Thrift Shopping Budget Cool

Creative, Styling, and Making Your Own Decisions

by Claire Miller, age 18

Those of us who worked on and discussed this editorial piece are teenagers. We do know something about this subject.


Too often we see teens desperately striving to “fit in,” whether it is with a clique, a box, a stereotype or otherwise. And it’s depleting their income. Expressing your individuality does not have to cost you an arm and a leg: far from it.  If you know where to look, you can be fashionable and within your budget.

Despite the negative connotation sometimes associated with thrift stores, these shops can be a shopper’s mecca.
Thrift stores boost the local economy, promote recycling, and often encourage individuals to take the road less traveled.  They exude the nostalgia of much-loved clothes, vintage furniture, old books, dusty vinyl records and CDs. All these and more are ripe for the picking at thrift stores.

These frugal establishments are a fantastic substitute to mainstream shopping. You are always bound to find something worthwhile and interesting, and at a more appealing price. Think about it. Is it really that cool to go to the mall? At thrift shops you can be fun and creative, and keep more money in your pocket.

If you feel the need to dress a certain way just to fit in and gain the respect of your “friends,” then something is wrong. Clothes do not, and should not, define a friendship. Think for yourself. Find your own style; one that fits in with what you like and what you believe. Don’t just follow the majority, express yourself.

Take prom, for example. On average, girls spend hundreds of dollars on a dress that they can barely move in and will eventually sit in their closet collecting dust. After the big night, it will probably never be worn again. Conversely, I got a short, 1980’s vintage prom dress for less than 20 dollars from a Goodwill store in Chicago. I have been able to dance in that dress many times since and I still get tons of compliments on it.
So whether it’s a 1920’s flapper dress, the first two books of your favorite series, or an obscure album by one of your favorite bands, you’re guaranteed a good time and a good deal at a thrift store.


But this editorial is about more than shopping. It’s also about making your own choices and not just following the crowd. Too many teens fall victim to what we commonly call ‘peer pressure’.

Setting your own course is definitely the way to go. It’s really a matter of confidence. Be confident enough to make your own choices and your own decisions.

You are always more cool when your style is your own.

[Source: The Wisconsin State Journal]

I completely agree with you Claire. I believe that more people should care less about what brands they wear. Your clothes may be an outer expression of your inner self, but they don't have to cost a fortune. Goodwill and Savers are my two favorite stores to shop at. I can find unique clothes that don't cost a fortune. I am able to express myself through my own style without breaking the bank. This article is very insightful and was a pleasure to read. :) – Hailey AlfredMadison, WI (2011-07-13 08:37)
Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give soithemng back and aid others like you aided me. – JohnelleHeya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give soithemng back and aid others like you aided me. (2016-07-19 21:37)