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Thrifting helps channel individual styles inspired by past decades

Is it Macklemore’s classic single “Thrift Shop” or undying obsessions with ‘80s movies like The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink? Maybe it’s just the natural cycle of fashion trends coming back years later. Whatever the cause, thrifting is back in full swing. 

It seems there has been an increase in people raiding their parents’ old wardrobe or finding hidden gems in Goodwill, local thrift shops or online. Why the sudden interest and obsession with everything from mom jeans to big scrunchies to turtlenecks?

Melissa Koziol, an Ohio University senior and a student employee at 10 West Clothing Co., 10 W. Union St., acknowledged that the current trend in fashion seems to be the resurgence of old fads.

“I think it’s all about the trends,” Koziol said. “The vintage trend is coming back. Big and old is in, and even if they try to replicate it, new items just don’t have the same feel.” 

The 2000s turned the big and bold trend into skinny jeans and small accents, but the older look has a big appeal — pun intended. The trend of wearing things with a bigger fit is considered flattering by some and offers lots of opportunities and fashion combinations. 

“You just don’t see all of this being produced anymore,” Joe Falding, a cashier at Athens Underground, 90 N. Court St., said. “The use of fabrics and print just isn’t the same.” 

Thrifting leads to a cool style that can be very unique from person to person. Many people are into the trend, but staple style pieces vary greatly. It could be bell-bottoms for one person and an oversized jean jacket for another. People can go for crazy belts or different shaped handbags. 

Falding said vintage items allow people to show off their specific style, whatever it may be, by providing one-of-a-kind items. There are statement pieces for every kind of style.

“There is more character in older items,” Falding said. “A lot of people who come here to shop have a lot of flare and a good sense of their own style.”

History is appealing for a variety of reasons, and people are drawn to vintage items, whether it’s record players, old cars or clothes. Thrifting offers the opportunity to transport to a different time period, at least in a fashion sense. Different decades led to different styles and trends, so statement items can put a casual outfit into a historical context. 

Audrey Behm, a sophomore studying biological sciences, sees styles from past decades worn often by many people on campus.

“I think style today, especially with students in Athens, has backtracked to the ‘80s, ‘90s and even early 2000s,” Behm said. 

Another potential plus for thrift shopping is it’s cheaper than buying new clothing. 

“Thrifting is an awesome and cheap way to get vintage clothes that allow you to achieve the retro style you’re aiming for,” Behm said. “You’re never really sure what you’re going to find when you go into a thrift shop, and to me, that makes it so much more fun.” 


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