I don’t think I’ve made it through a day without asking someone where she got some piece of clothing. The stories behind the outfits can be as interesting as the pieces themselves. I’ve heard everything from “my sister found it in the closet when she went to Rome and brought it back with her” about an adorable, hot air balloon patterned sundress, to “I got it for two dollars on black Friday at Old Navy” about a shirt I would have sworn was name brand.
But the most common answer I hear? “Oh I got this at a thrift store!” Between needing TGIT outfits and the tendency to spend all our extra cash at the Cap Bar, it’s no wonder thrifting is a skill that comes naturally to University of Dallas kids.
As a broke freshman, I immediately started asking around about the best secondhand places to shop. Lula B’s Antique Mall, with many unique Dallas locations, reigns as a favorite among the experienced thrifters on campus. Sophomore Amelia Florian bought her dress, a long, elegant soft purple gown, for the military ball from the Deep Ellum location last year.
Pictures canvass the entire store, which is sectioned into tasteful little rooms. Antiques and furniture furnish the first floor’s rooms, and upstairs holds what feels like 1,000 dresses.
“It felt like going into your cool grandma’s attic,” Florian said.
Dolly Python has a similar layout but a different vibe. Dolly Python works to cultivate an inventory of uniquely collectable pieces, both clothes and furniture. Though this makes some items a bit pricier, it’s not everyday that you find an original Beatles tour shirt hanging on a rack. The store also labels all of its clothing by the fashion era.
“Each piece has a rich past,” fellow freshman cheapskate and clothes-lover Sophia Andaloro said. “It transforms clothing from simply a fashion statement into a story. The fringed edges of a ’90s denim vest, a French ’40s school uniform, riding boots from old El Paso Texas.”
Marquel Plavan, featured in Mall à la Mode, adores Vintage Martini — the vintage clothing store of your dreams. A recent trip left her pining for the styles of the past to come back again and for her wallet to be fuller.
The store, though the priciest second hand store she has explored in Dallas, is worth the trip. Its jewelry section alone has enough shine and color to rival any of the sequin dresses from the ’80s you’re also sure to find.
“Everything belongs in Audrey Hepburn’s closet,” Plavan said, describing the store’s elegant style.
Anyone, fashion expert or not, will find themselves drooling over the vintage Chanel dresses and laughing at the fur-lined boots of a mere fifteen years ago.
Style is how we express ourselves, whether it be the curtains we hang in our rooms or the skirts we wear to class.
“Each piece in the stores has contributed to the history of fashion,” Andaloro said. “When we vintage shop, we are reopening that visual text book. With everything we repurpose we get to tell another story, write a new chapter.”