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Secondhand cool

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan / Staff Writer
By Jenna Duncan / Staff Writer

UNT students stage event to tout value of thrift shopping

Adjusting to shopping on a college budget can be challenging, and one group of University of North Texas students is hoping to show others how to shop locally for less at a fashion show at 7 p.m. today in UNT’s Kerr Hall.

By showing fashionable outfits assembled by local retailers, students hope to encourage shopping locally and teach students about low-cost options for updating their wardrobes, said Ashley Nudge, a freshman who is majoring in fashion merchandising and has helped coordinate the show.

“Thrifting is really popular nowadays with kids our age, just getting creative with thrift store items to put them together in a modern way,” Nudge said. “We’re low on cash and like to look different and be creative.”

The students had the idea to put on a fashion show for their residence hall featuring all thrift clothing — with three separate sections, each featuring clothing from a single retailer.

Students searched through racks and piles of clothing at two charity resale stores, Ruth’s Room and Twice as Nice, and Circa 77, a vintage shop, to find outfits for about 20 models, Nudge said.

This was one of the first ideas the students brainstormed when coming up with program ideas for the semester, assistant hall director Crystal Romero said. Kerr Hall houses primarily freshmen and has a council of students to help residents attend events and get to know each other. This will be one of the biggest programs they host this semester.

“This is much more intricately designed and probably one of the bigger programs we have planned ... especially as freshmen — this is just extravagant and something I haven’t seen from any other hall, so I’m just super proud of them,” Romero said.

Sorting through the clothes was fun and interesting, Nudge said, noting good finds like vintage Oscar de la Renta pieces at Ruth’s Room.

“Being interested in fashion and styling, it definitely came in handy for me,” Nudge said. “It’s pretty easy for me to go through and find things that a lot of people would find appealing.”

Jana DeGrand, a volunteer at Ruth’s Room who worked with Nudge, said she hopes the show will teach students they can find affordable clothing locally, and encourage them to get involved in the community.

She noted that when Nudge visited the store, there was a customer who needed a new outfit for an interview. The woman was a convicted felon and owned only the clothes on her back, DeGrand said, and the store was able to give her a new chance with new clothes.

“I hope she [Nudge] takes that story back with her and tells her friends how lucky they really are,” DeGrand said. “I think she got a little more of a lesson when she walked into our doors than she bargained for.

“There’s more to shopping thrift than people anticipate.”

In addition to raising awareness to help local businesses, Nudge said that with the show, students hope to also promote and help local singers, as there will be two performances between the segments of the show as well as a DJ and emcee.

“We’re trying to get as many people involved as we can,” she said. “I’m hoping that we gather a lot of participation for the event. Our whole goal of hosting programs is to get students out of their rooms and involved in the community.”

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.