You might have realized by now that the winter holiday season is not for the faint of wallet. Between food, drinks and supplies for hosting holiday parties, gift-giving, and shopping for party outfits and cold weather gear, these holidays can outstretch the finances of even the wealthiest of merrymakers. That's why this New Year's season, we reached out to thin-pocketed fashion college students who are awfully good at making a little bit of cash really last. Luckily, we ended up with some great tips on how to hang on to your dollar bills in the early days of 2013 by hitting the thrift stores and being smart about what you buy.
1. Not all thrift shopping is created equally. If your post-holiday budget is stretched extremely tight, it's important to dismiss the common misconception that all secondhand clothes shopping is inexpensive. For those of you that live in bigger cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York City, you will definitely have noticed by now that it majorly depends where you go looking if you are truly trying to find a bargain. In order to keep it extra thrifty this January, avoid smaller vintage boutiques where the staff hand-selects all of their merchandise. Instead, hit up bigger thrift warehouses like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Sure, these places might require a little bit more time digging around to find your special treasures, but the prices are so cheap, it will be well worth the extra time.
2. Try everything but do NOT buy everything. Start your second semester of the school year at fashion colleges with a sleek and stylish late winter look. In order to accomplish this look, a great strategy is to combine any clothes (sweaters, boots, scarves, etc... ) you might have collected over Christmas and Hannukah from various gifts with some special, new thrift shop finds. Even at a super cheap second-hand clothing emporium, experienced shoppers often report that they still rack up quite a bill just off of the sheer temptation to buy too much stuff because of the reasonable prices. Avoid this temptation! Careful shoppers know that a few unique thrift accents can take your wardrobe a long way. No need to buy everything!
3. Look for unique, one-of-a-kind stuff. Most young fashion designers or designers in training at fashion schools recognize the importance of individual style. That being said, almost anybody (designer or not) would feel mortified if they walked into school, work or any other event and they were wearing the same outfit as somebody else!
Thrift shopping comes in handy in a major way when it comes to keeping one's wardrobe selections unique. Think about it this way: There is a much higher chance of dressing like somebody else if you stick to shopping only at major retail chains like H&M or The Gap. The trick is to hit up secondhand or vintage stores and hone in on whatever really unique clothing or accessories you find that speak to you. There is much less of a likelihood that the store you are at will even have more than one of whatever item you like in stock, so you can pretty much always go home knowing that nobody else around will be rocking that same look. This way you can be careful about money AND promote your individual style.
We hope you enjoyed your holiday season, but these thrift shopping tips are also supposed to remind you that no can last forever... Sigh, until next year!