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Exploring the outskirts: Control college shopping budget by thrifting through Columbus

Miriam Handler / For the Lantern

Students have had a week to find their stomping grounds on campus, so The Lantern is taking a look beyond Ohio State’s borders to get them familiar with the city.

Just about everyone knows where they can buy a shirt with “Ohio State Buckeyes” or a brand-name logo printed across it. But if being thrifty strikes your fancy, there are a few campus-area shops you might want to peruse.

While Goodwill is a great place for the amateur thrift shopper, Columbus has plenty of more interesting options.

Rag-O-Rama, located at 3301 N. High St., stocks a score of fashion choices, from jeans and cowboy boots to sweaters and loafers. Walking into the store, one might find floral print dresses hanging underneath shelves of leopard-print heels, while sunglasses and scarves bedeck the store. The eco-friendly store offers a donation program where customers can opt to forgo bagging their purchase to instead donate five cents to one of three local charities.

Rag-O-Rama is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Eclectiques Antique Mall, located at 3265 N. High St., supports about 30 antique dealers.

“Each one rents space, so it’s not consignment per se,” said Judi Baughman, an employee at the store. “Most of them come in two to three times a week and restock. You don’t know what you’re going to find.”

The building is packed with three levels of assorted antiques, some of which include jewelry, china, typewriters, hats and even a bathtub on the first floor. Up a tight staircase hides a loft with antique tools, kitchen utensils, cups and mugs. An eclectic mix of clothing, as well as an extensive collection of jewelry, can be found in the basement of the shop.

“We sell things from $10 up to $1,000,” said Regis Hudock, who also works at the store.

Baughman said the store tries to cater to its customers’ specific interest by providing an online forum for them to suggest items the store should stock.

“We have a customer wishlist so customers can let us know what they’re looking for, and we try to find it for them,” Baughman said. “We do anything from the ’50s to early ’80s, ’90s.”

Eclectique Antique Mall is open daily from noon to 6 p.m.

For less knickknacks and more manly, yet affordable business attire, students can try Eclectic Fashion Alternatives, located at 3139 N. High St. It is a men’s clothing store where owner Tim Smith resells high-end designer clothing.

The store is small but neat, decked out from floor to ceiling with racks of business clothing, which includes casual wear, suits, ties, outerwear and shoes. Suits and sport coats begin at $50 and men’s shirts are priced from $10 to $40.

“Dressing for success is very important,” Smith said. “Your first impression is real important. It helps to look sharp.”

Eclectic Fashion Alternatives is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Other notable stores along High Street include Royal Factory Atelier, located at 1209 N. High St. and Jinny, located at 844 N. High St. The former sells men’s and women’s fashions from local artists and the latter was started by Los Angeles fashion designer Jin Fillinger in 2006 and stocks brand-name women’s fashion at discounted prices.

Mary Catherine’s Antiques, located at 1130 N. High St., isn’t a clothing store, but its nooks and crannies hold a variety of what employee Diana Lessner calls “vintage fashion accessories.”

The store stocks furniture, antique books, suitcases, gloves, Stetsons, fedoras and even the occasional beaver hat. Lessner said it also stocks vintage purses that have been around for nearly three centuries.

Mary Catherine’s Antiques is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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