Thrift store finds can be environmentally friendly

By Katie Finlon

I went to multiple thrift stores carrying $20 in my pocket, with the full intent to pop some tags this weekend.

My remarkable finds and experience were indeed freaking awesome.

In celebration of Earth Week and in the spirit of college student bargain hunting, I created two outfits while combining my thrifty finds with articles of clothing I already own. All of the outfits cost less than $20.

Outfit One

Red shirt: $1

Tinker Bell shirt: $3.59

Jeans: $12 after alterations*

Small green vintage suitcase: $2.69

Total: $19.28

I found both of these shirts at College Bound Thrifts, 122 E. Hillcrest Drive. If you’re into thrifting and you are a college student, this is definitely a place for you to check out.

The one really attractive aspect of this store is this: If you present your school ID, you immediately get 10 percent off your purchase.

You see that Tinker Bell shirt? That was originally $4. The store was also having a sale where any clothing $3 or less is reduced to $1, and that was the situation with the red shirt.

In Macklemore and Ryan Lewis fashion, I also found a small green vintage suitcase for $2.69. I admit that was a little bit of an impulse buy, but I shared my find with the world (read: Facebook) and verbally expressed my intention to completely cover the suitcase with travel stickers/stamps. I could also use it for day trips, and it would be the perfect way for me to pretend I’m Audrey Hepburn.

At least 11 people approved of this.



Outfit Two

Green shirt: $8

Belt: $2

Jeans: $12 after alterations*

I had a sense of deja vu while buying the green shirt. It turns out I used to own a very similar shirt, which happened to be a hand-me-down from one of my older cousins.

I found both the shirt and belt at Decades, 235 E. Lincoln Highway. It’s a cute store, and they also had a few well-known designers.

* Let me also address the jeans in both of these outfits: Those who are short—men and women alike—and have a hard time finding pants that would need to be hemmed, welcome the hand-me-down jeans that are way too long for you. My friend actually gave me some of her old clothes and these jeans were among them. She’s the same size as me, but she’s also about three inches taller.

Problem? I wouldn’t say so.

If that’s the only problem with pants that were basically free, I highly suggest just getting them altered. I went to RB Designs, 140 S. Second St., and owner Robin Bolton charged $12 for a completely new hemline for the jeans.

I promise, it doesn’t make you a hipster if you thrift shop—it only makes you save money. Now go and be merry. I encourage you to give thrifting a try.

Keep in mind that Plato’s Closet is technically a thrift store. If you’re short like me and can’t afford $40 jeans at American Eagle, I highly encourage you go to Plato’s Closet. They carry gently used brand-name jeans for 75 percent less than the original price. I’ve found several pairs of yoga pants and American Eagle jeans for $10 each, and I’ve also found Minnetonka moccasins for $8. The closest Plato’s Closet stores to DeKalb are in Geneva, Algonquin, Rockford and Naperville.