Welcome to oh-so-typical college finances. Freshman year was a little different for me because I lived on campus and didn’t have to worry so much about rent and utilities, but this year money has been TIGHT. To save some cash while clothes shopping, I have been expanding my wardrobe with cheap things from thrift stores around Chicago.
Close to Lincoln Park campus, there is a Rag Stock with 2 floors full of goodies. WARNING: A common misconception is that Rag Stock is a thrift store. IF A SWEATER IS $20 IT IS NOT A SOLID THRIFT STORE. NO. This place has super hip stuff, but I assure you there are better places to snag an old man sweater at a lower price.
I usually hit up Unique Thrift off the Wilson red line. They have 50% off Mondays which is super dangerous because how many knit sweaters do I REALLY need? Either way I usually go at least once a month to see what they have. I actually found some really cool paintings and home décor here a few times and nothing was over $5.
Insider Tip: don’t buy comforters or pillows. Just don’t mess with that.
Closer to Lincoln Park campus is the Belmont Army. I lived by this place for over a year and I just recently found it. The gem of gems. Most of Chicago’s “vintage” shops that I have been to are insanely overpriced, but this place has some good finds. They have 4 floors and each place has a unique vibe. The second floor is a shoe store, then an army surplus store, and the 4th floor (best) is a neat vintage shop. Everything is tidy and clearly labeled which is something that most thrift stores lack. They carry trendy garments as well as casual basics. There’s a whole section for “hippie dresses”, shoes, funky t-shirts, antique kitchenware, and the employees are helpful and charming.
Although Chicago has the famous Michigan Ave, you should check out some of these hole-in-the-wall treasure troves, for sure.