Secondhand clothes have quickly become the first choice for many people who want to liven up their wardrobes. There are a multitude of reasons for the used clothing upsurge, all are well documented: cheap prices, recent vintage trends and the general understanding that buying used clothes is better for the environment that buying new ones. But it’s hard to look past the treasure-hunting rush of discovering a worthwhile item, which has created a (sometimes questionable) thrifting culture with younger shoppers.
“The style of clothing is changing so much,” said Stephanie Stuart, manager at Uptown Thrift. “The younger generation is wearing stuff we wore in the ’80s and early ’90s. It’s all coming back, and thrift stores are the best place to find that kind of stuff.”
According to Stuart, the trendiness of thrifting has led to an influx of both sales and donations. “I know other thrift stores around us have had to turn donations away because they can’t keep up with them,” she said. Uptown Thrift offsets this impending supply by offering weekly price drops from 50 to 10 cents on top of random sales.
Still, some thrift stores have to turn a profit, which makes accurately pricing items while maintaining affordability a challenge. “Honestly, it’s a guess, and if anybody tells you different, they’re lying,” Stuart said. For example, the price of a brand-new fast-fashion shirt needs to reflect both its low quality and its never-worn status. Inevitably, clothes sometimes become overpriced or underpriced, but Stuart said the store tries to make its prices “as good as [they] can.”
And with rising inflation, good prices might be all that’s needed for thrifting’s popularity to continue. To get you started on your secondhand shopping spree, here are a few top spots in the 405 where you might uncover some previously worn wonders.
For those wanting the thrill of the find …
Goodwill Outlet Store (OKC)
At this variation of the nationwide chain, you’ll have to dig a little. Instead of hanging on racks, out-of-rotation clothes are piled in blue bins in a large warehouse. Sift through heaps to find the gems and shop your total haul by the pound. Just remember to bring gloves.
Community Thrift Store (OKC)
Located in south OKC off Pennsylvania Avenue, this local store is known for its regular half-off prices on clothes and its “Sunday Super Sale.” Customers need to arrive early to snag 25-cent items and five for $1 deals, but the potential of finding a must-keep piece is high.
For those craving a bargain …
Bargain Thrift (OKC)
Monthly deals and mark-downs are the key to this store’s name and claim. Every third Saturday, prices on clothing, decor, kitchen supplies and household appliances drop to 50%, 70% or 90% off. Bargain Thrift focuses on making sure its selections avoid landfills by donating leftover clothes for industrial use.
OKC Family Thrift (OKC)
Every day has a deal at this NW 23rd Street thrift store, as there’s a baseline discount of 50% off of every item. You can scope the store around holidays for 75% off.
For those searching outside of OKC …
EARC Thrift Stores (Edmond)
With two Edmond locations, Employment and Residential Centers’ thrift stores are meant to supplement its mission of aiding independence and life improvement for those with developmental disabilities. Every now and then, EARC Thrift Store holds buy one, get one free sales on all clothing.
Uptown Thrift (Midwest City)
This Mid-Del stop offers frequent discounts on everything from clothes, shoes, furniture, decorations, books — you name it. Keep an eye out for daily rotating color tag sales that range from half off to under a dollar.
Heart and Hand Thrift Center (Bethany)
Just nearby Lake Overholser, this nonprofit store directs its profits to a ministry that works to help unhoused women and children find stable shelter and work. Look out for monthly 99-cent clothing sales on the weekends.
For those looking for upscale, not-technically-thrift-store vintage …
Dig It (OKC)
From unique art to locally designed clothing, the Plaza storefront hosts a quirky set of wares, but its curated vintage collection is its hallmark. Sustainability is part of the boutique’s passion, and its upcycled, high-quality used clothes help achieve this goal.
Bad Granny’s Bazaar (OKC)
This eclectic emporium in the Plaza District holds all sorts of used knickknacks to satisfy your vintage needs. Its selection of used and throwback clothes have been popular with shoppers for over a decade.