Thrift Shoppers: Trendy Students

Story By: Kaitlin Homan

Okay, the true definition of thrift is economical management or frugality. But that’s only part of the fun of thrift shopping. Thrift shoppers are able to find unique, one-of-a-kind, outdated or current, fun and bizarre pieces of clothing.

“I think it’s cool that the clothes have had an adventure before me,” said Max Mandel, junior news and documentary major. 

Myszka rocking a Canadian Tuxedo
Canadian Tuxedo[/caption]Chapman thrift shoppers have the incentive to save money, but also relish the amusement in not knowing what they’re going to find in overly crowded racks and heaping piles of clothes. 

  “It’s all about the patience and dedication to the hunt of swaggy threads,” said Mandel.  

Style is unique to an individual and thrift shoppers are able to really express themselves through the clothes they purchase in places such as Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Co. And plus, who doesn’t want to get lost in funky stores filled with surprises? 

Click Here for a List of Thrift Stores Around Orange

Niki Russo, junior environmental science major, gets lost in Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Co. when her roommates are in for a getaway and when she has the extra money. 

“It’s not only cheaper than buying retail, but it’s also more environmentally friendly,” said Russo. “I get bored with my clothes so often, it’s nice to be able to trade them in for new ones.” 

This is an example of how thrift stores are run. At Crossroads Trading Co., customers are able to buy, sell and trade. If customers want to sell clean, current and good-conditioned items for cash, they will make 35 percent of the price their items sell for in the store. If customers want to trade items, they will receive trade credit that’s 50 percent of the price their items sell for in the store. Inventory is in constant change, and this is what makes each item extraordinary and limited. 

“You never know what you’re going to find,” said Mandel. “You may spend twenty minutes digging though racks and piles and find nothing that suits your fancy, or you may immediately find a pair of pants that you swear you can’t live without.”

With three types of stores that sell used clothing, thrift shoppers, and even non-thrift shoppers, can donate clothes and items they no longer need, instead of only having the options of throwing them out or selling or trading their good-conditioned items.

The Salvation Army provides donated clothes to those in need, as well as food, shelter, job training and spiritual guidance. “I donate a lot clothes I don’t wear to Goodwill. I hate seeing things go to waste,” said Karlie Myszka, senior business marketing major. “I find joy in knowing that I am giving back and also lucky to shop in stores that have pieces of clothing I absolutely love for good prices.” 

Click Here for Reasons to Thrift Shop

Goodwill Industries have experienced an 84 percent increase in revenue, $1.9 billion to $3.5 billion, from the sale of donated goods from 2007 to 2012. 

“I believe in new and fresh styles, something that I personally find in thrift stores more so than in retail stores because to me, it’s new and fresh,” said Myszka. 

Sometimes it becomes an addiction. Sometimes it’s a phase. Regardless of how often someone thrift shops, secondhand clothing can be fashionable and trendy – something it doesn’t lose after being given up. 

“Being thrifty is the best,” said Madeleine Caraluzzi, sophomore English major. Her collection of cashmere sweaters is her most prized possession. Where did they come from: Spending endless hours in thrift shops.


Places to Thrift Shop in OC

Crossroad’s Trading Company

1835 Newport Blvd. Costa Mesa, CA 92627


Buffalo Exchange

The Lab

2930 Bristol St.

Costa Mesa, CA 92626


American Vintage Clothing

201 Main St.

Huntington Beach, CA 92648


Villains Vintage

940 West Chapman Ave #102

Orange, CA 92868


Swellegant Vintage

3409 Newport Blvd.

Newport Beach, CA 92663


The Salvation Army

180 S Tustin St.

Orange, CA 92866


Do it.

  1. It's an opportunity to develop your own unique style 
  2. Thrift stores go beyond one-stop shopping (they have everything!)
  3. You may find something valuable for next to nothing
  4. You never know what you'll find 
  5. Inventory is always changing 
  6. It's fun to experiment with clothes of different style and color that you normally wouldn't buy  
  7. The clothes are typically of higher quality simply by being there (they've withstood one person's use and still have resale value)
  8. There's a good chance no one else will be wearing the same outfit 
  9. Since you're paying less, you don't have the incentive to hold on to the things you no longer wear or use
  10. Many thrift stores support the community   


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