Saturday mornings for most people are dedicated to running errands, or waking up at the crack of dawn to catch all of the best garage sales. However, for 20-year-old Alexis Hodge, before she has even had time to wipe the crust from her eyes, she is already making a mental note of all the items she hopes to find on her thrift store adventure.
If it is the first Saturday of the month her first stop is a local thrift store called Community Chest, in Maryville, Tennessee because everything is $1 or less. Once she enters the threshold she is overwhelmed by the smell of old clothes. “Expressive is the one word I would use to describe ‘90s fashion, and community chest is the one place I can go to find clothing that allows me to express myself,” Alexis says.
For millennials such as Alexis, finding a good thrift shop is the equivalent of buying a brand new pair of shoes. Thrift shops are the best places to find trendy vintage ‘90s clothing at a great price. Nicole Peak, and avid thrift shopper says, “Thrift stores are the best place to find oversized tees, mom jeans, and grunge clothing.”
There are several great thrift store in Chattanooga with a wide selection of clothing at reasonable prices. There are places like America’s Thrift Store located in Northgate, Collective Clothing located minutes from the Chattanooga walking bridge, and Partnership Thrift Shop located on MLK Boulevard where you can find a vintage pair of Levi jeans for less than $10. Collective Clothing is a little pricey, but full of fashion gems.
People are drawn to thrift shops because of the really low prices. Gloria Stewart, the manager of Partnership Thrift and Consignment, says, “We base our pricing on what it would sell at retail price with a huge markdown.” Thrifted t-shirts are usually price at $2 or less, jeans are $8 or less, and shoes depending on the brand are usually less than $10.
Partnership is a great place to find vintage team jerseys and old “dad” T shirts. Are you even a true millennial if you don’t own at least one oversized tee? “The majority of our customers are middle aged women and UTC students”, Stewart says.
Thrift shops are not the only places that feed into the 90s fashion trend, there are several retails store that have jumped on the bandwagon. Bree O’Neal, a sophomore at UTC says, “you can find 90s clothing at places like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters.” O’Neal’s ideal thrift find would be anything that “smells old” and looks quirky.
Thrifts stores started to gain a new demographic of shoppers about three years ago when mom jeans and Dr. Martens came back in style, with the help from celebrities such as Kendall and Kylie Jenner. The Jenners created a line of clothing in 2016 that was completely ‘90s inspired, and teens everywhere just had to have it.
With the rising popularity of ‘90s sitcoms and ‘90s alternative music, millennials began to reinvent the idea of ‘90s fashion. Everyone was suddenly becoming a spitting image of Rachel Green from the hit TV show Friends, or Lisa Lopez, “Left Eye”, from the musical group TLC. In the eyes of millennials if you can create an outfit from an oversized tee, fishnets, and a pair of Dr. Martens then you are considered “trendy”. Social media has played a huge role in the spread of the 90s fashion trend. Apps such as Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube are the holy grail to finding 90s inspired outfits.