For fresh fashion finds in State College, many Penn State students visit clothing stores downtown to create unique outfits.
With a combination of chain stores and locally owned businesses, students have plenty of options to choose from.
Amanda Gregg thinks bigger chains like Urban Outfitters and H&M are decent options, but she thinks they are a bit too popular.
“I think a lot of people end up kind of wearing the same clothes,” Gregg (junior-materials science and engineering) said. “But if you go to places that are thrift [stores] and vintage [stores], you can find very unique pieces.”
Rithu Sai Gauravaram said she struggled to shop for unique clothes when first coming to Penn State. She said the only stores she knew of were H&M and Urban Outfitters.
“I would go to a party and see the clearance rack of Urban Outfitters being worn by at least 10 people,” Sai Gauravaram (sophomore-marketing and communications) said via email. “Not being able to find unique pieces frustrated me because my style mainly consists of unique, stand out pieces.”
However, Sai Gauravaram said she “instantly fell in love” with Tigers Eye Vintage Shop, located inside Webster's Bookstore and Cafe.
“Since all the items are thrifted, each piece is different from the other,” Sai Gauravaram said. “I was finally able to shop my style without breaking my bank account.”
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Gregg, who described her style as vintage and who specifically likes ‘80s fashion, also said Tigers Eye is one of her favorites.
“Their stuff is probably more toward the ‘80s and ‘90s,” Gregg said. “It's definitely more of a modern vintage type of clothing.”
Gregg also said she likes Love It Upcycle Boutique. The Boutique offers more well-known brands than many other thrift stores and has two locations — one downtown and another in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
“You get a little bit of everything. I've found pieces that actually looked very vintage-inspired,” Gregg said. “They also have designer pieces which are super cool.”
Gregg said Love it Up is slightly more pricey than a typical thrift store, but it is comparable to fast fashion prices.
Moreover, Goodwill is one of Tori Gamel’s favorite places to thrift.
“I absolutely love the idea of [wearing] renewable fashion,” Gamel (senior-archaeology and the classics) said.
While shopping at Goodwill, Gamel has her own technique to find the best items. She likes to look for familiar brands that she knows are high quality.
“I usually like to walk through and feel all the different fabrics,” Gamel said. “If you hit something that you think is nice, then you look at it and you inspect it.”
Additionally, Gregg thinks thrifting is an “alternative to fast fashion.”
“They can spend pretty much… the same amount of money and get clothing that, at least I think, is better quality,” Gregg said.
Sai Gauravaram thinks students should try thrifting or vintage shopping — like at her favorite shop, Tigers Eye — to branch out and try new options.
“If you love experimenting with your style and love thrifting, this place is for you.”