Thrift Shopping for Dummies: A 6 Tip Crash-Course on All Things Thrifting

By Don Davis

Remember when buying clothes from a thrift store was considered embarrassing… yeah, me neither! The biggest trend for a few years now has been thrifting. Long gone are the days when people are embarrassed and won’t admit to buying clothes from thrift stores. In fact, it’s just the opposite, you are considered the ultimate fashionista if someone asks you where you bought something and you say thrift store or flea market. Let’s face it we’re all broke, but thanks to thrift stores nobody knows that. So, here is my guide to being a baddie on a budget: thrift store edition, may the thrift shop odds be ever in your favor.

Tip #1

Don’t just go whenever! Select thrift stores have college nights where EVERYTHING in the store will be a certain percentage off, sometimes it’s as much as 50% off. Most thrift stores also keep a calendar specifying all their sales for the month, more importantly when they restock, make sure to grab one. I always say if it’s not in your phone it doesn’t exist, so add the really big sales like “all winter apparel 99 cents” (yes, that actually happened) in your phone so you don’t forget them. It’s also important to stay connected, some thrift stores have an email list you can sign up for, and social media accounts you can follow for even more deals, discounts, and inspiration.

Tip #2

Thrift shopping is not just an activity, it’s an event, make sure you have the whole day cleared, odds are you’ll need it. Also, make sure you don’t leave the house without the following: your student ID, dressing for the occasion, a Tide stain stick to see what stains can be removed or at the very least faded, and best friends. Thrift shopping can be long and tedious but going with your friends will make it a fun and crazy adventure. You could be a second pair of eyes for each other and pick out things you think the others would like, and have little competitions to see who found something brand name, or even better, designer, or who got the most clothes for the least amount of money. Also, most thrift stores offer student discounts. The one good thing that college has done for us is giving us student ID’s with no expiration date. Always take your student ID with you, (no matter how bad your picture looks) you’d be surprised how many other stores offer student discounts. Lastly, dress for the occasion, when going thrift shopping you should be dressed one of two ways: either in comfortable clothes or wearing something that goes with/matches what you are looking for, because not all thrift stores have dressing rooms.

Tip #3

Location, location, location! If you need help finding some thrift stores go to The Thrift for a list of thrift shops in your area. Although, the best thrift shops are always located downtown. That’s usually where you’ll be able to find all the brand name and vintage designer stuff. That’s another reason why I suggested bringing friends, can you say mini road-trip!

Tip #4

In speaking of designer, you know the best place to find name-brand items like Thrasher, Adidas, Harley Davidson, Nike, and my personal favorite – Tommy Hilfiger? THE BOYS SECTION! When going thrift shopping leave no stone unturned and section unsearched, the men’s section has tons of hidden gems, and the clothes in the men’s section also tend to be cheaper too. The last time I went shopping I found an oversized vintage yellow Tommy Jeans sweatshirt in the men’s section for less than four dollars. By the way, for all my designer brand snobs, don’t forget about online shops like Etsy and Poshmark.

Tip #5

People usually make one of two common thrifting mistakes: either they are a little too ambitious and overestimate their DIY and sewing skills, or they buy clothes they don’t really like just for the sake of buying something and because it’s cheap. Don’t be afraid to walk out the store empty-handed because “if you don’t absolutely love it in the store [then] you won’t wear it” (Sandra Bullock as Leanne Tewey in The Blind Side). Next thing you know, you’ll have a closet full of clothes you can’t even remember buying and wonder why in hell you bought them in the first place. Also, and this should go without saying, but don’t buy things with broken zippers, missing buttons, holes, or rips that you plan on “fixing later”, because you won’t. And don’t buy things that need to be tailored, or need a ton of alterations done to them, especially, if you are barely able to cut a t-shirt into a crop top.  

Tip #6

Lastly, and by far the most important, wash everything you just bought as soon as you get home. I could tell you horror stories about what people have told me happen to the clothes in thrift stores and flea markets, so store your bags in the trunk of your car till you get home, then wash them immediately.

Bonus: Tip #7

Little tip, the first Saturday of the month Goodwill has a 50% off sale, AND it lasts all day, but try to get there when they open, so you get first-dibs on all the good stuff.  Goodwill also gives you 20% off your purchase if you bring in clothes to donate.


Alice’s Very Important Date

A vintage fashion show goes “Down the Rabbit Hole”

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On April 24th, 2017, what was once just the UNT Union Ballroom was transformed into a whimsical fairy-tale fashion world thanks to the hard work of the talented Merch Inc. fashion show production team, who created a fabulous Spring show titled “Down the Rabbit Hole.”  Unlike Merch Inc. fashion shows in the past, this show has a unique story element  inspired by Alice in Wonderland, using vintage styled looks from Circa 77, a local vintage shop in downtown Denton.

After a long day backstage filled with freshly painted props, endless garment racks, and more eyeshadow palettes than you can imagine, the show finally came together. By the time I took my seat in the ballroom, the anticipation was high, and what was in store for the audience did not disappoint.

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The show began with two figures emerging from the audience, who soon became clear were models representing Alice, from the classic Lewis Carroll novel, and Hamish, her not-so-eligible bachelor. After a dramatic proposal scene on stage, the show began in full force. Model after model emerged in carefully styled and uniquely vintage ensembles, each portraying a fashionable interpretation of classic Alice in Wonderland characters, such as the Cheshire Cat, Tweedle-Dee, and The Mad Hatter. The models each walked in character, sauntering past magical mushrooms and roses throughout the runway.

The rest of the show paid homage to the classic Alice in Wonderland“Tea Party,” the iconic “White Queen” and “Red Queen” scenes. Each section of the show had its own feel and attitude, which complemented the outfits being modeled perfectly. The tea party looks were a combination of preppy and retro, whereas the white queen looks were celestial and angelic, giving the models an appearance of floating on air. Finally, the show came to an end with the finale of the Red Queen, which included a series of fierce and fiery red and black looks.

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The attendees of the Spring Merch Inc. show were transported to another world, myself included. The students, volunteers, and staff who worked tirelessly to put the show together delivered something truly unforgettable and special. As Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland, “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” “Down the Rabbit Hole” was a wonderful escape from reality, and an impressive showcase of the imagination and creativity UNT’s merchandising students possess.

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Show Production by the Merchandising Inc Fashion Show Committee

Words by Reiily Farris

Photography by Criselda Ocon and Michaela Bull

Edit by Maia Wilson

Click the slideshow to see into the show!

An Alice in Wonderland Debut

Going “Down the Rabbit Hole”

Every year, Merchandising Inc. (the fashion organization that is over NuView Magazine) hosts a fashion show on what promotes the zeitgeist of fashion from a collegiate perspective. Every year is different from the next because of the producers’ vision and style captured on campus. This year symbolizes a twisted time for our nation reflected in the desire for a fantasy world. Enter “Down the Rabbit Hole,” an all-student-run fashion show inspired by the combined 2001 and 2010 movie versions of Alice in Wonderland.

The show will take place on Monday, April 24th at 7pm in the UNT union ballroom room 314. Tickets are sold at the door for $5 cash or card. We wouldn’t want you to miss it, but in case you’re several miles away (due to the fact that this is a global site) check back in a week to get the full coverage of both behind the scenes and close-ups during the show. Explore the imagery below to keep you captivated until the day of show!





Words by Maia Wilson

Videography by Lauren McMichaels

Photography by Michaela Bull

Styling by Raeleigh Hall

Modeling by Melissa Caskey

Hair by Carolina Gonzalez

Makeup by Taylar Gomez

Graphic Design by Philip Galuban

Mask by Rose Kuo

What the Other Person Thinks

An Insight on Gender Perception


There is a well-known saying, women don’t dress for men because if they did they would be naked; women dress for other women, referred to by designer, Betsey Johnson. This is a controversial truth, but there is questioning about who people dress for and more importantly how others perceive it. Often, individuals, who have passion for their freedom to exercise their personal style are outcasted by this stray of normality. On the inside they may have that “I-don’t-care-what-people think” mindset, they wear what they want because it makes them happy, but what about the ones who aren’t as confident and maybe care more about what people think of their exterior armour. What do people think about both of these separate dressers? Do people really notice? We wanted cold, hard opinions and what better than from the gracious, but honest guys on our college campus. We would explore the inner thoughts of others by asking what they really think of the outfits that make individuals feel happiest in, but are unique to their counterparts.

I spoke with Marcel Smith, Colton Johnson, Derek Boone, Nate Proffitt, and John Davis-Lopez to answer some of these burning thoughts, and to my surprise their answers were often unanimous, giving us consistent insight into the brains of ones we may not have ever gotten the answers to. I started with the simple question of what do they notice in a person they find attractive from afar.

The first observation was noticeable effort, John stated “I find it attractive when you can tell that effort is put into their appearance” and Nate complemented “and they’re not timid to express their personality in their appearance.” Then posture, “what many people overlook I feel, is posture. People look happier, more friendly and overall more attractive with good posture” Colton commented.


What is your instinct thought when a someone is wearing a bold piece of clothing?

Nate started with “I think in general I have a lot of respect for people who think outside of the box with their outfits because they don’t necessarily follow a pattern for what is typical or popular.” Similarly, Colton followed with “It takes courage to wear something that will stand out in a crowd. You are wanting to draw attention to your outfit and therefore yourself which is hard for many people these days to do (not behind a screen).” John contradicted though, he explained  I will find it more intimidating to talk to [a girl]. I’m already not bold in general, so by her wearing something bold (well, it’s more in how they carry themselves) I’m going to think that I have no chance.  Marcel also affirmed it’s in “the way she wears her clothes that say a lot about her.”

In general, what draws you to a person?

“Their personality, how open they are to meeting new people, if I can be myself around them without being judged,” noted Derek. Colton seconded, “ to have a personality to back up your outfit is important.” Nate expanded by saying “confidence and people who are positive because it is clear that they are comfortable in their own skin and have a healthy outlook on life.”

Do you think there is a stigma on people who wear outfits that are seen as crazy or unconventional? Why do you think that is?

They all agreed that “a stigma is there, and people are judged for being different.” John added, “People like things the way they are. Seeing something bold will affect what they see as normal.” “There is even a greater problem in male fashion, Colton stated, “where ‘dressing up’ has fundamentally meant the same thing for a 100 years. I was talking to my girlfriend about how depressing it is that we spend countless hours looking for a wedding dress, but when the big day comes [the male is] expected to throw on essentially the same black tux that [his] father did and his father’s father did. “ Nate also commented that “it has gotten a little better, but it used to be that men who took time in their appearance, in clothing and/or hair were labeled gay. “I still see this many cases,” Colton replied.


It is often perceived that when someone wears an outfit that is viewed as flashy and “out there” in their everyday lives, they really putting on a costume, trying to be a specific character. Do you feel this is true with females?

Colton explained that he doesn’t “believe that putting on a flashy outfit means that they are putting on a character. If anything changes, it is their confidence level which can influence their personality, though that does not change them as a person.” Correspondingly, Derek stated “they might just be a more confident version of themselves.” Nate profoundly commented “I don’t think wearing something different means that you are trying to be someone different it’s just expression in a way that others may have not seen before.”

What do you admire and notice most when approaching a girl? And would you say this is similar in what you see in your guy friends?

Remarkably, most of them mentioned shoes. “Specifically, I pay attention to shoes. Shoes are a big thing for guys” Nate initiated. Colton then stated, they are “the hardest part of the outfit to get right. Picking the right shoe is an art.” Marcel added “I look at that their smile and their shoes.” Then it was about being comfortable in their own skin, John stated, “I admire when someone I  approach can be completely themselves. I admire when they’re not afraid of what other people think,” “This applies for both my male and female friends,” Derek concluded.


Lastly, do you believe females dress for men, themselves, or other women? Or is it a combination?

“I think that if you ask any girl this question most likely the answer will be for herself.  I believe that is true to some extent, but behind the scenes there is more to the story,” Colton noted. And elaborated, “Our perception of beauty comes from others, so while you are looking cute for yourself, your concept of “cute” came from someone else. In some ways, you are dressing for other women. Now we can go even deeper and figure out what these women were thinking when they made these opinions. Was the look for sex appeal? Nine times out of ten this is the point of fashion. It’s why sells fashion. You could then make the argument that most women dress for men.” For Derek, he feels “different people dress for different reasons. Some people dress for themselves, less confident people might dress to impress others, and those who want a boyfriend might dress to impress a guy they’re talking to.” Marcel related, “I think that it depends on the situation, but for the most part they dress for themselves first and others second.” John summed it up by saying it’s “a combination of the three.”

From asking all of these questions, what struck me was the commonality between their answers. It wasn’t that one had an extreme view from the next, but that they all were aware and impacted by the same features and beliefs, aside from their various backgrounds. Clothes are quite frankly our exterior code of armour, for more reasons than physical safety, but they also can be an instant glimpse of an individual’s personality. What a person wears can define who they are, especially when they do it with confidence and are truly happy in their sartorial selections, and based on the guys’ answers, people notice.


Special thanks to the five guys who were interviewed. Follow Colton on Instagram @superlativesound, Marcel @marsmith7, Derek @derekthabombb, Nate @nateproffitt63, and John @blackjuan94.

Words by Maia Wilson

Edit by Carolina Gonzalez

Photographs by Blaise Butera

Follow models, Schuyler Hardy @skycornelius and Ximena Arista @xvmena

Autumnal Adventures

Chronicles of Essence


Welcome to ‘Chronicles of Essence’! A feature led by senior editors, Taylar Gomez and Carolina Gonzalez. Throughout our features we will be sharing our love for adventure, fashion, DIY’s, and a positive outlook on life!

It’s the time of year for pumpkin pie, spice lattes, and Fall photoshoots. We’re kicking off the Fall festivities by exploring Hall’s Pumpkin Farm, located in Grapevine, TX. We are covering what to do at the farm, what we wore, and tips to taking the perfect photos!


Hall’s Pumpkin Farm

Hall’s offers a wide variety of things to do for those looking to embrace the Fall spirit. First things first, try to pick out the perfect pumpkin for your dorm or apartment and make sure to take a picture with it atop one of the tractors in the patch.


After this, you can take a hayride for $5 during daylight hours which makes stops to allow riders to feed the cows and donkeys. If corn mazes are of more interest to you, grab a friend and get lost in their maze which consists of two acres of enjoyment. But don’t forget to bring cash, as these activities are cash only. P.S. Make sure to grab a bite to eat from Last Supper’s BBQ or kettle corn and cider from Pop’s Kettle Corn. Yum!

What We Wore

Taylar: For this adventure, I chose to wear jeans and an off-the-shoulder top. To add a bit of detail and color to the look, I paired it with a scarf and hat. My shoes are heeled booties, which added height and sophistication.

Carolina: For my outfit, I wanted to focus on a Fall color palette. I paired my mustard colored dress with a leopard print belt and gold accent jewelry. I finished off the casual look with fringed booties and a brown fedora.


Photo Ready

Tips for taking that Instagram worthy photo include: capturing candid moments, nice scenery, optional accessories, and a friend!

For our photos, we chose soft backgrounds to ensure we were the focal point of the image. We wanted to make sure the color of the background complimented our outfits as well. We played around with our poses and made sure to have fun! The candid photos often end up being our favorite to feature on our social media accounts.

Hall’s Pumpkin Patch is a great place to start your autumnal adventures. There is something for everyone to take part in. Whether you are going with your family and want to pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve or with your best friend taking photos and documenting your visit, we highly recommend taking a trip to visit Hall’s. We will definitely be back next year to continue our fall memories!


Words by Taylar Gomez and Carolina Gonzalez

Photos by Taylar Gomez and Carolina Gonzalez

Edit by Maia Wilson

NuView in New York

48 hours in New York City

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NV Photographer, Chloe and Style writer, Bailey  being one with nature at central park

With it’s captivating spirit, frantic pace, and vast diversity, New York City brings all ways of life together. Whether you are interested in fashion or not, at some point in your life you have probably dreamt of one day venturing out to the “Big Apple.” Well now is the time to book your flight, because NuView has your trip all planned out for you!


Day 1:

Morning: Start your day off by grabbing a cappuccino and a decadent slice of avocado toast from Two Hands on Mott St, then walk a few blocks over to SOHO and peruse the many shops and boutiques the neighborhood has to offer.

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Afternoon: Now that you have probably walked off your breakfast, head on over to Nolita to have a quick lunch at The Butcher’s Daughter, we recommend the margarita pizza or the butcher’s burger. For the next stop you might want to hail a cab or swipe your metrocard to get to the Brooklyn Bridge. Upon arrival you can either rent a bike or walk the bridge because the view is a must see. Following your trip to the bridge start making your way towards Midtown Manhattan.

Night: Put on your most fabulous outfit and get down to Times Square, it would not be a trip to New York if you did not at least stop by. From there it will just be a short walk to whichever broadway show you have selected (although we highly recommend Wicked). After the show stop by New York staple, Shake Shack for a late dinner.


Day 2:

Morning: After your long day of exploring you are going to wake up and need a strong cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin, and Ralph’s Coffee Shop is the place to get it. Located in POLO’s flagship store, the coffee shop is tastefully decorated and has an illuminating neon sign that is just perfect for your Instagram.

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Afternoon: Once you have had your morning fix you are located right between Central Park and Madison Avenue. Wander through or window shop at some of New York’s most coveted designer stores.

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Then when your wallet starts crying take a break and head over to Central Park. Grab yourself a Nathan’s Hot dog, scope out a cozy rock, and take in the cityscape. If you are needing an extra boost of caffeine, trek over to Cafe Henrie, get seated at a pink table, sip your coffee and enjoy the aesthetically pleasing decor.  

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Sunset: Head to the Top of the Rock to see the breathtaking view of New York City and the Empire State Building when the sun is creating beautiful shadows and reflections off of surrounding buildings.

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Night: For a classic New York slice of pizza or a traditional Italian dish head over to Patsy’s Pizza in East Harlem. Since establishment in 1933, they have become a staple in the city. They are best known for their signature coal-fired pizza. After dinner you can head to the closest Milk Bar Bakery and get their cereal milk soft serve.

Other suggestions:

  • Doughnut Plant
  • The High Line
  • Pizza Beach
  • Cha Cha Matcha

That’s your guide to 48 hours in the city that never sleeps (hopefully you will though.)


Style writer, Bailey Womack flawlessly poses on the Brooklyn Bridge

Words by Bailey Womack

Photos by Chloe Gonzales

Edit by Maia Wilson

A “Crowned” Jewel

Behind Mahiri Takai’s modern take on darkness vs. light

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         On the evening of October 7th in the UNT Union Ballroom, Merchandising Inc. and Dallas-based designer Mahiri Takai presented an exclusive new line in the M.E.Collection titled “Crowned.” Although the show began at 8:00 PM in front of a crowd of students and guests, the preparation behind the scenes for the show took place all day.

        The models first met in Willis Library, excitedly anticipating the arrival of Mahiri Takai. Many of them were buzzing to one another over what the garments might look like, or what hair and makeup they would be styled in. From the moment Takai arrived on UNT’s campus, it was obvious the show was going to be an exciting one. As soon as he introduced himself to the models, everyone jumped right in perfecting their runway walks to the “expressionless and zombie-like” look the designer wanted.


The garments included in the collection, paired with striking silver hair and dramatic black netting for the styling gave a futuristic and godly feel, corresponding with the “Crowned” theme.Takai explained to models and producers before the show that the first half of the looks were inspired by dark times in his life. The second half of the garments he explained as a representation of his life changing after he found a “light” in his wife and in turn found success in fashion. The designer became quite emotional throughout the day as he watched his vision come to life, and moved everyone else in the room with his passion and story. As styling took place throughout the day, models, producers, and volunteers alike all questioned Takai avidly, in search of advice as to how to find your calling and be successful in the competitive fashion industry. As one make-up artist asked him how he knew fashion design was the career path for him, Takai simply responded: “I knew it was for me when I saw how fashion changes people’s lives for the better.”


        After over five hours of hair, make-up, styling, and rehearsal, the show was finally ready to commence. There was a large turnout of both UNT students and outside guests, as well as four vendors selling hair extensions, handbags, shoes, and even paintings by the artist whose work took a large part in inspiring the collection. After the guests arrived, the show began and took place in two different sections, progressing along with the story from dark to light. The first dark half was separated from the upbeat white half with a dramatic pause, and the show was followed with some words from Mahiri Takai himself, discussing the inspiration and underlying meaning of “Crowned.” The clothes were amazing, the designer was an inspiration, and the whole fashion production was a success. Overall, the Merch Inc. presentation of the M.E. Collection was, as Takai would say, “stupid dope.”

Words by Reilly Farris

Photos by Lauren McMichael (@laurenmcmedia), Sanchez Murray (@pfntom), Michaela Bull (@michaela_lb), Jonce Humphrey (@jonc.e). Video by Jonce Humphrey (@jonc.e)

Edit by Taylar Gomez and Carolina Gonzalez

Art Direction by Rose Kuo