By: Paige Parker (Loyola Sophomore) and Brooke Craig (Loyola Senior)
Trying to maintain a budget and remain fashionable during college is tricky. Every school year, students are advised to budget down to their last penny, not leaving much room for self expression through fashion.
To combat this, college students at Loyola and across the nation have turned thrifting at second hand stores into a movement.
Nowadays, thrift haul videos and vlogs have become increasingly popular on sites such as TikTok and YouTube. As a result, people are inspired to visit their local thrift or antique stores in hopes of finding the perfect and affordable outfit.
Many fashionable students at Loyola are well versed at the thrifting game. In our quest to find the best second hand stores, we talked to five Loyola students. These students highlighted some of the best second hand stores in the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhoods for you to check out. After visiting these stores, you might end up adding a one-of-a-kind piece to your wardrobe.
A few students highlighted standard chain stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army as their favorites in the area. These stores sell second hand clothes and other items for inexpensive prices, allowing college students to purchase without the guilt of overspending hanging over their heads.
Sophomore Natalie Cray said, “I try to go to Goodwill when they open at the beginning of the week. They often do a restock at those points and I can find a wider variety of things I may like in my size.”
Now that fall is officially here, Cray and other students are on the hunt for comfy and warm pieces.
Cray said, “I like to look for jeans because I always know by brand what quality they will be and I’m actually going to look for sweaters soon.”
Conversely, many found that locally owned second hand stores such as Green Element are the way to go since they have a variety of unique items for any event or season. Whether you are looking for a comfy sweater to wear with jeans, vintage attire to wear to a party, or a business casual dress to wear to work, Green Element has you covered.
Senior Millie Crider said, “It’s always just a fun place to look around or it’s a good way to spend a day. I went there for an Adam Sandler party, so I got a costume for that. I just kind of browse through everything and see what they have.”
Fashion and self expression are not only limited to clothes, as many students furnish their apartments with antique furniture from Green Element and Broadway Antiques.
Senior Claire Foley said, “Green Element is really good for clothes, but I’ve got a couple of furniture items in my apartment from there. They’re nice, and there’s the antique mall where I got clothes a while back called Broadway antiques- I got posters there.”
Other students highlighted the usefulness of thrift and antique stores when it comes to finding affordable pieces for Halloween costumes.
Freshman Stephanie Williams said, “Right now, Belmont has a vintage store called Army Vintage. They have a bunch of costumes and have Halloween decorations. They have 60’s based booties like Gogo boots and 80’s jackets and prom dresses.”
When it comes to selecting a second hand store to spend a Saturday afternoon at, Loyola students clearly have answers about what to look for. They especially know how to find stores that sell inexpensive and discounted items.
When asked about how to find the most affordable second hand stores for students who are on a budget, Williams said, “I would go to ones that are smaller because some that are more popular are kind of gentrified and they get more expensive. If you want to go with affordability I would look for ones that are not as well known.”
At the end of the day, shopping at second hand stores is not only affordable, but it helps students cut down on online spending. In turn, this helps students and the average shopper develop smart shopping and spending practices
While reflecting on the practice of buying second hand, Claire Foley said, “I don’t like waiting for things online…it’s expensive. I don’t have a lot of money since I only work part time and have school full time. So, I recommend that college students check out thrift stores if they haven’t yet found affordable pieces. However, don’t go into really impoverished neighborhoods and take all the good stuff in there and then resell them online. That’s just not good practice.”