Everyone is familiar with the plight of college students- little money and what money we do have, it usually goes towards books or food. Luckily in Columbus, there are many places where college kids can go to get digs for less.
Always a hotspot is the local Goodwill. Columbus has two locations nearby campus (Clintonville and Morse Rd.) and both are easily accessible by bus (2 and 84, respectively). Goodwill has a reputation of being a little grimy but it’s nothing you can handle. Jeans/pants will usually run for less than $6.00 and shirts and sweaters can range from $3.00 to $5.00. Be sure to check out the sweatshirt and t-shirt sections for really cheap OSU gear! Numerous times we’ve scored unique, vintage looking OSU sweatshirts t-shirts. Don’t fret if it’s a size XL, you can follow our tutorial on cutting t-shirts into an off-the-shoulder style.
TIPS FOR SHOPPING AT GOODWILL:
· Patience, patience, patience: The racks are likely to be packed and more often than not, the clothes will be extremely dated and out of style. However, perseverance can be rewarding and closely scouring the massive heaps of clothes is the only way to find the “hidden gems”. My friend once got a perfect fitting pair of Hudson jeans for $6.00 and I’ve found 7 for All Mankind jeans for the same price. Other good brands that frequently pop up at Goodwills are: GAP, Old Navy, Express, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, and Banana Republic.
· Be sure to wash after buying: This seems like a mundane tip, but it’s an absolute must! The clothes most likely aren’t washed previous to being put out and they’re also touched by customers and workers.
· Keep your wallet in check: Just because something is cheap doesn’t make it OK to buy it. If you get lucky, there’s plenty of wearable things at Goodwill; don’t feel it necessary to buy something just because it’s $4.00. This is key; as in a regular store, only buy it if you can see yourself making use of it.
· Don’t rule out 90’s clothes: Keep in mind, most dresses can be easily revamped with a belt or a quick snip of them. Also, don’t be afraid to bring back a trend or take a risk! That’s also the beauty of Goodwill; a nifty pair of loafers will cost you around $3.00 versus nearly $50.00 at Urban Outfitters.
· Never, ever, ever buy: UNDERGARMENTS OR BATHING SUITS. Just don’t.
· Know what you’re buying: Remember to check quality. With shoes, check the soles and overall wear; if they’re not going to be comfortable, put them back. With clothes, check for holes, tears, food/marker/etc. stains and especially armpit stains.
Another good place to try is Rag-O-Rama. Located a short bus ride into Clintonville, we’ve found that this trendy shop is pricier than Goodwill. Tops will usually be around $10.00, jeans at $20.00, and shoes around $12.00. Rag-O-Rama is great, though, because they only sell higher quality, newer items. In fact, it is very similar to Plato’s Closet. I’ve found great condition Converse shoes for $16.00; it may seem a little pricey but I use them all the time and haven’t regretted it once. Common brands at Rag-O-Rama include Abercrombie & Fitch, Forever 21, J. Crew, Nike, and 7 for All Mankind.
TIPS FOR RAG-O-RAMA:
· For guys: If you’re not scared to wear other’s peoples’ shoes, check out Rag-O-Rama’s shoe selection. It’s easily organized and they usually have really good Nike Dunks.
· Stay Away: We advise to stay away from the hats and jewelry section. This is a personal opinion, but the hats and jewelry aren’t secondhand and are new, but cheaply made and therefore you don’t get that same feeling of success when you get a good bargain. It’s up to you.
· Hey, look! Rag-O-Rama has a great costume section. They stock up on fluorescent spandex, sky high hooker boots, wigs, and costume jewelry. It’s all very tacky, yes, but it can really come in handy for or themed party or TG.
· Think twice: Since Rag-O-Rama is “expensive”, it can be easy to brush something off to not buy. However, keep in mind that it is cheaper than buying it at a department store and if it’s in good/great quality and you’re sure you’ll use it, it can be worth it.
· It’s for a good cause: Rag-O-Rama is paired with several charities. Details of their service can be found online, but the gist of it is, you can receive a small wooden token and selecting your charity. Rag-O-Rama will then make a donation. http://www.ragorama.com/
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