How To Thrift Like A Pro According To 4 College Students

November 9th, 2022 at 1:00pm

Generation Z is riding a new wave of fashion: thrifting! Gen Z’s spending habits and online discourses are shaping the future of fashion and I am so here for it! Shopping secondhand has become a defining trait of Gen Z. Today, thrifting is recognized as a lifestyle based on diversity, individuality, and sustainability– embracing our differences with creativity and style. 

If you’re constantly on the hunt for contemporary and unique pieces or looking to start shopping your closet secondhand,  College Fashionista gathered the best tips and tricks from our CF Community members on how they thrift their wardrobes.

Make a List of Specific Items Before You Shop 

PHOTO: @kyncamille

Whether you are shopping in-store or online, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the vast selection of clothing. To avoid the hassle of scouring the racks, figure out what you want to buy beforehand. “As a shopaholic, conscious and sustainable shopping is huge to me, most of my clothes are thrifted or locally sourced,” said Kyn Hyde, a student at Howard University. “I always make a list of 3-5 specific items or looks that I’m going for, which helps me stay on track and be able to better conceptualize exactly what I’m sourcing.”

Quality Over Quantity 

PHOTO: @mayadetermann

Invest in clothing you know will last! This means focusing on quality. “I always look at the quality of the pieces and fabrics. It’ll give me an idea of its longevity and how to take care of it. You also don’t want to spend money on something that won’t last very long,” said Amaya Determann, a student at the University of North Texas.

“See The Potential”

PHOTO: @katiiekleiin

Keep an open mind! Don’t stress the first try-on as a definitive “no”. Get creative, and try to envision other ways you can style the piece or ways that you can alter it to your liking. “I was thrifting with a friend yesterday and as I was holding things up to myself in the mirror, she told me everything in my pile were pieces she would’ve never grabbed but as I was “trying them on” she saw the potential. You decide what you want to make cute! Cutting, altering, and the magic of layering,dressing up or down are always options,” said Katie Klein, a student at Cal State Fullerton.

Have Fun and Explore! 


PHOTO: @camytotah

Going into a thrift store and not knowing what to expect is the thrill of thrifting. The moment you unexpectedly find the perfect pair of jeans or a flattering dress is so satisfying! “Go thrifting with no expectations. If you go with expectations, you’ll often not find what you’re looking for. The fun part of thrifting is that you don’t know what to expect or what they’ll be selling every time you go,” said Camy Totah, a student at San Jose State University. 

Featured image via @kyncamille, @camytotah, @katiiekleiin , @mayadetermann. Design by Her Campus Media/Nixx Studio of Unsplash.


  • Wila Mae Navarro

    Hello! My name is Wila Mae and I am an Advertising student at San Jose State University, as well as a Contributing Writer here at College Fashionista. I'm passionate about preloved clothing and sustainable fashion.