Sep 202006
Authors: Sara Crocker The Rocky Mountain Collegian

You can probably find every stitch of clothing, accessory and knick-knack you could want or need at the mall.

Of course, you could probably find the same things at the cornucopia of thrift stores throughout Fort Collins and spend half the money.

Thrift stores have long served as physical proof that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

They’ve also long served as a way to give back to the community. Many thrift stores benefit the needy or veterans as well. So you can be fashionable and get a warm fuzzy feeling from your purchase, too.

But whether you shop at thrift stores to pinch pennies, to find all the unique vintage gear you can or because it’s just the latest trend (according to MTV), there’s something there for everyone.

The first thing to remember about thrift store shopping is that it takes patience. This kind of shopping is almost like hide and seek, and you never know what you’re going to find. Be prepared to push through hanger after hanger, rack after rack.

Pick out things you normally wouldn’t and be adventurous. This isn’t the Gap, so you won’t be able to compare how those jeans or that top looks on a mannequin. The beauty of thrift shopping is that you’re going to find unique things, so don’t fear that polyester button-down shirt with canoes printed across it. Embrace it; you may be more of a clothing exhibitionist than you think.

Even if thrift store shopping doesn’t appeal, it’s hard to overlook the sheer volume of costume possibilities that each rack holds.

Whether it was finding an outfit to help me look a little more like Cher Horowitz, a la “Clueless,” Monica Lewinsky or an ’80s prom groupie, I looked no further than thrift stores. Not only was each of my costumes a hit but I also walked away each time spending less than $10.

And don’t forget that thrift stores offer more than just clothes. The accessories, from bags to hats can be as eclectic (and old) as my grandmother’s closet.

The other upside, especially for those who fled the residence halls this fall, is that many thrift stores peddle kitchen wares, furniture and lamps in all their art deco glory at garage sale prices.

So, take some time to respect your elders’ fashion sense, and take pleasure in the fact that some of the hottest outfits you’ve picked are older than you.

News editor Sara Crocker can be reached at


My favorite spendthrift shops:

Buffalo Exchange

649 S. College Ave.

They take clothes for cash or store credit, and there’s a good mix of used and new clothes, and some stuff created by local designers.

ARC Thrift Store

106 E. Foothills Parkway

Great accessories, shoes and kitchenware are good finds. There are also usually sales going on that discount select clothes even further.

Habitat Home Supply Store

4001 S. Taft Hill Rd.

It’s a little out of the way, but this store features all sorts of stuff to spruce up a house, from furniture and appliances to the building material itself.

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