The Thrill of Thrifting

Rachel Long (left) and Camryn Spelts both enjoy the treasure hunt, and savings from thrift store shopping. Camryn sews the jeans she buys, to a custom fit. “I never matched the perfect length or width of sizes.”

BY RACHEL LONG & CAMRYN SPELTS

Long-time thrift-shopper, 17-year-old Camryn Spelts, will be leaving soon for her first semester at BYU Hawaii. Spelts first began thrift store shopping to save money and because clothes, especially jeans, have not always fit properly. “The stores don’t always sell what is the correct size for every body type, and it can be expensive,” she says, “Saving money through making my own clothes has become a blessing.” Spelts adds, “I can go to DI, Goodwill, or Savers and buy 10 pairs of jeans for the price of one pair from Pacsun or American Eagle.”

Spelts has been thrifting for about eight years now. She says, “I have always loved clothes, but growing up, I never loved the store’s clothes, and I never matched the perfect length or width of sizes.”

So, Spelts took matters, including jeans, into her own hands. “I would hand-sew them, and it would take hours, but I slowly got really good at fixing them.”

As with most things, practice makes perfect. Spelts explains, “I started to make my technique less noticeably ‘taken-in’ and my collection of jeans and shorts that fit me perfectly began to grow. My parents got me a sewing machine, and the process has become so much faster, thanks to them.”

A relative newcomer to the thrift-shop experience, seventh-grader, Rachel Long, says, “Shopping at thrift stores is not only a good way to save money, it’s a fun way to express yourself through fashion.” She adds, “I love thrifting. I like that I am upcycling something so that it doesn’t end up in the landfill.”

Long, like Spelts, says she often cuts and frays hems of jeans or adds holes to make jeans fit her style. “I look for the potential in clothes. I say my aesthetic is sort of funky-alt; my mom says it has a 90s grunge vibe. I have a budget, so thrift store shopping is a fun, creative way to save money and make secondhand clothes work for me,” she says.

For Long, the process is like a treasure hunt. “I go through a thrift store; I find something I like, and then I’ll move on to build an outfit based on that piece.” Long says she looks for unique finds and wardrobe basics, then adds her own flair. “I found a cool jacket in the men’s section at Savers,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to look around and make the clothes your own.”

Both Spelts and Long agree that thrifting takes patience, but they promise, with a little searching, anyone can find cute clothes and save money in the process.

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