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