There are few things I love more than finding treasures in unexpected places. And if you have a little time and some patience, there are few better places to snag some fashion surprises than local thrift stores.
For the past three years, I’ve regularly driven past a strip of thrift stores on Van Ness and Inyo, near my office downtown. It intrigued me because the fence around the parking lot always had tons of clothes hanging from it in neat rows. I finally stopped by the other day and was surprised by what greeted me.
First of all, I loved how organized each place was. As with all thrift and vintage stores, you’ll still have to dig through the racks to find what you’re looking for. But everything was organized by section and there was nothing strewn about. (Whereas, in contrast, five minutes at Macy’s in Fashion Fair is enough to send me back to online shopping. Seriously, you’re going to knock Coach to the floor?!)
Each store had so much stuff that I didn’t know where to look first. I’m a sucker for a pretty coat, and I almost walked away with an armful of them, each fairly new-looking and around $10 apiece. Some would be great to wear every day. Some I could see using in a costume.
There were vintage World Series jackets and sports jerseys (including a Seattle Seahawks one that surely will be gone by this weekend, right?). I’m not a mother, but the racks and racks of children’s clothes had me thinking that parents could probably save a lot of money by shopping at thrift stores, considering the cost of baby items and how quickly they grow out of things.
Plus, of course, there are all of the other fun odds and ends that come with shopping at a thrift store. One place had a whole wall of VHS tapes. Another had a whole section of throw pillows. And I almost went home with this purple lamp.
The thrift stores on Van Ness are great, but there are, of course, tons of shops around the city. Tell me, what are some of your favorites? I would love to check them out!
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