By Jenna Lubinski
If you are like me, you know there is nothing better than a thrift day with your friends, going through racks of other people’s junk that just might be your treasured find of the day. When I was a freshman in college, I went through my first big breakup, and the only comfort I found was through clothes. Therefore, I picked up the hobby of thrifting to not only elevate my spirit but also my wardrobe, because why not? Through the time that I spent thrifting (which is more than I like to admit), I realized that there is an art to picking out pieces that profoundly stand out. The type of pieces like flared jeans from the 70s, a leather jacket that Lorelai Gilmore would wear, and a Y2K top to flaunt at social events. In order to learn the art of thrifting, the first step is to find the best places to thrift. Over the course of two weeks, I have visited and researched 3 of what I feel like are the best places to thrift in Pittsburgh.
This blog is to give you some of my personal favorite thrift stores, in one of my favorite cities, which is Pittsburgh, because what more can a person love than cute clothes and the 412?
1. Highway Robbery Vintage:
My all-time favorite area of Pittsburgh is the South Side since it really exhibits the true old Pittsburgh. South Side is home to some of Pittsburgh’s iconic restaurants, shops, and bars. If you are looking for something cute and fun to do with your friends on a weekend afternoon, I highly recommend exploring this area.
One of my favorite thrift shops called Highway Robbery Vintage is located on the South Side. It ranges from vintage clothes from the 50s all the way to the early 2000s. Therefore, it provides individuals with multiple choices to fit whatever their preferred era or aesthetic is and gives people the chance to mix and match pieces from different time periods. For example, I bought a blouse from the 80s to match with pants from the 90s, and it is always one of my go-to outfits. When I stepped into this star, it felt like I was transported back to my grandmother’s closet, trying on all her clothes from each decade. It was simply a marvelous feeling.
The store is located at 2012 E. Carson St. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203, and is open Tuesday through Sunday. The store first opened up in 2011 and the owner is Kat Colussy, who has a degree in fashion from Kent State University. While I was talking to her, we got into a conversation about the consumption of clothes and what you need vs. what you buy. She said that the best fashion advice she could give to young college students is to buy clothes you can style, instead of getting a new top every weekend to go out. This way it is more sustainable and really gives you room to work with what you have got.
2. Sam’s Vintage:
If you are the type of person who wants to recreate an iconic 90s look straight from the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, or an early Y2K look to make you feel like Jenna from 13 Going on 30, then Sam’s Vintage, on 3701 Butler Street in deep Lawrenceville, is the cutest spot with some of the best thrifty finds.
One of the best things about this place is its jeans, which are either baggy jeans from the 90s or low rise from the 2000s. They also have cute, vintage Pittsburgh sports tops that you can wear to any game and take cute pics. They also have frequent pop-up shops around Pittsburgh, especially at flea markets. This business is not only sustainable but is also female-owned. Therefore, supporting this business is not only supporting sustainability but also women business owners.
3. Clothes Minded:
This particular thrift store is buy, sell, trade, which allows fashion-forward individuals to not only get thrifted clothes but also a chance to sell and gain money, which as a college kid, is something we all need. This thrift store offers an array of thrifted clothes from modern times to things from previous decades.
The concept of Clothes Minded is that they buy seasonally and selectively. They buy based on condition, trend, style, and vintage clothes, if in good condition. In other words, the concept is like Plato’s Closet, but with a vintage twist and reasonable prices.
While we are on the topic of vintage, one of the questions that I asked the owner, Josh Fedorski, was how did vintage become this big thing? In the past, the trend of thrifting has become increasingly popular. His answer was the usage and postings from social media. He meant that social media posts made thrifting aesthetically appealing, due to the fact that it added a new element to fashion, with pieces that were old, yet new to the public eye.
There are so many thrift stores that are in Pittsburgh, to provide every thrifter with a range of clothing that will satisfy their Pinterest board saves. However, the ones that I named in this blog are some of my all-time favorites because of their business practices and sustainability aspects.
In the end, it truly comes down to the customer and what they feel comfortable wearing. From there, they can pick the thrift stores that accommodate their styles. However, my personal suggestion is to try Pittsburgh because not only will you find cute stores, but it’s also good to leave this college town.