Thifting supports college lifestyle

Arters visits The Salvation Army Thrift Store to find new additions to his wardrobe.

Luke Arters|Courtesy


I love and adore thrifting, and I think it’s one of the best pastimes a college student can have. 

I’ve been thrifting for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories from elementary school of going on “mom dates” to local thrift stores. Mom and I would hit whatever store was the closest or the cheapest. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed scouring through every section, every rack, every shelf, always trying to find something I’d like to take home.

Of course, the main thing the majority of people, including myself, commonly go thrifting for is clothes. Over the years, I’ve found many clothes that would become staples of my closet.

If I ever needed a specific item, such as my freshman year homecoming garb, I could go thrifting with that in mind and usually end up with something decent after a couple of runs.

In the specific case of my outfit for freshman homecoming, I scored my dress shoes, pants, shirt, vest and bow tie, all from local thrift stores.

In recent years, as I have developed my sense of style and taken a specific interest in how I dress, thrift stores have been the backbone of my wardrobe.

Headshot of first-year Luke Arters.

McKenna Howenstine|Marlin Chronicle

Thrifted clothes make up the majority of what I wear. The only clothes I wear with regularity that aren’t thrifted are a few pairs of shoes.

When I got my license and a job, I would go to a thrift store in my area after almost every shift. I would rotate which store I’d go to, so I never saw the same options. Throughout this time, clothes were the main thing I was looking for.

I wanted pieces like what I saw on the internet, but more than that, I wanted pieces that matched how I wanted to present myself. In just the past year, I’ve expanded my wardrobe considerably, and I get compliments on my outfits regularly, but more importantly, on the singular pieces I have thrifted recently. 

One of my favorite feelings is when a friend tells me they like something I’m wearing, and I get to say to them, “Dude! I thrifted it! It was only a couple of bucks!” I love my clothes, but more importantly, I love that I rarely feel scared of ruining them because, in the end, it would only be a couple of dollars lost.

Many commonly gloss over what thrifting offers aside from clothes. Especially for our demographic as college students, thrifting can make our lives so much easier.

I found a foldable chair at the DAV Thrift Store on Virginia Beach Boulevard. for only around $14. I found the chair after complaining to my friends about how my dorm felt barren and uninviting.

Thrifting plates, bowls, cups, crockery, glassware, utensils, pots, pans, appliances and other household items is also a highly beneficial use of thrifting that is vastly underutilized.

Concerning college dorm necessities, thrifting is virtually unmatched in terms of prices and longevity.

Sure, you can find fifty-cent plastic plates and bowls at Target, and honestly, if that’s all you’re looking for, it’s a great option. That said, thrift stores are your best bet if you want low prices and household items that can and will last you throughout college.

Thrifting is one of my favorite pastimes and one of the best we, as college students, can pick up. It’s affordable, available and beneficial to the environment because you’re taking potential trash out of circulation.

Thrifting is essential, and I think everyone who can should take advantage of it!

Luke Arters is a first-year majoring in Computer Science. He enjoys playing the drums and the piano and discovering new music. He has been an avid thrifter his whole life and is happy to share the best thrift stores in Virginia Beach. Luke can be reached at

By Luke Arters