Starkville shoppers can find fall fashion at secondhand stores

Devin Byrd, senior chemical engineering major, searches through the racks of the local Palmer Home Thrift Store for current fall trends.

As an avid thrifter, I was super excited to read Mary Madeline LaMastus' article about the thrifting options in Starkville. The article was a really helpful overview of ways to shop second-hand and find bargains in Starkville, and I wanted to use the information for my closet. Thrifting is a big part of my life, and I have to admit I have never really given Starkville a chance. This past week, I went to three of the places mentioned in the article to see if I could actually find trendy, in-style clothes for all my fall fashion needs.

To begin any thrifting adventure, I always do a little bit of research to prepare for the trip. I decided to get in touch with the President of the Mississippi State University Fashion Board, Emilia Kell Armond, to get an expert answer on what is trending this fall.

"I've been seeing a lot of fanny pack and small coin purses attached to bigger bags or belts. I have also seen a lot of girlfriend tops. Fashion is becoming very gender-neutral which is awesome," Armond said.

So with this in mind, I began my hunt for fall trends. The first stop was the Salvation Army of Starkville. Before I even went in, I already knew what to expect. I frequent the Salvation Army but not necessarily for fashionable clothing pieces. I have bought around five furniture pieces from there, but I never have much luck in the clothing sections. When I first walked in, it was a little bit underwhelming since it was sparsely populated with merchandise. There were only about 10 racks of clothes for both men and women and they were not even full. I spent around 20 minutes looking through the aisles but the clothes seemed very dated. I was not able to find anything but low-rise, bootcut jeans or religious branded t-shirts. The shoes looked like they had been sitting in someone's closet for 15 years, and they were very worn. The shoe racks were littered with old tennis shoes and strappy formal heels. As for purses, there were more reusable canvas grocery bags than purses. I was unable to find any kind of belt bag or fanny pack. They normally have a decent furniture selection, but even that was small. All in all, the Salvation Army is a bust for fall trends, or any trends at all.

Up next, I decided to visit the Palmer Home Thrift Store.They have rows and rows of men's and women's clothes as well as furniture and trinkets. Because I was a bit overwhelmed, I needed some helpful tips on how to go through such a big store. I met with Mackinzie Riley, owner of an Instagram-based thrift shop, Refined Rewind Thrift. She gave some helpful advice on how to thrift.

"You have to be really patient, that's number one. Don't look at certain brands just because they're certain brands, because you never know, there might be a random brand that you've never heard of and it might be the best piece you've ever seen," Riley said.

With this in mind, I began to dig through the racks. I started in the women's pants, and I already had found some patterned suit pants which gave off an androgynous vibe. Looking through the women's jeans, there were a lot of options for skinny jeans and a decent bit of those '90s style "mom jeans." I did not find much of anything in the dress section, but there was a great selection of tops. There were a lot of retro print sweaters and long sleeve tops with bold patterns. I also looked through the men's section and found some great corduroy pants and boyfriend jeans in many different sizes. They had a nice selection of suit jackets which, as a woman, gives off a gender-neutral look. All in all, I had a great experience at Palmer Home Thrift store and look forward to going back for my trendy fashion needs.

Last but not least, I decided to take a different approach to second-hand shopping. The next place I visited was Revolution Consignment, a local resale store. Consignment is a bit different than thrifting because when consignors consign their clothing pieces, they get a percentage of the sale. Due to a recent location change, Revolution has been able to grow and hold many more clothes and accessories. The shop seems to focus less on trends and more on timeless pieces. There were not a lot of pants or dresses, but the coat racks were full. There were a lot of utility jackets, faux fur lined jackets and cardigans. There was a great boot selection for the colder weather as well. If shoppers are coming to find something very trendy like "mom jeans" and retro t-shirts, this is not the place, but if they want some reliable and functional pieces from brands like Adidas, Patagonia and The North Face, this is a great option.

Revolution is a great way to get started in the second-hand world since it is more curated and organized than most thrift stores.

In conclusion, trendy pieces are available in Starkville's second-hand stores; it just takes grit and a lot of patience.

As much fun as thrifting can be, it is also important to give back. The Salvation Army of Starkville accepts donations throughout the week until one-hour prior to closing. The Palmer Home Thrift Store also accepts donations throughout the week, and donors can even schedule a pick up if they have a large amount to donate. 

Store manager of Revolution Jessica Taylor spoke about pieces the store is most interested in taking off of people's hands.

"We need anything that will sell, and what sells is anything in new condition. Lululemon is something we always need, it sells the second we put it out. We always need rain jackets because of the climate in Mississippi, and we also need rain boots. Any outerwear that's Patagonia, The North Face or True Grit all sell really well," Taylor said.

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