Tagged: Goodwill

Boston for a Buck: Thrift Store

By Steph Solis, Staff Writer
@stephmsolis

The many opportunities that come with “thrifting.”/PHOTO VIA Meryl Tochen of The Garment District

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.

Goodwill (Allston)

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).

Holiday shopping on a college student’s budget

By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
@HeatherGoldin

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Kind of hard to believe with the stress of finishing up class and studying for finals. And on top of finals season, there’s the stress of holiday shopping for friends and family. Whether it’s a white elephant gift exchange with friends, a gift for your roomie or shopping for your family at home for when you finally get to see them after the semester ends, the amount of people you get gifts for adds up

Christmas present

It’s gift giving season / PHOTO VIA kidfocus.com

along with the price. How are we supposed to afford buying gifts when we spend all of our money on coffee and comfort food? Fear not, there are options.

The closest supermarket: 

Think Shaw’s or an equivalent. What is your friend’s favorite candy? Make a study snack pack for your roommate. One year I got a hot chocolate mug that came complete with hot chocolate. Needless to say, I was stoked. Your fellow college students understand what it means to be a broke college student. Try having a gift exchange with a low budget set so one feels obligated to spend a large sum of money.  Note: This might not work for bringing home in your suitcase because most food is perishable, obviously.

Goodwill:

Good for more than funny costumes and ugly sweater holiday parties, thrift shops of any sort are sure to have the perfect present at a low price. The key to Goodwill is shopping when there are good donations. It can be hit or miss, but when you do find a great gift for your sibling you can be sure no one else will get them the same thing. Check out Goodwill’s website  for the location nearest you! Just remember that one man’s trash is a college student’s potential gift idea.

Dollar Tree: 

It’s in the name; the dollar store is a college student’s best friend when it comes to the shopping season. Obviously you get what you pay for, so you probably won’t find high quality gifts here. However, think about the dollar store as the finishing touch to your gift. Wrapping paper, bows, the whole nine yards. You might even find a cute key chain or stickers to make your gift even better. Everyone loves stickers.

Handmade the old-fashioned way:

This one is for your dear parents. They of all people should understand the financial situation you are currently in. It is certainly a great gift just to have you home for the holiday season, so why complain? It’s the thought that counts, so give mom and dad a heartfelt card made with love. Put a little humor into it and draw a picture of what you wish you could afford to buy them this holiday season.

‘Tis the season for gift giving and finishing off the semester strong!

Check out what people had to say about about shopping on a budget on Storify.

Goodwill goodies: Finding treasure in the junk

By Hilary Ribons, Staff Writer
@hilaryalexisr

Goodwill is always a college student’s first stop for everything from vintage sweaters to house furnishings. You can always snag something kitsch for cheap. Sometimes, you luck out and thrift something that actually looks cool.

Old couch

Yum, just the kind of beat up, worn out dorm sofa we’ve all seen at some point / PHOTO CREDIT BRANDON GIESBRECHT

What if you went in one day and picked up a dusty old painting in a picture frame and found, upon further examination, that it was worth more than $20,000?

A Salvador Dali painting was recently donated anonymously to a Goodwill in Tacoma, Wash., according to CNN. The painting has been put online and will be auctioned off for $21,005. In the spirit of Goodwill, the money from the painting will go toward funding job training for the disabled and disadvantaged.

We can only hope that we’ll find such valuable treasures on our ventures to Goodwill. Most of the time, we find trash that we think is cool. While sometimes it is, other times it’s not. Half of a dirty, threadbare sectional sofa with indentations from the previous owner’s behind, sweaters that smell a little like grandma and look a lot like her, lava lamps that are so old that the lava stays sadly lumped at the bottom of the lamp, beer mugs tainted yellow by age and lack of dish soap—you name it, I’ve seen it. The owners of the items often smile proudly and announce their new vintage find. They fail to recognize the difference between vintage and just old and gross.

Goodwill Goodies

The Wayfarers on the Goodwill Goodies site / IMAGE VIA goodwill-goodies.tumblr.com

Luckily, the Tacoma Goodwill, where the Dali was found, has recognized some really valuable vintage finds that they deem too good for the store. These finds go online to their Goodwill Goodies site where they are auctioned off. The site’s most recent posts include vintage mid-century Christmas lights, Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses (don’t rush to bid, they’ve already been auctioned off), glass perfume bottles and more.

While anyone can visit the site and bid on the items, there’s something about going to the thrift store and sorting through piles of useless items to find that one treasure that’s really gratifying. So next time you visit Goodwill, keep an eye out. Who knows? You might find a Monet hiding in the home decorating section.

A DIY Halloween

By Olivia DeFrances, Staff Writer
@abstractinspire

So, you’ve made your plans, stocked up on candy corn and all that’s left is getting your costume. But wouldn’t you rather save your money for your night out, rather than ditching it on a generic costume that’s going to fall apart? Well, the good news is that do-it-yourself costumes are affordable and often a lot more creative than the ones you can buy from the store. They are easy and fun to make!  Show off your personality more than that same sexy nurse costume you and two other girls were wearing at that party last year did.

I’ve been making DIY costumes forever, and even if you’ve never created a DIY costume, with a little imagination and a little cash, you can create amazing DIY outfits for this Halloween’s set of parties.

I grabbed a dress that I got at Goodwill last year, a glittery red number, and paired it with cheap fishnets from the mall. I grabbed classic black heels that every girl probably already has and a devil’s tail and horns that I found at CVS. A classic devil costume is perfect for a wicked night out.

DIY Costumes

A very simple DIY evil fairy costume

Looking for something cuter? A few years ago, I got a hot pink tunic dress at Forever 21 at a bargain, a pair of Hello Kitty ears from Hot Topic and wore my white Underarmor that I already had, and voila! Hello Kitty.

You can take typical clothes that you already have and make them stand out with accessories. You’d be surprised by how much potential your average wardrobe has. For a cute sailor girl outfit, I took a plain navy T-shirt and a pair of white shorts from my closet, cut a white T-shirt for a neck tie and bought a Navy hat at the Goodwill on Commonwealth Avenue. I was inspired by the outfit I wore as a chorus girl in the musical “Anything Goes.”

You can find ideas in the most random places. All stores are stocked up with winter attire. Those animal hats can easily be transformed into a costume and then used later in the year as a cute fashion accessory. Today as I was out running my usual errands, I found the cutest penguin hat. Just grab a black shirt and black skinny jeans and safety pin on some white felt for the belly. So adorable!

You could make something specific for you, like a costume based on your astrological sign, a sport you play or a jersey of a team you support.

DIY Costume

A vintage hippie outfit: a swimsuit from the ’60s, that I got on the cheap at a local consignment store back home.

If you want a costume that other people aren’t likely to have, look to history. Get a white dress at Forever 21, Goodwill or the Garment District, some heels and curl your hair to be Marilyn Monroe: classic sexy without being slutty at all. Go to a vintage store and get a period piece from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s or ’80s. Even better, raid mom’s closet if you’ve got the chance to go home for a weekend! Or go to a costume outfitter and get a period piece. Colonial wench? Renaissance princess? Historical pieces are always classy and fun.

In a total pinch? There was one year that I had to have a costume in an hour, and hadn’t had the chance to buy anything. So what did I do? I grabbed pink skinny jeans, a pink t-shirt and a pink hair clip from my closet, and I went as the color pink. I completed the outfit with a fluffy pink top hat that I got from my brother’s closet, and it was a great success!

Pull inspiration from your everyday life. When we were reading “The Scarlet Letter” in high school, my friend and I grabbed solid black outfits, draped black sheets around us and used felt and safety pins to attach a scarlet “A” to each of our chests. She carried baby doll to represent Pearl and I was Dimmesdale. Not many people got what we were, but we got a kick out of it and got extra credit in English class. A Halloween costume is always worth getting great reactions. A 5-year-old ran up to my friend, who was holding the baby doll, and said, “You must be the teen mom!” I’ll never forget that. Side note: what are people letting their kids watch these days?

I hope my humble DIY ideas have inspired you to go out and pull together a creative costume and wow your friends this Halloween! Happy hauntings!