Goodwill Hunting: Shattering Thrift Myths

We’re college students– and money doesn’t grow on trees. This used to mean cutting down on your clothing purchases, but no more! There are tons of fun, stylish and cheap treasures waiting to be found at thrift stores. Each week, Daphne Weidner will take you on a thrifty journey to prove that being tight on money does not mean sacrificing style. Let’s get thrifty.

“Everything is gross and smelly.”

I’m all too familiar with that slightly disgusted face someone gets when you tell them a piece of your clothing is from Goodwill. Though hopefully they don’t say it (unless they’re extremely blunt), they’re probably thinking, “eww.”

Goodwill doesn’t wash all of their clothes before putting them on the racks. That would take a whole lot of money and energy that they just can’t afford, especially since bags and bags of clothing are donated daily. However, they do look through every piece of clothing and look for rips or stains. I very rarely see damaged clothing, which is incredibly impressive considering the amount of clothing they hold.

After you buy something from a thrift shop, just make sure you wash it and  you’re good to go. To be honest, it’s probably just as clean as something you buy at the mall.

“You have to be poor to shop there.”

This is one misconception that really gets to me. Goodwill gives lower income families the opportunity to buy clothing that won’t break their budget. While this is a fantastic aspect of the store, Goodwill wants any and all customers, no matter what age or income. There is certainly enough clothing to go around at the stores, and every customer helps Goodwill continue to help others across the country.

“You have to be a hipster to shop there.”

Um, absolutely not. You can find virtually any style of clothing at Goodwill. From the basic staples like plain tee’s and jeans, to pretty dresses and oversized, cozy
sweaters. If you’re style is a bit preppy, you’ll be able to find some cute polos. Or, maybe you’re more of a bohemian gal and the maxi skirts and dresses will attract you. I’ll admit that I am a fan of high-waisted pants and the ironically hilarious wolf prints, but you definitely don’t have to be to find clothing you love at Goodwill.

“Nothing is good quality.”

It’s a common belief that the clothing at Goodwill is bad quality because it’s so cheap. This is not the case. What many people don’t know is that you can even be a brand snob and still find something for you Goodwill. I’ve frequently run into Victoria Secret, American Eagle, Abercrombie, Coldwater Creek (definitely not just for older women, especially their older stuff) and a ton of other name brands at Goodwill. Even if it isn’t a familiar brand to you, that doesn’t mean it’s of any less quality.

Just use your judgment. In the end, you’re not paying very much for it, so don’t fret!

Photo by Fuli Wang

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