Thrifting: it’s like getting hand-me-downs, only they come from strangers and you pay for them. But thrifting is really the best way to update your closet while on the college budget.
There are so many reasons to skip the mall and thrift. Buying used clothing is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Is it really necessary for you to buy those mass-produced faded mom jeans from Urban Outfitters when there is a perfectly good pair at your local thrift store? Is there anything more satisfying than when someone asks you where you got your cool new leather jacket and you can say you found it at a thrift store? Take that, Sharon, I know you’re trying to cop my style, but you’ll never find this at Forever 21.
It may take you a while to flip through racks until you find that perfect ‘90s flannel, but you have something no one else can buy. Give it a shot with five of the best places to thrift clothing and other items in Buffalo.
810 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo
5454 Main St, Williamsville
140 Pine St, Hamburg
Second Chic has not one, but three locations for some of the best vintage clothing you will find. If you’re looking for vintage Dior, Calvin Klein or Louis Vuitton, then any of the three locations are your best bet. The great thing about this chain is that it’s well-curated. Charity thrift stores like Goodwill can be hit or miss, but Second Chic has pre-selected those trendy ‘90s overalls you desire. They also do a great job of cleaning the clothes, so you won’t smell like your grandma's basement.
You can follow their Instagram for daily posts about new items coming in. If you see something you like, you can call and ask them to hold it for you. They have both a men’s and a larger women’s section.
Be aware that it is a pricier store, with prices ranging from about $12 to $300, depending on the item and brand. They frequently have half-off sales, so be sure to check their colored tag promotions.
648 Auburn Ave, Buffalo
This hidden consignment-store gem is just a two-minute walk from Second Chic’s Buffalo location. Scoop Shop is another great place to buy vintage clothing, jewelry, hats and bags. It’s a smaller boutique, so you won’t be spending hours scouring the racks. It still has a great selection though, with brands like Calvin Klein and Michael Kors.
This store is all for reducing your carbon footprint with complimentary recycled bags made from old t-shirts. If you bring the same bag the next time, they will give you a discount on your purchases.
4545 Transit Rd., Buffalo
This is one of the largest antique markets in Western New York. It’s located next to the movie theater at the mall. Antiques are not always cheap, but Emporium is one of the most savvy locations to buy used vinyl records. Most vinyl outlets sell records for about $20 per album, while Niagara Emporium has popular choices like Bowie and the B-52’s for less than $10. They also sell vintage band t-shirts like The Who and Prince.
If you want to spruce up your “crib,” this is a great place to find decorations for your apartment or dorm. They have a variety of colorful neon signs to hang up on your wall and vintage movie posters.
My Cuzin Vintage
168 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo
My Cuzin Vintage is just five minutes down Elmwood Avenue from Second Chic and Scoop Shop. It has a great selection of vintage and barely-used urban fashion. This is the place to go if you’re looking for kicks. Popular carried brands include Supreme, Nike, Jordans and Yeezy. It also has the best selection of vintage Bills and Sabres jackets, sweatshirts and snapbacks in Buffalo.
This is the priciest of the clothing stores listed here. But if you’re looking to cop these exclusive brands, it’s a cheaper alternative to buying them new.
2309 Eggert Rd., Tonawanda
This is one of the closest thrift stores near UB’s North Campus and the most friendly to the college budget. Clothing items here will usually fall under $10. It’s a large store, so be prepared to spend a long time searching through the aisles.
Most of the store is occupied by racks of used clothing, but it’s also a great place to shop for popular books, if anyone still reads those. You can also find household items — like pans, crock pots, lamps and curtains — for a third of the price of whatever you can buy at Target.
The only downside is the amount of used items makes it harder to find those ideal clothes. Savers does half-off sales every week, so make sure to check the color of the tag if you plan to shop.
Isabella Nurt is a junior film production major. She is keen to get off campus and cover underground topics in the greater Buffalo area.