Boston’s Best Thrift and Consignment Stores

Filed in Featured, Headline, Lifestyle by on May 15, 2009 7 Comments
Davis Square Goodwill

Davis Square Goodwill

I’ve always been thrifty (in fact, most of my toys and clothes from childhood were acquired at yard sales), and I’m happy to see that frugality is finally fashionable. Gone are the days when you have to wear name brands or carrying the It purse to be considered stylish. Instead, it’s all about accessorizing with vintage jewelry and adding DIY touches to thrift store finds. Whether you’re looking to dip your toe into thrifting or you’re a seasoned consignment store shopper, Boston has you covered.

However, for the uninitiated, I must make an important distinction between thrift stores and consignment stores. Although you might see the same designer top in both places (doubtful, but still), a thrift store would probably have it for less money.

Consignment shops are not cheap, but they tend to have a more carefully edited selection of good quality clothes. They could even be items that were purchased just a few months ago and never worn. Either way, you can find some stylish new duds, but you’ll probably have to search a little harder at a thrift store.

Here are some of my favorite places to score a bah-gain in and around Boston:

1. Poor Little Rich Girl: With two locations (one on Newbury Street and the other in Davis Square), Poor Little Rich Girl is brimming with vintage dresses, jewelry, home goods, and more. A few years ago, I scored a funky beaded bag for like $14 and got complements on it everywhere I went. More recently, I’ve found jeans and a like new blazer from Old Navy. If you’re into retro chic, this is the place to go.

2. Second Time Around: This store has several locations on Newbury Street, Charles Street, and Harvard Square. The selection tends to be more fashionable than funky and often includes brands like Ann Taylor, Kate Spade, and Via Spiga. With the exception of a few vintage items in good condition, nothing is older than two years.

3. Frida Bee: This colorful shop is based in Inman Square. I have tried on countless cute items, but nothing fit me quite right (such is often the case with thrift or consignment shops). Frida Bee also carries lots of clothing for babies and kids, so this would be a great place to consign your children’s outgrown clothing or buy them a new outfit.

4. Goodwill: This good ol’ thrift store has an excellent selection at its Davis Square and Central Square locations. Must  be all those students donating books and clothes they don’t have the space to store. Anywhere that hip, stylish people live is sure to have great finds at the thrift store.

5. Garment District: This classic Cambridge spot is perfect for a Halloween party or vintage finds from the sixties, seventies, and eighties. I spent many October afternoons here during college. On Fridays, they offer select items at $1 per pound.

I still need to check out Boomerang’s, Raspberry Beret, and The Alter Eco. What about you? Are there other stores that you would recommend?

Flickr photo courtesy of Walsh


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About the Author ()

A contributing writer/blogger for DirectoryofBoston.com, Susan Johnston lives and writes near Fenway Park. She loves exploring the city and has also contributed to The Boston Globe, DailyCandy.com, and many other places.

Comments (7)

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  1. Over 9,000 sq. ft. of Quality Home Furnishings! Come check it out. 56 Sterling Street, Clinton, Ma 978-365-6456. Open Tues-Sat 10am to 5pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm.

  2. Davis square has tons to offer including La Chic Boutique. Providing cash same day for some items or wait and receive more money on consignment. 3 minute walk from the red line train specializing in Gold, Silver, 10 cases of vintage costume jewelry, purses, Furniture etc.. Come join the fun close to Boston.

  3. Stacey Lai says:

    Boston Metro West Welcomes Boston Consignment to the area and you won’t believe the bang they’ve made with only being open for 2 months. WOW! After 8 years in Fairfield County and with a loyal following, the owners – Real & Sheila Roy have taken their style and wonderful store management to this new location. Not only do they still have buyers and consignors from CT and NYC, they are welcoming in new clients from Dover, Cape Code, Newton, Weston, Wellesley, Needham, Beacon Hill, Back Bay and beyond. Their web site tells a small story – but their 4,000 square foot showroom completed the big picture. Also, their merchandise flips over roughly 2x a week, so you can’t just go once, you have to make it part of your weekly routine. It’s worth it! tp://www.bostonconsigns.com/gallery.shtml

  4. Harold says:

    Is there a store called Una’s on Harvard Square that has been there forever?

  5. Kerri says:

    My favorite Thrift Stores In Ma Boston COnsignment Stores
    Full disclaimer: I’m a thrift store plunderer from WAY back, so things like creepy customers, unpleasant smells, suspicious stains on items for sale, and the pizazz of hearing folks talk about parole violations as I shop are par for the course. C’est la vie! These are usually the signs that you have found a REAL thrift store, not one of these upstarts like Savers in Danvers (love ya, man, but you all high class now).
    I have consistently found buried treasures at Salvation Army Saugus for 5 years…and the days when the angels sing and everything is half off usually provide me with a bounty of decent clothing, knickknacks and craft supplies. There have been some rough patches, of course. Yeah, the dressing rooms being temporarily unavailable sucked, To address the shopliftng issue: it does happen regularly (I saw a guy walk out wearing a Volcom jacket right off the rack, and yes I did rat him out!) . Now there is a new thrift store right next door at the Thrift Stop. Next to Salvation Army. I park my car there and walk over. There website is cashforyouritems.net. Not many clothes but there collectible sections are great.
    They are a consignment store right next to the best thrift store in the northeast.

  6. Abbie Blazar says:

    Classic Consignments in Sudbury has been in business for over 13 years and is still going strong. This shop deals in furniture,art,decorative items,they get the occasional mid-century modern piece and lots of vintage jewelry. No Clothes.

  7. JAG says:

    My fave—
    REVIVAL, 15 Elm Street, Danvers, MA :)
    http://www.revivalfashionconsignment.com

    Consignment Boutique–Great stuff!

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