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Where students can find fashion trends on a budget

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Tacoma, Wash. -- Walk into any retail store right now and you’re likely to find back-to-school displays.

That includes thrift stores, like Goodwill throughout Pierce and Thurston counties, with full outfits displayed for all ages of students.

Showing off one of the outfits she put together, Goodwill merchandiser Whitney Adams explains her choice of colors.

"We thought that the neutral pants would be nice but also added a pop of color which would be nice for fall,” she said, holding up both a gray pair of slacks and a muted red pair, both matching the T-shirt and leather jacket hanging above.

The entire outfit; the leather jacket, a T-shirt, 2 pairs of pants plus a pair of boots cost just $62 at this Goodwill store in South Tacoma.

"Thrifting makes it way easier because you find a lot of good stuff for a good budgeted price,” said Vanessa Johnson, a mother of four kids all in school right now.

She said she would rather shop at garage sales and thrift stores for her children. Johnson said she avoids big box retailers.

"The prices are just too expensive," she said.

Her son Isiah, a sophomore at Emerald Ridge High School, spent just $25 for an entire outfit; a Nike Jacket, T-shirt and jeans.

"It's high school so you get in a group of people you want to look nice,” said Johnson.

Headed off for her first year of college at Evergreen State College, Angelina Gallardo assembled an outfit at the South Tacoma Goodwill that suits her style and wallet: $39 total, for a blouse, jumper, jacket and purse.

"It's comfy, and I feel confident in it," she said.

Isaac Amal is even thriftier, spending $23 for an entire outfit to help him stand out at UW Tacoma.

The focal point of his ensemble is a wild pair of lime and coconut socks.

“I think if you wear shorts you’ve got to have cool socks, you know. You don't want to show off your legs unless you have really good legs. I have the socks to replace that,” he said.

Amal topped off his look with what he described as a really cool shirt. It features a monotone floral pattern.

Creating your own personal style is key for any student headed into new and unfamiliar territory.

And this group is doing it without breaking their budget, even finding current trends.

“We have a lot of trendy brands that come to the store all the time and they go out the door as fast as we can them out on the floor to people shopping,” said Andrea Davidson, another merchandiser at Goodwill.

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