Elle and Vogue deemed warm tweeds, cozy knits and damaged denims as the fall style. It’s a matter of paying $1000 or $10 for the same merchandise.
For only $1,200, one can walk away with a Prada coat, complete with the worn look, to add authenticity. If that is on the expensive side, a trip to Urban Outfitters can find a $35 paper-thin vintage-inspired T-shirt. Those damaged Diesel jeans go for $160.
Most of us can barely afford to go to H&M. Vintage-inspired clothing is great. However, it seems useless to pay top dollar for a trend ripped-off from thrift shops that may be passé next year.
Students are better off purchasing fall trends this year at thrift shops where clothing is cheap.
Avid thrift shoppers, Temple professors Laura Levitt and Ruth Ost, organized a thrift store trip for the students of Temple’s Honors Program.
“Germantown is the best area in Philadelphia for thrift shopping,” Levitt said. “No one will pay over $3 for an item,”
Although the possibility of finding anything of interest for less than $3 seems nonexistent, students have found many treasures at Bargain Village on Germantown Avenue.
A 70s-inspired fitted yellow terrycloth T-shirt, resembling a piece of Juicy Couture, was only $3. A hooded knit scarf, taken from Marc Jacob’s mod-inspired line, went for $1.
The bargains were not only limited to clothes. A dollar could buy handbags and belts, $5 for jeans and vintage dresses went for $7 each.
Bargain Village has a section in the store reserved for vintage clothing. Although these run more expensive than the other merchandise, the items still remain less than $10.
Just around the corner on Cheltenham Avenue is Village Thrift.
Items are cheap and clothes are plentiful. Nothing looks better on guys than vintage fitted T-shirts. Levitt suggested looking in the children’s department for these items.
Thrift shopping involves a lot of searching. Great finds do exist. It’s like looking for buried treasure.
For those who do not have the time or energy for extensive searching, consider the South Street area where prices are higher, but vintage merchandise are easier to find.
Hope on 7th, is located on the corner of 7th and Bainbridge streets. Although the prices are higher than Germantown, the store is organized for easy pickings.
Bins of T-shirts range from $1-$3 each. For less than $7, one can choose from the many styles of jeans. Coats range from $20-$30.
The shop also boasts an extensive record collection.
Most thrift shops, including Hope on 7th, benefit charitable causes.
Peter Lehmann opened Hope on 7th to help a friend suffering from cancer pay medical bills that HMOs did not cover. His friend died two weeks before the store opened, but now 20 percent of proceeds help another victim of cancer.
Retrospective, located on South Street, is owned by Goodwill Industries. It was opened after non-profits noticed the growing interest in people searching for vintage clothing.
“Buyers are employed to look for vintage clothing from Goodwill shops,” Retrospective employee Shawn Tymon said. “These clothes are then sold at Retrospective. Afterwards, all profits are returned to Goodwill.”
Although prices are high, there is a guarantee of finding something unique.
Amber Fairweather can be reached at email@example.com.