Luna Zhang on How to be a Good Thrifter

Thrifting? It’s easy as 1,2, only $3.00- I’ll buy it!

“Let’s go thrifting” is a daunting proposition to many. What do you buy? How do you get the cat pee smell out of the clothes? There are just a million questions. Luna Zhang, however, is one of those people that knows all the answers when it comes to buying second hand goods. With an unmatched style and a passion for fashion, Luna is a go-to when it comes to seeking advice before diving into the bargain bin. Show us the way Luna!

Tell us about you Luna!

Hi everyone! My name is Luna Zhang and I am currently a senior at Babson College. I am studying Operations/IT but looking to pursue a career in fashion. I was able to work in the fashion industry this summer through an internship with Converse/Nike, and loved every second of it. I am obsessed with all things clothes and shoes and love to express my creativity through my outfits. Some of my other hobbies besides fashion include painting, working out, and listening to music.

Why thrifting? 

 My thrifting journey started through going to Estate Sales with my parents. They are really into antiques shopping and eventually, I started going to actual thrift stores and thrifting on my own.  I would say around 80% of my clothes are thrifted.  While a lot of people find thrifting to be overwhelming, I like the treasure hunt aspect of it because you’ll never know what you’ll find! Personally, I find shopping at malls to be uninspiring because the selections are all the same and pretty bland.  However, when thrifting, you can find the most random pieces that you have to think about how to style.  It’s more work but totally worth it in the long run! The only thing I don’t thrift are shoes because I like the feeling of getting a new pair of shoes in the mail. Nothing beats the adrenaline rush of unboxing a new pair of sneakers!

Is sustainable fashion important to you?  

Sustainable fashion is definitely important to me-I have been slowly trying to make the commitment to stop buying fast fashion due to the waste impact it has to our world.  I think the biggest thing that companies need to understand is that sustainability is not a “trend”, and I hope that retail companies will start to implement more permanent sustainable practices in their business models.  As someone who is looking to pursue a career in this industry after graduation, I hope to be an advocate for sustainability and use my voice for good.

Style inspiration?

I am really vibing with vibrance at the moment-think Jaden Smith’s newest album cover. I love the way he experiments with loud colors-his style is bold and kinda funky.  I’ve definitely I love outfits that inspire me to go out of my comfort zone when it comes to styling my own clothes. My favorite moments are when I see someone’s fit and think “oh wow, I would not have thought to style that piece that way” because that different perspective inspires me to try new things too.

My current style inspiration is definitely Emma Chamberlain. She is so so underrated and I feel like people don’t take her fashion seriously because she’s “just a youtube girl”. I love how her style doesn’t necessarily fit into one category because she’s always trying out different looks. She also defies the concept of gender segmented fashion through wearing traditionally “masculine” styles. I honestly feel like she was the girl to start the sweater vest trend-people gave her so much crap when she started wearing them because they are traditionally for men, but now every girl on the street pretty much wears them now. Go figure! I remember I used to always be afraid to wear my favorite outfits out because I’d think to myself, “you could never pull that off” or “why are you trying so hard”, or “that’s not girly enough”, but I think having a role model like her pushed me to stop overthinking and have the confidence to wear what I want out. 

Favorite recently thrifted items?

 I remember I was on my way to thrift with some of my friends and I passed by this girl who had these BEAUTIFUL green pants! I thought to myself, “I need those pants”, and when I need something I usually won’t stop until I find it.  Luckily, I was actually able to find a very similar pair of pants that very day! Crazy how things work out sometimes :).

Pieces that you are on the hunt for?

Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 9.14.30 PM

I always keep a running list of pieces I am looking to thrift/add to my closet. Some items that are on my list at the moment include: oversized thick cotton shirts with cool graphics, sweater vests, and tie dye nike socks. Keeping a list helps me stay organized and in the right headspace while thrifting-sometimes thrift shopping can get overwhelming because you have to sift through so many clothing racks, but I find that keeping a list makes things a bit easier. It also keeps me accountable because I have a bad habit of buying random things I don’t need!

Screen_Shot_2020-09-29_at_9.15.24_PM-removebg-previewHow do you get that icky thrift-shop smell out of the clothes?

Honestly, I wash them twice before wearing sometimes! You have to get a strong detergent for sure, but I generally don’t have many issues with this. I will say that leather, cashmere, and thick denim retain scent for longer so those types of pieces will need to be washed more frequently to get the smell more (not sure if you can even wash leather). My general rule of thumb is that if a piece needs more TLC than what it’s worth, I wouldn’t buy it. For example, if I saw a sweater I really wanted, but it had some holes and bad stains, I’d probably pass on it because it’d take more work to fix it than what it’s worth.

Favorite places to thrift? 

While I would absolutely loveee to share my favorite spots with everyone, a good thrifter knows to never disclose her favorite locations. If I told you all where I shopped, all the good pieces would get snatched! However, I’ll recommend savers to anyone who is looking to start thrifting, and for anyone looking for an iconic Boston shop, I’d start with The Garment District.

Who are some style icons and people you look up to?Screen_Shot_2020-09-29_at_9.15.16_PM-removebg-preview

Some of my favorite icons include: Aimee Song, Sofia Coelho, Maxine Wylde, whowhatwear, Princess Diana, and Alexis Sablone. All of these women are unapologetically themselves and it clearly shows through their fashion. Aimee Song is probably my #1 icon because of the fact that she is a huge Asian American female role model for me. She started one of the most popular fashion lines (Song of Style) that is sold on sites like Revolve. She’s basically a bad bitch who’s running her own fashion empire, and to be able to have such a solid female role model who is also Asian has been monumental for me. Seeing her success gives me hope that one day I’ll make it big in the industry too!

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