A Thrifty Passion for Fashion


Lost in West Dallas and in search of something familiar, senior Allie Charlton, then a rising junior, pulled into the parking lot of a store with the sign bearing “Thrift Giant.” Remembering that she needed a pair of overalls for camp, Charlton stumbled inside the West Dallas treasure.

Little did she know that this spontaneous trip would lead her to one of her passions: thrift shopping.

Although Charlton left for summer camp the following day, she remembered the store from the overalls that she purchased.

“It was kind of in the back of my mind because it was a really cool thrift store. And then I came back to Dallas and I told Frances [Burton] about it,” Charlton said.

Both seniors, Charlton and Burton, share a friendship as well as a knack for what they like to call quirky fashion. Burton said that this quirky knack is part of what attracts her to thrift shopping.

“We both really like some unique pieces. And I think that is why we like going shopping so much, because we can find these unique pieces and incorporate them into random outfits,” Burton said.

The girls have gained a reputation among peers for their frugal yet fashionable take on clothes. Senior Caroline Greenblatt affirms the name the girls have made for themselves.

“Allie and Frances are renowned for their thrift store apparel,” Greenblatt said. “Every time they have something cute, it is always like ‘Allie, did you get that from a thrift store?’ And she is like, ‘yes!’”

In addition to their shared penchant for eccentric style, both Burton and Charlton agreed that they get a thrill from the bargaining aspect, something that you are unable to do in a “normal” retail setting.

“Frances and I both thrive off of [the low prices]. We get something for a remarkable price, and that makes me like the outfit because of the price that I got it for,” Charlton said.

In hopes of spreading this passion for thrift fashion, the duo has created its own thrift sale, nicknamed “Thrift AF.” The idea came to them when reviewing their plans for next year. Though Charlton will be attending Duke University and Burton Vanderbilt University, the prospect of creating a new wardrobe frightened them both.

“We were talking about how expensive it is to get a whole wardrobe to go to college. We obviously were like we are going to get all of our clothes at a thrift store, and other people can too,” Charlton said.

From this, their retail brain baby was born.

The thrift sale, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 22 at Burton’s house, will include all sorts of gems that Burton and Charlton have found in their recent thrift shopping trips.

Greenblatt is interest in the sale because of the lack of success she has experienced at thrift shops.

“I have gone to a thrift store, but I have never been able to find cute stuff. I can find costumes but not cute stuff,” Greenblatt said.

With this in mind, both Burton and Charlton adhere to a stringent code for selecting pieces, but they said that the selection process for choosing an article of clothing to purchase for the sale is tricky. They analyze size and style, among other factors. Burton said that the girls have been paying close attention to something that one may not think of: hanger appeal.

“We like to incorporate unique pieces into our outfits, but sometimes they do not look super good on the hanger,” Burton said.

With this tip in mind, the girls hope to select pieces that will appeal to all and sell. And they plan on organizing the sale with college colors in mind, for their target audience. But they encourage students of all grade levels to attend, despite the event’s target of high school seniors.

“We are going to have sections of college colors so you know, if you are going to this school, there is maybe going to be a green section,” Charlton said.

While they have made it their mission to spread their love for thrift shopping to other girls their age before they leave for college in the fall, these two have no plans of stopping this hobby when school rolls around.

“I have been looking around Nashville and I went to a thrift shop when I was there. I was thinking it is kind of an important factor in college decision for me,” Burton joked.

Although the duo will be going to college this fall, neither of them will ever forget what once strengthened their already close friendship. “I am going to miss our thrift store. We are really good. I don’t know how to describe our relationship with the cashier, but she recognizes us every time we come in,” Charlton said.