Fashion is an art form. To be able to put an outfit together that makes the eyes wander and the brain wonder is a talent. Thrift shopping takes that art to a different level of creativity because the clothes found in a thrift store are usually from a different style era. John Autry, a freshman at the University of North Texas, is an artist. He has a great eye for fashion especially when it comes to thrift shopping.
Autry sees fashion a way to express himself without saying a word. He’s inspired by fashion leaders in hip hop such as Kanye West, and Wale. “It’s not that I strive to be different but it’s nice to have something on that nobody has,”he said with confidence as he glanced at his thrifted t-shirt. Autry is attracted to 90s and late 80s fashion which is easy to find in a thrift store. He feels like he should’ve have been around during those style eras.
Autry starting thrifting in high school. He wasn’t interested in the clothes that the mall had to offer. He started at Goodwill and has been thrifting ever since.
“I think a lot of people would look cooler if people would give thrifting a chance. It bothers me when people say ‘that’s dirty’ because you’re going to wash the clothes. It’s okay. It’s something I enjoy doing. Be open minded to new things. I think my style really got good when I started thrifting,”Autry said.
When he walks into a thrift store he goes to the men section and starts from the front of the rack and looks at each piece until he gets to the end of the rack. He can spend 30-45 minutes in a thrift store and come out with ten items for under 20 dollars. “I feel like people tell me I go too much. It’s something to do for fun. You can never have too many clothes.” His closet that is about 70-percent thrifted is a reflection of that.
As a fashionable young man in a world that feels the need to put everyone in a box, Autry has had to deal with the stereotypes of a man who dresses well. When Autry was in high school people thought he was gay based on his appearance.
“If you understand how an outfit is supposed to be put together then you must be gay. If you know how to dress you must be gay. Dudes are supposed to be athletes. I don’t agree with that at all,” he said with passion.
Autry said that if someone was to ask him if he’d rather go to a fashion show or a basketball game he would choose the fashion show.
Clothes are something he is passionate about and he doesn’t let people assumptions get in the way of expressing that. Autry feels that the world would be a lot cooler if people went thrift shopping more and embraced the idea of using style to express themselves rather than to impress others. Autry said,“An opinion is an opinion. With clothes it’s about knowing yourself and having your own opinion. If you’re worried about what everyone else is thinking you can’t have your own style. I think that’s the problem. People aren’t bold enough to wear what they want to wear. If you like it you like it if you don’t you don’t.”
Photos by: Cora Davis
Location: Denton, Texas
Hat: $29.99 pickyourshoes.com
(Inspired from Tupac in Poetic Justice)
Shirt :Black-long sleave Tee
American Apparel, $2 Goodwill In Houston
Plaid shirt: Eddie Baur, $4 Family Thrift in Houston
Shorts- Levis from Macis $45 (cut them)
Shoes: Air Jordans RetroAirs, Foot locker $160