Thrift Shop

Written by Cole Sterr

Whenever my friends or other people I meet ask me where I bought one of my shirts or pairs of pants, I almost always respond with “Oh, I thrifted it!” People are usually shocked to find that I was able to buy a high quality garment for a not-so-high-quality price. What can I say? I absolutely love thrifting! I love going to thrift stores and consignment shops and finding super loud, colorful statement pieces that no one else will have, while easily staying within the confines of my collegiate budget. As a college student, I’m at a point in my life where I can actually experiment with my style and not be afraid to wear something goofy or outlandish, and thrifting helps me accomplish just that. I wholeheartedly believe that taking risks with fashion choices and wearing something out of the ordinary pushes the limits of your own personal style and helps you build a unique sense of self.

Here, I’ll take you on a little journey throughout my closet, profiling seven of my most coveted tops that I bought from a thrift store for just a few dollars!

Asymmetrical Button-up:


I bought this long sleeve button-up shirt from a Goodwill back in my hometown of Menomonee Falls, WI for about $5. The asymmetrical pattern work of this shirt creates an interesting and unique look, and I get compliments on it everywhere I go. From the band on the left sleeve to the black placket and collar, this shirt is easily one of my favorites!

The Oversized Paisley Tablecloth:


I bought this shirt from the Goodwill in Roseville, MN because I loved the cool paisley pattern -- it almost reminded me of a tablecloth or a really bad sofa from the 70s. The loud pattern of the shirt definitely captures my personality, and I love wearing it because it makes me look artsy and fun, even though it’s two sizes too big.

Tie-Dye Farmer’s Shirt:


This $4 shirt from a St. Vincent de Paul in Hartford, WI is most definitely a statement piece. I love the really cool, almost tie-dye-like pattern mixed with the countryside aesthetic. With a plain white shirt and a simple pair of jeans, I can just throw this shirt on and go without even thinking about it!

Groovy Golf Polo:


If you can’t tell already, I am really into colorful prints, which is why this golf shirt is another one of my favorites. This golf shirt is made up of the same golfer swinging a golf club and repeated in different colored tiles, reminiscent of an Andy Warhol print. I definitely catch people’s eyes while walking around campus in this shirt, but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

Vintage GAP Windbreaker:


This windbreaker is perfect for those rainy summer days. I absolutely love the GAP logo on the back of the windbreaker with the red and blue colors, perfect for a 4th of July celebration. It’s light, comfortable, and goes with almost anything!


Color-blocked Fall Jacket:


This jacket will be my go-to jacket for this fall semester. The blue and green colors, the pattern work, and silhouette all combine to make a great statement piece. I have so much fun wearing this jacket on a cool mid 50 degree day knowing that no one else has this original garment.

Patriotic Polo:


Another Goodwill piece here, of course. This polo is great for American holidays like the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. It’s oversized and has stripes, which instantly caught my attention while shopping at the Goodwill store, and it’s super comfortable! I can throw this on with a pair of converse and jean shorts and be on my way for the day, something that I definitely look for in a statement piece.

Investing in some original and quirky garments has definitely helped me develop my unique style as I entered college, and helped me be even more of my own person. Thrifting and coming up with cool, individualistic outfits has certainly become a major hobby of mine, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. I hope this blog inspires all of you to channel your inner self and not be afraid to be the person you were born to be.

Happy thrifting!

Special thanks to my good friends Nikole George and Logan Daly for taking photos of me and holding my pieces as I changed outfits on the Stone Arch Bridge.