A little over a decade ago, thrift-store chic reigned supreme, with grungers and indie rockers mauling racks of vintage hand-me-downs in search of anti-fashion cool. These days, not so much. Thrift shoppers admit they hit Goodwill for more a pragmatic reason: “You get everything cheap,” says Mesa thrifter Jessica Kay, 22.
Kay, who makes an occasional buck buying used clothing and selling to higher-end thrift stores like Buffalo Exchange, along with Gilbert’s Sam High, a 23-year-old with slightly less thrift-savvy, accepted a Get Out challenge: Turn a $50 budget each, and a few hours one recent afternoon, into a couple of cool outfits.
We trailed them to Tempe’s hip Buffalo Exchange (a franchise of the Tucson-based chain where Bad Religion plays overhead and the used threads often come at a hipster premium) and over to the Mesa Thrift Store, a down-market shop where the cheap stuff profits Vietnam veterans’ charities.
Here’s our duo’s thrift score.
Sam High, 23 of Gilbert
Lace tank, $8, at Buffalo Exchange
Denim purse, $3.98, at Mesa Thrift Store
Snoopy magnet belt, $2.98, at Mesa Thrift Store
Skirt, $10, at Buffalo Exchange
Funky heels, $12, at Buffalo Exchange
Mandolin case (for the pint-size gangster’s Tommy gun), $9.98, at Mesa Thrift Store
Comment: “I want to keep this belt.” (And she did.)
Jessica Kay, 22 of Mesa
Kangol hat, $8.50, from Buffalo Exchange
Avocado purse, $4.98, from Mesa Thrift Store
Cherry Coke T-shirt, $7, from Buffalo Exchange
Long-sleeve undershirt, $5, from Buffalo Exchange
Studded belt, $2.98, at Mesa Thrift Store
Denim skirt, $6.98, from Mesa Thrift Store
Kickin’ calf-high boots, $6.98, from Mesa Thrift Store
Comments: “I would never spend this much myself.”