As the weather gets warmer, and sweaters are being swapped for sundresses, you may be thinking of doing a little closet spring cleaning and making room for the new summer trends. As fun as it can be to head down to the French Quarter and peruse Urban Outfitters and H&M, you will most likely leave with a short receipt and an empty wallet. A great way to revamp your closet, take advantage of New Orleans, and be kind to your bank account is to pay a visit to the nearby thrift stores.

The famous expression “history repeats itself” is no less true in the fashion world, and you can never go wrong by going vintage. The old clothes represent a different era and have so much more character than the basic threads at Forever 21. Be a trendsetter! Rock that funky pattern or those yellow sneakers. Mom jeans, Dad shoes…you never know what’s coming back, and you might be ahead of the curve. Thrifting is about finding what YOU like and not about what’s hot on the racks. And even better yet, it is significantly cheaper.

Thrifting is one of the best ways to cultivate a stylish, irreplicable wardrobe that is unique to you. Since the apparel is vintage and/or previously owned, the turnover of the individual items is quick, so even if you are heading to the same store, you’re likely to see a whole new variety upon each visit. The treasure hunt vibe of thrifting is exciting, and it is so gratifying to find and flaunt something you know nobody else will have. You may even find designer clothes at fraction of the original price–what’s more satisfying than that?

A few good thrift stores in NOLA are Buffalo Exchange, Funky Monkey, Swap, No Fleas Market, and Red White & Blue Thrift Store, and that is only naming a handful. A lot of these stores are only a short walk or drive away from campus, and some, such as No Fleas Market, even donate some profits to local charities. If you’re looking to update your wardrobe, pay these shops a visit; you might just find a gem.

COVER PHOTO: The Saint