By MIKE CHAIKEN
When it comes to back to school clothes shopping, convention dictates parents and kids head out to seek brand names at the mall, and if the parents prevail, items will be acquired at a sale price.
But, ever consider shopping at thrift store, such as Savers Thrift Store at 657 Farmington Ave. in Bristol? A survey from Savers reported that the idea is not as unusual as one would think.
Savers thrift stores recently released a survey that said thrifters aren’t shopping thrift out of necessity; 76 percent of Americans are choosing thrift with the top two reasons being that it’s cost-effective and feels like a treasure hunt. And 77 percent of those surveyed by Savers agree that it’s important that they get a good deal or value on the items they buy.
The Observer took two local youths and their mothers to Savers for some back to school shopping. Savers provided Aurianna Monteiro of Southington, 12, and Taylor Plourd of Bristol, 15, with two $50 gift certificates to see what they could find within the rack of the thrift shop, whose proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Prior to the shopping spree, Aurianna – a seventh grader at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Southington— explained that when she goes shopping for back to school, “I usually look for something that’s me— and has floral prints and is very colorful.” She said she’s not usually one to worry about particular trends. “I just go with what I like.”
Taylor, a sophomore at Bristol Central High School, said when she looks for her back to school gear, she looks for things that are appropriate for fall, a lot of colors, jeans, boots, “and a lot of cute tops.”
As for whether she aims for the brand names, Taylor said it depends. She does like clothes from Pink. But she’s also open to clothes from brands she may not know.
Nicole Monteiro, Aurianna’s mother, and Tamara Plourd, Taylor’s mother, said, typically, they’ll spend $250 on their daughters’ back to school clothes.
For the $50 from Savers, Auriana and Nicole thought they might be able to find up two outfits, top to bottom. Taylor and Tamara thought they may be able to get from three to four.
After an hour plus of shopping at the Bristol Savers, however, both Aurianna and Taylor found five separate outfits—from dresses, to tops, to jeans, to shorts. Essentially, they were able to find a week’s worth of clothing for a fifth of what they would find in a retail shop at the mall.
“I found some really cute clothes,” said Aurianna.
Nicole said she was surprised by the results of the Savers’ shopping spree. “We definitely got a whole week’s worth of stuff— great brand name clothes and the quality was good.”
“I found a lot of brand names that I’m very familiar with,” said Taylor. “I found cute things.”
Taylor said Savers—and other thrift stores—will be on her radar for future back to school shopping… as well as for other events. “I was thinking as I was doing this I should have come here for a homecoming dress… It was really cheap. I tried one on and it was $5 compared to $20 [for something] I never wear… again.”
Overall, Taylor said the trip to Savers was definitely a good shopping experience.
For more information about Savers, go to www.savers.com
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN