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Thrift stores offer trendy fall looks for small budgets

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Posted at 1:29 PM, Oct 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-09 13:29:44-04

RICHMOND, Va. — In the current economic climate, thrift stores in Richmond are thriving by offering trendy clothes at highly discounted prices. Thrift store owners say they currently see a higher demand in their stores. And with more than 30 thrift stores in the Richmond area, shoppers can easily keep up with current trends without breaking the bank.

“We see a rush of students come in when they get their apartments,” said Mike Crittenden, store manager of Fan Tastic Thrift on West Main Street, which has operated as part of a national chain to support veterans since 1982. “At the end of the school year we get everything back in a big rush.”

With the location near VCU, Fan Tastic Thrift attracts many college students as it sells housewares, electronics, books and a wide variety of women’s and men’s clothing.

Crittenden also said that the store has seen a large number of working families trying to save money while shopping at Fan Tastic Thrift. The store manager said that the state of the economy affects how people shop. Customers are more careful of what they buy and try to look for long-lasting items, he said.

“They’re more cautious at the quality of the good that they are shopping for,” Crittenden said. “I think there are probably a lot more people who are interested in items that last a long time.”

His store sells donated items and does not buy items directly from customers. If something stays on the shelf for a long period of time, the item is discounted even further to encourage people to buy. It only took store clerk Tatiana Saikam a few minutes to put together the following budget outfits.

For women, dark colored items with a splash of color are popular fall outfits. Tatiana Siakam of Fan Tastic Thrift found a black dress with a lace design in the back and paired it with a burgundy printed scarf. With the addition of a brown purse and brown shoes, the outfit cost $26.94.

For women, dark colored items with a splash of color are popular fall outfits. Tatiana Siakam of Fan Tastic Thrift found a black dress with a lace design in the back and paired it with a burgundy printed scarf. With the addition of a brown purse and brown shoes, the outfit cost $26.94.

For men, matching a plaid shirt with dark wash jeans is a simple outfit that works for the fall weather. Tatiana Siakam of Fan Tastic Thrift paired an orange plaid shirt, dark colored jeans and forest green shoes, This man's outfit costs $56.36.

For men, matching a plaid shirt with dark wash jeans is a simple outfit that works for the fall weather. Tatiana Siakam of Fan Tastic Thrift paired an orange plaid shirt, dark colored jeans and forest green shoes, This man’s outfit costs $56.36.

 Second Debut by Goodwill in Carytown offers value shoppers discounted name-brand items. District manager Pat Brown said her store gets donated items directly from the Goodwill, and the clerks sort through everything by hand to make sure they are priced accordingly.

“The other day, someone donated a Burberry raincoat. Their jackets usually sell from $750 to $1,000,” Brown said. “We put $75 on that.” Some outfits in the store window appear to be no different than the ones in a shopping mall department store.

“We have doctors and lawyers shop here,” Brown said. “We can compete with any of the other high-dollar stores.” As outfits outfits like these show, put together from the racks in Second Debut, they can easily be worn for work.

Second Debut has many outfits on display for $50 or less. On this display for men, a black and blue striped shirt, a white sweater vest, black pants and brown loafers together cost $50.

Second Debut has many outfits on display for $50 or less. On this display for men, a black and blue striped shirt, a white sweater vest, black pants and brown loafers together cost $50.

On this display for women, a green sweater with tan pants and golden high heeled shoes is a warm fall outfit that costs $36 altogether at Second Debut.

On this display for women, a green sweater with tan pants and golden high heeled shoes is a warm fall outfit that costs $36 altogether at Second Debut.

 Rumors Boutique on West Broad Street has operated since 2007 and uses social media to appeal to the college crowd at VCU. Unlike Second Debut and Fan Tastic Thrift, the store trades or buys seasonal and popular items such as Dr. Martens boots and HUF brand socks from customers. It in turn promotes outfits like these for sale on popular social media platforms like Instagram and Tumblr.

For women, the sales clerk at Rumors Boutique put together a striped cropped-top sweater with black pants and a black motorcycle jacket for $46.

For women, the sales clerk at Rumors Boutique put together a striped cropped-top sweater with black pants and a black motorcycle jacket for $46.

This outfit for men at Rumors Boutique with a grey shirt, tan chino pants, grey socks with a skull graphic and and a green snapback hat costs $46.

This outfit for men at Rumors Boutique with a grey shirt, tan chino pants, grey socks with a skull graphic and and a green snapback hat costs $46.

 By Maya Earls and Grant Wilging (Special to WTVR.com)

This story was reported by the “iPadJournos” mobile and social media journalism project, a cooperation between WTVR.com and VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture.