The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Thrift Store Shopping

Thrift+Store+Shopping

By Rhiannon Saegert/nw news editor

 Two years ago, “thrift store shopper” was synonymous with “pretentious hipster.” This year, however, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ independently produced song “Thrift Shop” is being played on KISS-FM.

Katreeva Phillips likes variety in thrift stores with scarves, purses and shoes.  Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Katreeva Phillips likes variety in thrift stores with scarves, purses and shoes.
Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

It’s safe to say thrift shopping is genuinely popular now, and whether they’re thrift shop veterans or just casual browsers, TCC students and staff are fans of buying secondhand.

Photography instructor Angelita Rodriguez says her students jokingly accused her of being a hipster before she even knew what the word meant thanks to her love of thrift stores.

“I don’t really consider myself one, but I love going into them because you never know what you’re going to find,” she said. “Everyone’s going to ask you

NE students Dee Ramirez and Katreeva Phillips compare prices for clothing at the Goodwill Store in Hurst located on Pipeline Road. Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
NE students Dee Ramirez and Katreeva Phillips compare prices for clothing at the Goodwill Store in Hurst located on Pipeline Road. Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

where you got it, and all you can say is ‘this one thrift store.’ You can’t find that stuff anywhere.”

She says she mostly goes to thrift stores for accessories, jewelry, and occasionally people-watching.

“My husband loves them too, so that’s even better,” she said. “Just five years ago, it was like ‘Ugh, really? You got that at a thrift store?’ It’s definitely more accepted now.”

Rodriguez says she avoids vintage stores and resale shops like Plato’s Closet, which tend to be more expensive than the average thrift store.

“It’s the same stuff, but they’ve already sorted it, so I guess you’re paying them for their time,” she said. “I’ve shopped in places like that before, but I always regret it. I’d rather be different and save my buck.”

Rodriguez isn’t the only one. Mark Penland, NE photo lab manager, says he’s been going to thrift stores since he was a kid and couldn’t imagine shopping any other way. He said he buys clothes, furniture, art supplies and décor secondhand.

“I buy everything used except food and underwear,” he said. “All my plates and silverware are mismatched, but they’re nice. The coolest thing about thrift stores is that you can find something nobody else has. It’s an affordable way to be fashionable.”

Penland said he goes to thrift stores in search of books with turn-of-the-century illustrations, but in recent years, they have become harder to find. He attributes this to the growing popularity of thrift shopping and online resale shops.

Dee Ramirez sorts through stylish blouses at the Goodwill Store in Hurst. A frequent thrift store shopper, she said the shirt she has on cost her only 25 cents at a resale shop in Fort Worth.Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Dee Ramirez sorts through stylish blouses at the Goodwill Store in Hurst. A frequent thrift store shopper, she said the shirt she has on cost her only 25 cents at a resale shop in Fort Worth.Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

“Part of it is the economy,” he said. “As the economy dipped, attendance at the stores went way up, but it’s always been hip among art students. The most fashionable kids who come through this program are the ones who are thrifting.”

NE student Danielle Duffney enjoys cosplaying, or dressing as fictional characters from anime and comic books for fun. She goes to thrift stores to find costume pieces.

“Cosplay is pretty expensive,” she said. “I try to get as close to the costume as I can, but there are some things you just can’t make it all yourself. So you buy similar things to the cosplay. There are actually nice things there, surprisingly nice. I got a pair of nice gothic boots there.”

Paul Thomas Leicht, NE photography instructional aide, said he’s noticed more people hunting through thrift stores. To him, secondhand is second nature.

As a child, he was used to getting his older siblings’ hand-me-downs, and he’s been shopping at thrift stores since he was about 15.

Now, he goes to thrift stores for everything.

“I just cruise the stores,” he said. “Books, shoes, furniture, electronics, random found objects, art supplies. It’s like going through people’s garages.”

Leicht said that when music and fashion from past decades regain popularity, thrift stores are the place to go because “all of that clothing is right there.”

“I think it has a lot to do with music combined with fashion,” he said. “You find unique stuff there that they don’t make anymore that references those times.”

Nneka Henderson, another NE student, says she doesn’t shop at thrift stores often, but when she took a guitar class last semester, she lucked out.

“I just wanted to see what they had, and they just happened to have an acoustic guitar from the ’70s with nylon strings,” she said.

The guitar cost her $175.

“I did have to re-string one string, but the acoustics were really nice even though the strings were old,” she said. “My teacher said, ‘This is a great guitar.’”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian