Eau Claire thrift shopping


Story by Elizabeth Jackson, Photo Editor

On a tight budget? Like fashion that can be a little unconventional? Like to donate? With nine thrift shops just a short bus ride away from campus, unconventional, cheap and feel-good fashion can be yours.

The Eau Claire area thrift stores offer opportunities for great fashion, as well as a possibility for discounts and cash. Savers (located at Mall Drive) benefits Easter Seals Wisconsin, and when you donate to the store, you receive an in-store discount.

If you’re looking to get more than in-store credit, Plato’s Closet (located at Gateway Drive, across from Target), offers a buyer system. Depending on whether you’re looking for extra cash or just feeling like doing good, picking the right store to donate and shop at is important.

Savers usually has the largest selection of vintage clothes, but the quality and amount vary from season to season.

With vintage clothes, ladies should look for shirt dresses with unusual prints. Prints are becoming increasingly popular and places like Savers and Goodwill offer cheaper, original options.

Depending on the age, quality and brand of an item the prices will vary.

If you’re looking for a more consistent place to buy vintage fashion, check out Antique Emporium on Barstow Street. There’s a whole room dedicated to vintage clothes and accessories. Clothing occasionally runs a little more expensive here, but may be worth it if you’re looking for a piece dating further back than 1960.

If you’re looking for accessories to spice up your wardrobe, look for vintage scarves and vintage jewelry. Goodwill is your place to check out jewelry. The store matches pieces and sells multiple earing sets, bracelets and necklaces as grab bag sets. Look for large rhinestone brooches to dress up a cardigan for a way to mix up an everyday look.

The best place to purchase vintage scarves is Savers. Again, the selection is usually hit or miss, so check out the store as often as possible.

Looking for a leather jacket, but don’t have $150 to drop? Check out the coat section of any one of your favorite thrift shops. Prices will obviously vary, but chances are you’ll be able to find a leather jacket under $20.

A warning, however: make sure you wash the items you buy. The thrift store probably already washed the items when they were donated, but it’s never a bad idea to make sure everything is clean.

Though thrift store clothing is secondhand, that doesn’t mean it’s inferior. Donating your clothing when it’s slightly used, instead of throwing it out, saves resources and allows people who don’t have the money to shop at brand-name stores an opportunity to buy quality clothing.