By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
It’s a strange phenomenon: something so ugly that it becomes chic. But for some reason, I am completely on board. Maybe it’s the mob mentality and maybe it’s my love for thick wool and reindeer. All I know is that I crave Christmas sweaters.
I think Christmas sweaters are so popular because they really symbolize the return of the merry Yuletide. You can’t rock a Christmas sweater in July—if you are, then you need to immediately stop. Please cease.
But when the days get cold, there’s nothing quite like pulling on a warm sweater. And if that sweater happens to have reindeer or Christmas trees or Santa Claus then that’s all the better!
But if you’re anything like me, then you’re a little befuddled as to how to get Christmas sweaters. They seem so ubiquitous, but they’re strangely sparse in the retail world. Everyone and their mother has one, but where do they get them?
There are expensive retailers online or in stores like Urban Outfitters, but unless I’m willing to saw off my own leg in payment, I don’t think those are options. You could scour EBay for hours, but that might end in fruitless heartbreak.
Well, I discovered an answer! H&M!
I don’t know what it is, but I feel like—suddenly—H&M is all about sweaters: warm, funky geometric patterns, bold colors. I was there a few days before Thanksgiving, returning a pair of ill-fitting black pants—an embarrassing story in its own right—when I wandered over to the sweater collection.
I found a dark blue sweater with neon green snowflakes and a white moose, but there were also ones with white snowflakes and red stripes. Best of all, H&M frequently has sweater sales, like “Buy one, get one half off” or “Buy one, get one free”.
So, if you’re looking to find a quick, cheap Christmas sweater to hold you over until your parents finally crack, I’d stroll on down to H&M.
Whether looking for some vintage chic, or a cheaper pair of jeans, Boston’s got you covered. Check out a roundup of thrift shops near BU’s Charles River campus.
This isn’t a full list by any means, but if there are any vintage or consignment store that deserves a shout out then simply comment below.
Second Time Around (Back Bay)
Second Time Around does consignment with designer clothes and accessories (it’s slogan is “resale goes upscale”). It’s a great place to track down classy vintage cardigans and cocktail dresses, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re on a tight budget.
The chain has a few locations in Boston, including two on Newbury Street.
The Garment District (Cambridge)
The Garment District is a thrift shopper’s dream. The Cambridge store is not just known for their low price tags, but also for their By The Pound sales. Every day but Friday, the store leaves out 850 pounds worth of clothing for shoppers to sift through and collect. At $1.50 a pound, it’s a steal.
Just a heads up, you might also want to check out their Halloween selection. They have decent prices on costumes, and in October they stay open until midnight.
Buffalo Exchange (Allston)
This is the go-to place for thrifty BU students. It looks more like a secondhand Urban Outfitters than a thrift shop, which is perfect if you’re just looking for something trendy that doesn’t leave you broke.
BU students often go to Buffalo Exchange to sell their clothes at the end of the year. About 80 percent of the store’s selections are bought from local consumers, according to it’s website. But keep in mind they prefer clothes that are in style and in mint condition.
If you have a few hours to kill, look through Goodwill’s selection. It looks dull at a glance, but somewhere there’s an ugly Christmas sweater or a hippy leather patchwork bag you’ll want to take home. It’s also a good place to find basic supplies for DIY costumes.
Urban Renewals (Allston)
Urban Renewals also has its fair share of thrifty gems. It’s not the place to go for trendy vests or hippy chic, but you’ll find some decent clothes and even a good shoe (all for under $10).
By Hilary Ribons, Staff Writer
We are serial deal-seekers, makers and money-savers. We have slim wallets made slimmer by our penchant for purchasing hot pockets and Ramen at 7-11. We are college students. And where there are deals, you better bet we will find them. I’ve made it easier for you this time by exposing one of Boston University’s Facebook groups’ best-kept secrets. The “Free and For Sale” Facebook page is a public group that as of now has about 1,920 members. The title is pretty much self-explanatory. All the stuff you find on there is either—wait for it—free or for sale. The page is a forum for “fridges, futons, textbooks and tons of other stuff,” according to the page’s about section.
It keeps its promise. On the groups wall, tons of BU students write posts advertising things that they are selling, getting rid of or looking for. And they include everything. Here’s an amusing list of items being sold and requested that I saw while perusing the page:
- A Wally the Green Monster Pillow Pet
- An LED desk lamp
- A November bus/train pass
- A Wii console
- An “everything must go” closet sale
- An iPhone
- Fairy wings
- Concert tickets
- Recording services
Students offer help (and sometimes sarcasm) to their peers, either responding to their requests with offers of their own, or directing them to places where they can buy or sell what they are looking to. Most of the items on the page are lightly used, and the owners are looking to get rid of them quickly and conveniently, so they are cheaper than they would be off-the-shelf. It’s a pretty convenient way to buy or sell something, since it’s all located within the BU community. Usually, buyers and sellers contact each other via message or phone if they are interested in making a transaction.
There you have it—I just catered to your weaknesses—convenience, low prices and the allure of new crap. Have at it. If nothing else, join for the sheer amusement of seeing what people post.