The Thrill of the Find: How Students Use Thrifting to Up Their Style

Story & Photos by Jenna Boulter

For your next shopping trip with the girls, add the local Goodwill and Salvation Army to the list. From bold patterns to everyday styles, there’s something for everyone. Here’s how to take those thrift shop finds and make a fashionable look.

A thrift store can be an amazing place because you can find something from every decade in one store. From the 90s denim to the 60s classics, thrift stores have everything a fashionista can dream of.

Juniors Amanda Belt and Alexa Painter love to find unique pieces from a thrift store and add their own personal style to it.  Belt and Painter are both fashion merchandising majors at Central Michigan University and love to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to their everyday style.

Belt and Painter say they love to experiment with their outfits and style, and local thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army can be the perfect place to find something so unique that will allow them to express themselves.

Junior Amanda Pisoni finds the fun and love for thrift stores make it a common shopping stop.

CMU junior, Amanda Pisoni sits on train tracks in Mount Pleasant rocking her velvet dress from Goodwill

Pisoni loves to look through unique finds at the thrift stores and imagine what era it’s from.

Her style may be more laid back and casual – but she still loves to shop at thrift stores because it is something fun for her. She says she likes to have bright, bold pieces not to stand out, but to feel confident and wear something that she knows may have a story behind it.

According to these girls, thrift stores are like time machine. It can make their shopping experience fun to imagine the stories of their finds.

One of Pisoni’s favorites is a quality velvet skirt that can be dressed up or dressed down for a more casual look.  She believes one can never go wrong with a bold print and bright colors.

Pisoni also loves to find good denim or anything with a loud print. She says, “I really like a bold print, loud colors, or anything obnoxiously loud.”

When asked what her style inspiration is, she explains she doesn’t have a person as a style inspiration as much as she does with the decades.

“I don’t really have a personal style inspiration as much as I look at decades, the 80s fascinates me,” Pisoni said.


“It’s not so much that I’m trying to be noticed, it’s more that it makes me happy. When I wear that super loud shirt, it makes me laugh to feel like I look a little extra ridiculous,” Pisoni said.