Fashion | February 4th, 2020

Thrifting on a Budget for a Festival Outfit

By: Noella Williams
Thrifting on a Budget for a Festival Outfit

Shopping secondhand while keeping up with the latest fashion trends can be difficult, but it is possible.

Thrifting has quickly become a popular form of shopping among teenagers and young adults. Is this because vintage clothing is more “aesthetically pleasing” among this age group, that it is environmentally friendly, or simply because it is cheaper than shopping at a mall or online?

Florida A&M University (FAMU) student Jordan Roberts has recently had a collaboration with Goodwill Big Bend, and she continues to add unique thrifted pieces to her wardrobe.

“I usually shop per item and based on what I can do with that item in particular. I always have my closet in my head when I shop, so I’d say I just shop for my style because I never know what I’m looking for until I find it,” Roberts said.


Jordan Roberts: photo taken by Michael Curry


FAMU public relations student, Ly’kimbria Jackson finds thrifting as an escape.

“As soon as I enter the building, I’m like a kid again” said Jackson. “I see all these textures, colors, styles, materials – I just feel so young again. The thing that sets it apart from malls or retail stores is the substance every piece has,” she said.

Thrifting as a young individual can not only benefit your pocket, but it can also benefit your closet. Designer brands, like Levi, COOGI and Tommy Hilifiger, wander their way into thrift stores and are sold for an incredibly less amount than their original price. These outfits can be pieced together to create a unique fit for a special event.

Fast fashion is used to describe the inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. This industry thrives during events that feature a clothing item that is only worn once, like school dances, fashion shows, and music festivals. Boutiques, vintage resellers, and high-end thrift stores can come in handy in this scenario.

Roberts has even found outfits for events like Afropunk Atlanta while thrifting.

“It’s all about how you wear the clothes. You have to use your creativity so you can accommodate the particular event. It takes a little more time, effort & thought than shopping online or not thrifting, but it gives you an opportunity to have fun & be creative,” said Roberts.

Roberts also says that one may feel a different level of appreciation when you find, alter and style your own clothes on a budget. She describes it as a “win-win” situation. 

Jackson sees her style as acceptable for any event — even when she is just attending class.

“For a lot of stuff that I wear around campus, people will ask where I’m going, and I’m just going to class. I made it acceptable to go to class and look nice. I’m not really a big fan of rules,” Jackson said.

Ly’kimbria Jackson

Tallahassee has an abundance of thrift stores in town, including The Other Side Vintage. Located in a Railroad Square, The Other Side Vintage is home to many quirky clothing items, accessories, electronics, and even furniture. Jason Cusell works at The Other Side and is familiar with the demographic of young college shoppers.

“We are right in between two major colleges in Tallahassee and a large part of our shoppers are college students,” Cusell said.

Online retailers like Dollskill, Boohoo, FashionNova, and PrettyLittleThing are all involved in the fast fashion industry, however similar styles from these retailers can be found in vintage shops. It may not be an exact replica, but if planned in advance, outfits for formals, festivals, and the occasional girls’ night out can be discovered at stores like The Other Side.

“I know about any event that’s going on in town at least a couple weeks before because people start coming in and asking for certain things,” Cusell said.

If it is your first time thrifting and you are curious about how to find vintage pieces, just go out, take your time, and be open to what you find. Not only is thrifting an adventure, but you are also reducing your carbon footprint by shopping secondhand.