All Schnarr Allstar

By Steven Schnarr

I’ve never been a big fan of buying clothing. I like trying on new clothes and trying to maintain my own unique sense of style, but buying them just seems so unnecessary. And no, I’m not talking about stealing.

In the past two years, I can recall spending around $76 on clothing and accessories, $58 of which was for the past two Halloweens. Today, I try to get all of my clothes for free or at least second-hand.

Most college students will admit the United States is a consumerist nation, and they don’t like it. But most students also think it takes too much effort to do anything about it. I beg to differ-I think it’s easier to not be a direct consumer when it comes to clothing.

It’s not that I think I’m saving the world by refraining from buying myself a new T-shirt; it’s not that I think fashion is the greatest crime on humanity-it’s just that I think it’s ridiculous to spend $74 on a pair of mineral wash, slim, stretch bull denim slacks from American Apparel when there’s a surplus of clothing in almost every bedroom closet.

If it wasn’t as easy to get clothes as it is, I would be fine with buying them. But since I can pack my closet full of attire I got for free, I don’t think I’ll be stopping any time soon.

When I wake up in the morning and decide what to wear to school, I look through an assortment of clothing that I have been acquiring over the years.

I’ll look through my T-shirts and see a shirt I’ve had since 1992, those shirts I got from a clothing swap or some T-shirts I got as unsolicited gifts.

In my closet, I see a pair of shoes I bought from a thrift store for $3 at worst, or those three pairs of boots I found at a shoe dump in Detroit. Almost every time I wear a pair of moonboots, someone asks me where I got them.

My coats follow the same story line-friend’s closet, 10 years old or a leather jacket I bought from the sorry-looking dude having a yard sale with nothing worth buying. I spent $8 on that one, the most I can remember spending on any clothes in the last two years.

I haven’t gotten to the point where I’ll wear used socks or underwear, so I ask for those every Christmas and for my birthday. If you’re going to give me anything, why not make it something useful?

And then there’s winter hats. For some reason, these seem to fall in my lap. Out of the 11 I own, only two were gifts, the nine others I just seem to find at parties or in closets, or they just appear in my room. No one’s claimed them yet.

I don’t usually go looking for free clothes. It’s just that it’s a whole lot easier to get free clothes than it may seem, whether it’s an unworn article from a friend’s closet or from a clothing swap downtown.

And it doesn’t stop with clothes.

All the furniture in my apartment was free except for a coffee table. It really just comes down to having the right mindset with one eye always looking out for something that could be reused. I’m not a mooch, either-my friends and roommates can attest. With the money I save from this mindset, I can bum out cigarettes to friends and pick up the occasional tab.

I hope to implement this attitude more in the future because it’s easier than it seems, but I haven’t figured out the safety of dumpster diving for food, yet. And as soon as I can figure out how to get my Halloween costumes for free and have them still look good, then I’ll be set for life.