Stay stylish without breaking the bank: Top 5 budget-friendly stores in Carbondale

By Tamar Mosby, Staff Reporter

As an SIU student, I feel finding places to shop for clothing in Carbondale can be difficult as there are limited choices available, and the strict budgets most students are in.

During the time I’ve spent in Carbondale, I have accumulated a selection of stores in town I enjoy shopping at and that are budget friendly.

These stores satisfy clothing because they sell unique items trendiness.



1. Jane’s Consignment Shop


This second-hand store, located on West Main Street, sells women’s and children’s clothing and accessories. It is a very colorful building located on West Main Street. 

Jane’s Consignment sells unique items and staple wardrobe pieces such as plain shirts and blouses, trousers, pumps and little black dresses. 

My favorite thing about this store is the older accessories and shoes it sells. They sell suitcases and bags from decades ago that have a worn look, but still manage to have a charming appeal. 

Now that fall has arrived, the store is selling older boots and faux fur coats. These items will add a fascinating flare to any outfit, and they are both also featured in Vogue as some of this year’s fall trends. 


No matter what your personal style is, Jane’s Consignment sells a variety of items that are not only charming and vintage, but fairly priced as well.

There is something for everyone to wear at this store. 


2. Goodwill 


Many people are familiar with this second-hand store located on East Main Street in Carbondale. 

I do love this store, but I can understand how shopping there can be a bit overwhelming to customers. 

My trick to getting passed this feeling is having a specific article of clothing in mind before I come in to shop. Sorting through a large amount of clothing when you are unsure of what you want can be stressful. Many times you miss out on finding great items because of this. 

Goodwill does carry a wide variety of clothing for all genders and ages, but one thing the store does well is separating the clothing by category. 

If you enter with an idea of the article of clothing you want, you’ll easily be able to find what you’re looking for in the store. 

I personally have a love for vintage, baggy, and high waisted jeans. More than half of the vintage jeans in my closet have come from Goodwill. The Carbondale location has a great selection of vintage jeans. 

Besides jeans, the store sells a lot of simple clothing that can be worn on several different occasions.


3. Tropicana Vintage Clothing 


Tropicana Vintage Clothing is quite possibly my favorite second-hand store ever. 

When you first enter the store, it’s like walking into a time capsule. 

The store is a delightful hodge-podge of clothing, shoes and accessories from time periods ranging as far back as the 1940s. 

In my prior experiences with vintage stores, the clothing can be in bad shape and also very displeasing to the eye. In Tropicana, I found so many great pieces of clothing that can still be worn stylishly today while giving an outfit a unique flare. 

The store is great for purchasing interesting outerwear at a fair price. They have both men’s and women’s outerwear ranging from leather trench coats to fringe suede jackets and faux fur coats. 

While the store is very crowded as far as space, I would say shopping there is very worth it because you are highly likely to leave with an amazing new vintage piece to add to your wardrobe.


4. Rue 21


Rue 21, located in University Mall, is another familiar store among students. 

While it isn’t a second-hand store, the clothing sold inside is very fairly priced and affordable for students on a budget. 

Compared to the previous stores I mentioned, Rue 21 sells more modern, rather than vintage clothing. The store is filled with edgier styles and brighter colors than other stores in University Mall, and it is the perfect place to go when you are looking for a statement piece to add to your outfit. 

My favorite things to shop for in Rue 21 are jumpsuits and graphic t-shirts. Their selection of jumpsuits is very diverse in terms of both materials and patterns. They are very inclusive in their sizing as well. 

The graphic tees are more for individuals who prefer a trendy, but laid back look. 

Another great thing about this retailer is it also includes men’s clothing. I would say Rue 21 is the perfect store for people in Carbondale who wish to dress on the edgier side of fashion and build up the statement pieces in their wardrobe for a lower price.


5. Earthbound Trading Company


Earthbound, also located in University Mall, is the final store on the list. 

This store is one of my favorites when it comes to retailers in any mall. 

Earthbound is a Bohemian-themed store that sells clothing with more relaxed fits and unique prints. 

Of all the stores on the list, Earthbound has the most expensive clothing. 

Not only does Earthbound sell clothing, they also sell essential oils, crystals, room decor, incense and oil diffusers. 

My favorite things about the store are its diversity, variety and quirkiness. 

The clothing within the store, which consists of everything from jumpsuits to outerwear, is very authentic and hard to find in other stores. Their clothes are unique in both construction and print, which makes a lot of their merchandise for great statement pieces. 

With that being said, Earthbound also sells basics that can be worn with various types of clothing. 

Unlike Rue 21, Earthbound is a very relaxed store with loose fitting clothing that is similar to hippie styles in the 70s. 

While this is not a second-hand store, some of their clothing does give off a vintage vibe with the prints they use and the construction of the garments. Overall, this store offers countless wardrobe choices while also presenting unique pieces to add to your closet that would enhance the look of any outfit.

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of The Daily Egyptian, its staff or its associates. 

Staff reporter Tamar Mosby can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @mosbytamar.

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