A word from a thrifting fashionista – DO NOT PUBLISH

Imagine walking out of a store with two bags of clothes and calculating the money you spent and then realizing you saved a ton of money. This is exactly how I feel every time I leave a thrift store.

Ever since high school I’ve been a smart shopper. I acquired this valuable skill from years of watching my mother tear through clearance racks, cut coupons and sign up to receive store discounts.

When I started shopping at thrift stores I was amazed by what treasures I found within a rack of more than 100 shirts.

Shopping at thrift stores not only saved me money, but gave me the opportunity to develop a unique style I absolutely love. I never knew I could feel so confident while wearing pre-worn clothes.

Thrift stores have fulfilled a surplus of personal fashion needs. I’ve found homecoming dance dresses, Halloween costumes and attire for job interviews and other formal events.

When complimented on my clothing, people are amazed to hear the price I paid, which is usually in the single digits.

Throughout my time spent in thrift stores, I’ve learned several significant lessons. I’ve acquired the discipline needed to avoid splurging when items are inexpensive. I use the motto “Only buy what you need most”, as a reminder of how easy it is to get carried away when the prices are so low.

Thrift stores cram a substantial amount of items onto their racks and shelves that make the shopping process take longer. Due to this fact, I’ve gained the virtue of patience.

I’ve also become less materialistic by donating old clothing back to thrift stores every few months to ensure that I’m not being bogged down by too much stuff.

Shopping at secondhand stores granted me a modest mindset regarding body image. I’d rather wear comfy, pre-worn shoes than blister-prone heels that require three weeks to be broken in. It’s my stable self-confidence that prompts me to suggest the thrifting lifestyle to friends and family.

When I moved to Topeka for college, I was forced to adjust my thrifting patterns. When I’m home in Overland Park, my go-to places are Savers and City Thrift. When school is in session, I usually head over to Plato’s Closet on Wanamaker Road.

I’m truly grateful to my mother for teaching me that pre-worn, discounted and clearance rack clothes are just as worthwhile as the $100 diamond-studded jeans on a shelf in Buckle.