trends. The entire ensembles presented are not always designed to be worn on the city streets but they do provide insider information as to what the “it” girl is going to be rocking this fall.

After reading up on 2017 Fashion Week, I noticed some trends that everyone was wearing and I needed to try them for myself. These trends haven’t hit the racks of the department stores quite yet, giving Fashionistas like ourselves a chance to stay ahead of the trends. This season’s most fashionable ensembles incorporate many styles and patterns that were all the rage decades earlier. What better place to hunt down these vintage treasures than your favorite thrift store?

I narrowed my research results down to a few of the most intriguing trends that brands like Calvin Klein and Prada showcased on the runway.

1—Western Inspired

Cowboy boots, skirts made with cow hide, western button-downs, and all things leather were sported at this year’s show. Look for the classic western prints and accessories to pull off a look inspired from the wild west.

2—Retro Plaid

A unique addition to this fall’s fashion is ’70s plaid. Whether it was worn as a dress, skirt, or trench coat, designers took this old pattern and made it new.


There were many mid-length skirts and dresses worn in the show. Combining the retro plaid print and the mid-length skirt makes you feel like you’re back in time and look like Taylor Swift—which isn’t a bad thing.

4—Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads are back! I personally thought this fad was decades away from returning but I was wrong! I decided it wouldn’t hurt to test it out and found this delicate blouse with broad shoulder pads at a thrift shop. Like the rest of the looks, this one is a bit unique and out my comfort zone but I had fun playing around with new trends!


Over the past few seasons, we have seen the resurgence of velvet shirts and the occasional bikini. This season, designers took this vintage fabric a step further by introducing it into formal gowns and evening wear.

These looks were easy to find and inexpensive. I challenge you to go out of your comfort zone, wear something new, and be confident wearing the latest trends this fall!

How are you wearing this fall’s vintage trends? Let us know on social media @Cfashionista!

The 3 Best Vintage Shops on Depop

While buying a brand new piece right off the rack can be a thrill, the only place to buy truly one-of-a-kind gems is from a thrift store. Thrift shopping has become more popular in recent years especially in large cities like New York City, where the thrift stores are abundant in location and the clothes are plentiful. However, for those of us that live in smaller areas of the country, our options are more limited (so limited that the only option is Goodwill), but that does not mean we have to miss out on some totally rad vintage wear.

Depop is a great app for finding vintage pieces from the comfort of your own home—or wherever you and your phone may be. Goodbye to endless hours digging through the racks at consignment shops and thrift stores; hello to easy scrolling and boxes delivered right to your door. New to Depop? Check out some of the best vintage shops on Depop below to get started on your online vintage shopping spree.

PHOTO: @overthehillvintage

CollegeFashionista alumnus Kelsey Keena’s vintage shop called Over the Hill Vintage sells one-of-a-kind vintage pieces for every style. Whether you’re looking for the perfect ’90s T-shirt or a blowy ’60s blouse, Kelsey has got you covered! Check out her shop on Depop @overthehillvintage.

PHOTO: @sabrinachantel

Sabrina Chantel’s vintage shop (@sabrinachantel on Depop) is a ’90s wonderland filled with delicate embroidery and headbanging band T-shirts. What makes this shop extra special is that Sabrina has hand-painted designs on some of her pieces, making them even more unique.

PHOTO: @birdonawirevintage

Bird On a Wire Vintage is all about sustainable fashion. By wearing vintage, you’re taking part in recycling fashion! Aside from vintage, they also sell some modern wear all created by independent labels that support other startups like them.

Have you ever shopped through Depop? What are your favorite shops? Let us know in the comments below!

3 DIY Projects to Personalize Your Space for Fall

When you move into a new place, whether it be a dorm room, apartment, or house, you want to make it your own. It needs to be a space you enjoy walking into. If it’s a dorm room, it’s nice to have it relaxing, yet motivating, since you will be sleeping and possibly be doing school work in it. Same goes for a bedroom.

For me, I love having a simplistic room with additions and decor that I can interchange if I decide to. My walls are taupe and my comforter is white. This leaves room for decorative pillows, funky mirrors, fun pictures, wall hangings, or whatever, really. Currently, I’m really into the whole muted tone thing. I love the colors mustard, olive green, and rose. I also am slightly addicted to shopping around thrift stores, spending as much time as I have carefully looking at everything, and trying to think of how I could use it in a unique way or add to it.

Here are some ways I chose to decorate my room in my apartment. Use these ideas to bounce off of and create your own, or even do the same!

One golden thrift store find is my mirror. This thing is exactly what I was looking for. The outline adds so much detail and brings in the color gold, which is so warm and welcoming. I like to accessorize it with some of my favorite pieces, such as hats and wall hangings.

A quick and easy DIY I did was pressing a flower and putting it into a picture frame with a gold lining I found at the thrift store as well. I just picked up a flower from the grocery store, stuck it in between the pages of a heavy book, added some weights on top of it, and let it sit for about five days. After the five days, I carefully removed it and put it into the picture frame. You can do this with any flower! I even thought it would be cool to stick some herbs in and hang it in the kitchen.

Yet another find from the thrift store; this simple wall hanging. It really may be a fancy scarf. When you see things at the thrift store, you have to get creative. I just used two tacks to hang it on both ends. You can always get a piece of fabric and cut it or tie it how you would like and hang it above your bed or desk.

And last but not least, the simple nail with a garment you love hanging from it. It’s an easy way to add your own personal touch. I chose this purse I picked up at a boutique in Illinois, but you could also hang a hanger with a favorite jacket or blouse.

Let me know what you think of these projects in the comments below, and share your own DIY projects with @CFashionista on social media!


Thrifty, Nifty… Maybe a Day Over 50

In today’s world, we see that fashion often repeats itself. We strive to have the newest of the new and frantically search for last of its kind. But with thrift shopping, you can have both! Want to step up your wardrobe but don’t know how? Listen up, Fashionistas, because I’m about to share with you the secrets of getting that one-of-a-kind style!

Reduce, reuse, recycle—fashion. Thrift stores are where vintage meets modern. Combinations of decades all collide in one place making it somewhat timeless! What could be more fun than traveling through time, or in this case, traveling through clothing racks?

Unique items appear in thrift stores every day and go unclaimed. Maybe its because we haven’t been looking hard enough. Thrift stores can have a range of items from a cute knick-knack you hang on a wall to a pair of Gucci sunglasses. With thrifting, there is no limit. All sorts of brand name items end up in thrift stores simply because people don’t want them anymore and feel it’s time for a new owner.

One of the best parts about thrift shopping is finding great items at an even greater price. There’s nothing better than seeing that the fur coat you have been dying to have is 75 percent off! Take advantage of the sales and discounts. Thrifting can be the perfect solution to what you’re looking for without hurting your wallet.

The thrift store allows you as a buyer to get creative. Don’t like how that skirt fits? Try wearing it as a top instead. Be bold and show off your funky outfits. Basic is boring, don’t be afraid to pick out a few statement pieces. It’s the little details that make a huge difference. There is no right or wrong way to wearing something, you do what makes you feel good—even if it means getting out the scissors and sewing machine to transform one item into a completely new look!

Thrift stores are the key to hidden treasures. Each store is different, so it’s best to explore them all. Who knows, maybe you will come across your own missing artifact!

Have you found any hidden treasures? Show us your favorites on social media and be sure to tag @CFashionista.