Casual Indie Style on a Budget

Used Stuff
Thrift stores stock plenty of indie gems, too.
Thrift stores stock plenty of indie gems, too.

Indie is everywhere now. You see it in countless variations on skinny jeans, vintage shoes and buttoned V-neck cardigans, or the 1950s day dress, choppy bangs and cutie-pie barrettes ala Zooey Deschanel. Anyone can dress indie.

As with any style, you can spend a lot or a little. Indie lends itself particularly well to the latter, since it relies so much on mixing old and new and often loves appearing well-worn. So that's probably the first place to look for cheap indie duds: stores that carry actual old stuff.

Vintage stores, plain-old thrift stores, and Web sites like eBay and Etsy are treasure troves of indie components. Type "indie" into a search box and you'll get more results than you know what to do with, many of which are used and priced low. Be careful, though, because along with trend-status come poser pieces capitalizing on the keyword. (We're not sure the eBay-listed men's tan wool suit jacket qualifies, even if it is used.)

Now, if you're up for going on foot, you can see and feel for yourself to determine indie potential. Vintage stores are pretty much indie stores. You can walk in and pick a few random pieces -- a T-shirt, mini skirt, high-tops, hair accessory -- and you're done. But stores that brand themselves "vintage" tend to charge more for their wares than stores that brand themselves "used."

Like thrift stores. You'll have to spend a lot more time combing through rack and racks of '80s blazers, mom jeans and work boots (hmm... indie outfit?), but you'll spend less on the needles in the haystack you uncover. And the search can be a huge part of the fun.

Not everyone is down with the used route, though (especially when it comes to shoes), and luckily, even on a budget you can get yourself some brand-new indie duds -- even, gasp, at the mall.

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