Into The Closet

By Taima Dugan

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Fashion For a Cause

Keeping up with appearances is hard in a world of fashionistas, especially when you’re a broke college student. However, here in Berkeley, we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by an abundance of thrift stores, where you can get an entire outfit for $20 or less—cashmere sweaters are $7 and boots are $5.

Out of the Closet is located on the corner of California street and University Ave. An international chain of thrift stores, Out of the Closet donates its profits to the AIDs Healthcare Foundation (AHF). Housed in their bright, pink and blue buildings is a multitude of new and used clothes, shoes, kitchenware, electronics, books, and furniture, as well as free HIV testing and condoms—all of which are taken care of by a pleasant workforce.

As an experiment, the BCC Voice visited this thrift store with a $20 budget and attempted to buy an outfit. With only $11.50, I was able to buy a soft, grey tank-top, a beautiful, blue, flowery skirt made of silk, and a pair of short, black, 90s boots. Shopping at this thrift store is far from the cold, corporate experience of shopping at a mall. It’s a much calmer experience, with uplifting music ranging from country to hip hop, and people of all kinds sifting through clothing racks or browsing through records. Nearly everything is in a neat and colorful mess, with a softly colored carpeted floor, and a couch for people to sit or try on shoes, all coming together to make a cozy environment. On top of that, everyone is pleasant and happy to help. The best thing about this thrift store, though, is the jaw-dropping prices, and the fact these funds go to the AHF .

So, if you ever feel like you need to update your wardrobe and support a good cause, but don’t want to spend your food money, take a trip to Out of the Closet: 1600 University Ave, Berkeley

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