Nifty thrifting: Original, inventive and casual clothing styles at cheap costs for SRJC students

SRJC students (Right to Left) Katie Kitchel, Tyler Smith, Hannah Skoonbert sport affordable finds from trendy local thrift stores.

Nikki Goetz, Staff Writer

Black knee-high leather spiked boots, a brown velvet dress and purple velvet heels. These are a few of the items some Santa Rosa Junior College students and alumni have bought from thrift stores. Like Macklemore said, pop some tags, all you need is $20 in your pocket. By thrifting you can still walk away with a unique style of clothes.

What was once someone’s old pair of bell bottoms is another person’s new pair of pants.

Maria Sanchez has thrifted since she was a little girl. Her mother would take her to Goodwill as a child for school clothes because she didn’t have enough money to buy high-end apparel.

“I didn’t grow up wearing the latest trends,” Sanchez said. “My mom had me at a young age and could only afford clothes from bargain stores. I never really cared though because I thought the clothes made me feel unique.”

Sanchez shops at thrift stores a few times a month. She tends to go for the less common items, like knee-high spiked leather boots and a short navy dress.

“I get complimented a lot from people saying how they love my unique style. People ask me where I get my clothes and I’ll either say Goodwill or Plato’s Closet. I’ve never gotten any bad criticism,” Sanchez said.

Ilana Kimmelman got into thrift shopping in her mid-teens and shops regularly at bargain stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army. She loves vintage clothing and feels she can only find it at thrift shops. The best thing she found was a pair of bright purple velvet heels.

“I’ve bought stuff that I never wore, a total impulse like, ‘yeah I’m going to totally wear that,’ and never did,” Kimmelman said.

Merisha Lemmer loves to go thrift shopping. She goes in not knowing what she’ll find and loves being surprised by the unique clothes she sees.

“You’re not giving into the consumer cycle. It doesn’t feel overwhelming and you always get to see something unique,” Lemmer said.

Her favorite thrift item she bought is a brown velvet vintage dress that she saved up for when she was 10 years old. Whenever she needs new clothes, the thrift shops are her first stop. Lemmer shops most in the summer for shirts and dresses to go out in.

Alma Zuniga, unlike many, does not enjoy thrift shopping because of a bad experience she had shopping with her sister in 2005.

“I got this bad vibe, like someone was watching me and my sister. When I turned around there were two store employees behind us,” Zuniga said.

She said she sensed the two employees following her. She felt like they were waiting for her and her sister to steal something and kick them out. It reminded Zuniga of a story her mom told her about when she went thrift shopping and thought employees watched her.

“I have never felt so uncomfortable shopping. I haven’t bargain shopped since because I don’t want to go through that again,” Zuniga said.

When Zuniga wants to get cheap clothes she’ll go to Wal-Mart. She’s been shopping there more in the last few months to buy maternity clothes and infant clothes for her unborn child.

“I do most of my shopping there and the employees there are incredibly nice when I need to try on clothes and find something. I have found great clothes really cheap there,” Zuniga said.

Though not for everyone, thrift shopping is a way to discover off-the-wall styles and get good deals that will make you want to shop until you drop.