Hop In, We’re Going Thrifting!

Lots of students in Osbourn think Manassas is bland, but we found a way to find a spark in this 171-year-old town. We planned our perfect day spent in Manassas, so hop on in, we’re going thrifting!

Plato’s Closet is a resale or thrift store, and a good one, too. This closet was clean and organized. The closest location is at 9688 Liberia Avenue- only a 6-minute drive or a 25-minute walk from Osbourn.

By the end of the trip, we left with three tops, a jacket, a corset top, and a pair of boots. Not a big haul, per se, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t come across some great finds. The shirts were stylish, the corset, a complimentary accessory, and the boots fresh.

The clothes were of perfect quality. They appeared good as new and were all clean– no stains, rips, or missing buttons, nor did they look beat up at all. The selection included many brands that people are familiar with, such as Forever 21, Zara, Urban Outfitters, Divided, H&M, and more. There was also an entire section for athletic wear made by Nike, Adidas, Gymshark, and Lululemon. Beyond clothes, you can find many accessories (jewelry, bags) in a wide range of styles. Shoes are also available and start as low as $25. The boots one of us ended up buying were only $16. For a pair of boots, we consider that a steal! The guys’ section is much smaller, but if flannels are your thing, there is certainly no shortage of that or jeans.

We were, however, somewhat disappointed in the sizes available. Most of the tops were either XS or S, and we struggled to find any pants in tall.

Customer service was satisfactory. The few encounters we had with employees were pleasant, and we didn’t have to wait in line, which was a major plus. One of my biggest concerns, though, was that there were no locks on the fitting rooms. Fortunately, we didn’t have any problems, but it was a concern we had nonetheless. You never know what might happen, and having that extra layer of safety would’ve made our experience a little easier.

We also paid particular attention to the atmosphere in the store. Shopping is a hobby enjoyed by many of us, and considering how long it takes, it should be fun! The first thing we noticed was how colorful the store was. The walls were decorated with things of many different colors such as blues, greens, and purples. The clothes came in every color of the rainbow. Everywhere we looked the store greeted us with a color-filled smile.

We could also appreciate how organized everything was. When we think of a thrift store, the racks are disorganized and clothes strewn on the floor: This was not the case for Plato’s, though. We also enjoyed music from our favorite artists while we shopped. All in all, it was a great experience.

Part of the fun in thrifting is trying to maximize your savings, and there are a couple of ways that you can do this at Plato’s. You can donate items from your wardrobe that are in good condition and receive store credit. We were also happy to find out that at their location at Potomac Mills, they offer a 10% discount when you show your student ID. If you’re willing to make the drive, that could be big for your wallet.

After spending an hour at Plato’s, we had worked up an appetite. Lucky for us, IHOP was only a 6-minute drive away at 8785 Centreville Road.

What makes IHOP so unique is that, for some of us, it’s more than just food.

Lynn used to go to IHOP a lot as a kid and said “It has a special place in my heart; It’s something I can fall back on; they always have pancakes, and the French toast is just fantastic. As a child, I liked the funny face pancakes, and they’re still just as yummy. This was my first time ordering a milkshake, though, and it was creamy and delicious. It was like getting dessert for dinner. I like to go with what comforts me, and I wanted to revisit these memories and see if it was just nostalgia or if the food was as good as I thought it was. After all, you can’t go wrong with pancakes!”

The people were friendly, as they always are. The only problem we encountered is that it was incredibly active. No matter what location you go to or what time you go, you end up having to wait. Although, that makes sense with how widespread this chain tends to be. The food made it worth the wait, though, and while waiting for the table, we got to take in all the wonderful smells that came from the long wait.

When we got the menu, Victoria was surprised by how extensive it was. She didn’t remember there being so much to choose from. All of the options and combinations made our decision hard, but eventually, we all settled on something.

We decided on milkshakes (chocolate, strawberry, and oreo), which none of us had tried before. If we were to recommend one of them, it would be strawberry. It’s really difficult to find one made right, especially when not many places offer it. Although we thought this IHOPs take on it was pretty good.

We shared a funny face pancake, a plate of cupcake pancakes, the new thick and fluffy toast, a ham and egg melt, and a side of bacon. We didn’t order any of their new limited-edition crepes, but we could smell them from the tables around us and will have to try them at some point.
This totaled $65, which was a little more expensive than we expected, but we were there to treat ourselves. We also ended up taking food home; the food is always filling and something we wouldn’t want to waste.

We didn’t order any lunch or dinner-type food, but we did take a look at those sections of the menu. There were burgers, chicken, steak, and salmon. You could even make a breakfast burrito work. We tried some of these in the past, but continue to find ourselves only ordering breakfast. It’s no surprise, but in full honesty, if we were looking for a nice dinner, it would not be at IHOP. Although, we all agree it’s a great place to eat for breakfast. It’s not called the International House of Pancakes for nothing!