Thrifted treasures: Students share their favorite finds

Thrifted treasures: Students share their favorite finds
Freshman Evelyn Rodden: Cargo pants
Freshman Evelyn Rodden: Cargo pants

Freshman Evelyn Rodden scans each aisle carefully, gliding hangers across the clothing racks. After stumbling upon a pair of cargo pants, she knows at once that she has found a hidden gem.

Since the beginning of eighth grade, Rodden has enjoyed the art of thrifting — her favorite spots are Goodwill, vintage stores in San Francisco and Depop, an online used-clothing marketplace. After watching her sister thrift in various shops, Rodden decided to try it for herself.

Beyond the affordability and sustainability of thrifted clothes, Rodden likes how each item tells a story.

“I thought it was the perfect way to be sustainable — because I love the environment — while also finding cool, unique clothes,” she said. “That’s another great thing about thrifting — no one else has the same thing.”

Rodden’s favorite thrift find is a pair of brown cargo pants that fit perfectly, bought on Depop. She has other golden discoveries.

“Some of my favorites are a Fair Isle sweater that I got from Goodwill and a necklace that I found at a vintage store in San Francisco,” she said.

From her thrifting experience, Rodden has developed techniques to ensure she doesn’t miss any good finds.

“Definitely look in all the sections because it’s really unorganized,” she said. “You’ll look in the women’s section, but there will end up being women’s clothes in the men’s section a lot of the time.”

—Written by Zoe Leontis

Sophomore Maximus Skinner: Satchel
Sophomore Maximus Skinner: Satchel

For sophomore Maximus Skinner, fashion is about nonconformity — and that’s probably why among all the graphic tees and oversized jeans he’s resewn himself, his favorite piece he’s thrifted is a Mao-era messenger bag. This find, besides being a ridiculously niche item, is also historically and socially significant.

“I love history,” Skinner said. “I grabbed that bag in particular because I thought it looked hard, but now that I know the significance of it in historical context, it is even more special to me.”

The bag is only one example of Skinner’s individualistic appreciation of fashion — you’ve probably seen him in his fuzzy white lamb hat or Japanese-streetwear-inspired outfits. Skinner’s unique choices, though, come from an understanding of the role fashion serves in society.

“I feel like a lot of our modern fashion came from breaking down boundaries — whether it be with gender, race or class,” he said. “It also plays a social role, because I originally wasn’t really confident in the way I looked.”

The contributions that thrifting makes to creating a more sustainable clothing cycle aren’t lost on Skinner. He turns thrifted finds into renewed, wearable pieces to create a more sustainable clothing cycle.

“I just got a sewing machine last year, and I’ve been teaching myself how to sew — like adding a flare panel (to jeans) to make something that I would wear,” he said.

—Written by Becca Wu

Junior JJ Racz: Baggy jeans
Junior JJ Racz: Baggy jeans

When junior JJ Racz started thrifting in his freshman year to expand his wardrobe and sense of fashion, he didn’t know that the hobby would lead him to find some of his favorite articles of clothing.

Racz’s favorite piece is a pair of vintage baggy jeans from Marithe Francois Girbaud, which were originally valued at $60 but which he snagged for $10.

“When I wear a pair of baggy jeans, I try to balance out the outfit with a smaller shirt,” he said.

Racz usually thrifts around the Bay Area, at places like the Goodwill Bins, an outlet variation of Goodwill that sells clothes by the pound. Racz also frequents the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, which sells vintage goods on the first Sunday of each month.

Racz keeps an eye out for name-brand clothing and basics.

“I usually look for pants and hoodies,” he said. “They’re the easiest to upcycle.”

By looking for ways to modify and elevate the secondhand clothes he purchases, Racz makes the most of his pieces: he can turn two pairs of pants into one, or weave a pair of denim shorts into a bag.

For people looking to get into thrifting, Racz recommends looking for a balance of staple and statement pieces.

“I would recommend looking for stuff that’s pretty flashy as well as some plain stuff, because plain stuff can look bad, but if you take a good look at it, it can often be made into something better,” he said.

—Written by Katie LaWer

Senior Saara Doke: Low-rise jeans
Senior Saara Doke: Low-rise jeans

“I walked into my English class, and the entire room looked like a John Galt commercial,” senior Saara Doke said. “Almost every girl was wearing the same shirt from Brandy Melville, including me.”

After noticing how similar her outfits were to her peers’, Doke began to expand her shopping tastes to curate her personal style until she discovered the secret to finding unique pieces: thrifting.

Doke draws inspiration from social media sites and has developed a passion for 1990s and 2000s trends. Most retail stores do not carry the items she wanted, so she has to purchase her clothing secondhand.

According to Doke, the best pieces to thrift are jeans, because of their durability and versatility. Naturally, her favorite thrifted item is a pair of low-rise, light-wash baggy jeans.

“I’ve been wearing those jeans all the time, ever since I thrifted them in sophomore year,” she said. “They’re the perfect level of bagginess — I’ve never been able to find anything like them.”

For those new to thrifting, Doke advises new thrifters to only buy things they are likely to wear to avoid fueling overconsumption.

“Thrifting can be really affordable, and sometimes I find myself getting carried away and I buy items that gather dust in my closet,” she said. “It’s a really bad habit because it defeats the whole sustainability aspect.”

—Written by Diya Bose-Malakar

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About the Contributors
Zoe Leontis
Zoe Leontis, Social Media Editor
Senior Zoe Leontis is a social media editor for The Oracle and has been on staff since January 2023. She enjoys dancing, drinking coffee and listening to music.
Becca Wu
Becca Wu, In-Depth Editor
Senior Becca Wu is an editor of In-Depth, The Oracle's newest section. Outside of staff, she enjoys dancing with the Gunn Titanettes and watching horrible reality dating TV shows.
Katie LaWer
Katie LaWer, Sports Editor
Katie LaWer is a senior and sports editor for The Oracle. In her free time, Katie enjoys reading, listening to music and playing soccer.
Diya Bose-Malakar
Diya Bose-Malakar, Features Editor
Senior Diya Bose-Malakar is a features editor for The Oracle and has been on staff since August 2022. She enjoys listening to music, laughing at her own jokes and drinking overpriced boba.
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