How Shopping Secondhand Helped me Discover my Style – and Myself.

Emily Karbach || 10/28/18

“Where’d you buy that?”

This is both my favorite and least favorite question when someone comments on one of my outfits. I love it because I love to engage with people about fashion and, of course, I appreciate the compliment! The less fun part is that if someone loves one of my pieces enough to buy it, they may be out of luck. Why? Because my answer to “where’d you buy that?” is almost always “it’s thrifted!”

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A shot from a photo shoot I did last winter. My entire outfit (excluding the shoes) was thrifted at an arc in Fort Collins, CO.

Although I just recently became passionate about it, I’ve been thrifting clothes for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my family had to be frugal with the ways we spent money, so almost all my clothes were hand-me-downs from friends or had been found at our local thrift store. Even as a kid, I loved to go to the thrift store and pick out a bright floral top or some fun patterned pants, and I never minded that my clothes had been used before. To me, it just meant that some other little girl who loved the same things I did was giving me a chance to express myself just like she had been able to. Nowadays, I thrift for a lot of reasons. Sustainability is hugely important to me, so I appreciate the ability to take part in the “reduce, reuse, recycle” movement. Plus, thrifting gives me the ability to experiment with fashion and unique ways to express myself. Also, I’m currently a college student so I always appreciate easy ways to save money! The core of my passion for thrifting, though, will always be the admiration I have for the story behind each piece of clothing, and the excitement being able to give these pieces new life creates in me.

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One of my favorite outfits at Pier 39 in SF, CA. The complete outfit (including accessories) was thrifted from arc Thrift Stores in Denver, CO.

Arc Thrift has always been my favorite thrift store for a myriad of reasons (mostly because of their 50%-off everything Saturday sales!), and the more I learn about their stores and their cause, the prouder I am to support them not only with my business (I try to donate a piece of clothing for every piece I buy) but also with the creation of this blog. Arc creates value in our communities within every part of their business model, and to be able to educate people about that positive impact is an immense honor.

My goal with this blog – which I will be posting once a month – is both to share my passion for thrifted fashion and how I stay true to my style while shopping thrift, and to inspire people so the next time they walk into an Arc Thrift Store they are excited by opportunity instead of overwhelmed by possibility. And of course, I’ll be sharing my favorite thrifted pieces and looks, giving helpful tips for how to find unique and fashionable pieces while thrifting, and the nearly endless benefits that shopping at Arc provide not only to us, but also to our communities, our environment, and our world. I’m so excited to join you on this journey, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us!

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Couldn’t get enough of this San Francisco look! I love wearing thrifted looks when I travel, it allows me to look unique and fashionable while staying on budget.

Happy Thrifting,

Emily

Instagram: @emily_karbach

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