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When your money isn’t funny, you’d be surprised how much you’ll spend on clothes, shoes and accessories just because you can. You might dole out more than $100 on something just for name on the label or for something you might only wear a few times a year. But when money is tight, you can’t shop on ShopStyle, Topshop or Urban Outfitters like you used to, or spend all day in the mall shopping like you don’t have bills to pay. Thrifting is something that many women (and men) have done; from purchasing dresses, old VHS tapes, and even rotary phones- everyone loves nostalgia. But everyone loves a good deal too! Here are some reasons why I love thrifting, and you should give it a shot too.

Clearly, it saves you money

While you get a ton of deals through Groupon and emails from your favorite stores, nothing beats the feeling of walking out of a store with six fun and flirty blouses that you didn’t pay more than $20 for altogether. According to a study in 2010 by Black Men in America, African Americans spend about 29.3 billion a year in apparel and similar products. Also, most high quality shirts run about $50-60 dollars a piece, so why not take the opportunity to save a couple of thousand a year??

The clothes can be better quality than many major retailers

When you’re looking through the racks at your favorite store, the last thing you want to see is deodorant or any other obvious wear and tear on a virtually “new” item. When items are donated to places like Goodwill, Value Village or smaller stores like Rag-O-Rama, they’re thoroughly cleaned and some are even new items that were discontinued at national stores.

Helps you build on your own style

When it comes to thrifting, I noticed that you can look at almost every era within one rack of clothes. You can also see what was popular at the time and find new ways to spin an old idea. Fashion is all about telling a story- so why not tell yours? When leaning the history of some of my favorite shirts and pleated skirts, I’m able to build my own identity and show my personality through my clothes. You can also create a new style for yourself and it can even inspire other people!

Also helps you ignore the major trends

You don’t have to wear those skin tight leggings, miniskirts and lace-graphic T-shirts to be hip or cool. Most trends are repeats of fashion’s not-so-cute past, and just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on everyone. On top of that, just because something is hot now doesn’t mean you won’t reach for it a few months down the line with a look of shame and confusion on something that quickly went out of style. Thrift stores have a variety of pieces that you can make timeless or bring back from the vintage dead, so the young’ns can hold on to the neon colored looks and bandage dresses.

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