So there is a catchy hip-hop song circulating the airwaves that is solely based on finding the best bargain at a thrift store. This may be a spoof on “hipster” culture but regardless, it seems that I have found true soul mates in hip-hip artist and Seattle, Washington native, Macklamore, and producer, Ryan Lewis. Their song, “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz, opens with a jazzy uptempo and these lyrics: ” I’m gonna pop some tags/only got twenty dollars in my pocket/I’m, I’m, I’m hunting, looking for a come up, /this is f***ing awesome.”
Check out the video link below!
I couldn’t agree more! Both the message and the song are awesome by my standards (with the exception of a few crude statements).
I am not ashamed to admit that a good majority of my clothes were purchased secondhand whether from high-end consignment shops or traditional, treasure-hunting thrift stores. The key to looking polished is knowing how to shop!
Fortunately for me, San Francisco offers a large variety of thrift stores and consignment shops that allow me to dress in designer brands that I would otherwise be unable to afford. Some of my favorite finds include a white Armani jacket, a J-Crew tweed blazer, and my wide leg Joe’s jeans-LOVE them!
No one, however, is as much of a thrifter as my dear friend and fellow Hastings law student, Josh Jacobs! Let’s face it, Josh is a babe! He has his own unique style and knows how to put it together effortlessly with a minimal budget. Cheap never looked so fine ;).
I asked Josh where he shops and what his strategy is for looking sooo good! Here is what he had to say:
Q: Where do you shop?
A: “If I don’t feel like picking through things and have extra money I will hit up the Buffalo Exchange on Valencia or the Clothes by the Pound shop (clothes contact) on 16th. I always find good shoes at the goodwill near mission and van ness and at the Salvation Army at 25th and Valencia. Honestly I find the best things outside the city. Vacaville has some good shops. I can usually find some good ol’ Americana gear up north near your hometown (North Bay). My all time favorite store is Value Village right outside of Baltimore.”
Q: How do you know what to look for?
A: “The strategy I like to have is to know what is missing in my closet and to target that specific item until I find the perfect piece. Otherwise you just end up wondering through the whole store not really looking at anything and missing some great treasures. Though I am always on the lookout for a good sweater (as San Francisco requires).”
Well there you go! Josh certainly seems to know what he is talking about. I know that not everyone has access to the shops here in SF that I am listing, but here are some additional tips that are helpful for shopping at any secondhand store.
- Be well equipped: I know that San Francisco now charges 10 cents/plastic shopping bag and many stores don’t have bags at all. Bring a Recyclable tote to put your treasures in (after you pay for them of course!).
- Have a game plan: Often times thrift stores are large and overwhelming. Like Josh said, take a look through your closet and see what you need/want. Make a tentative list.
- Be sanitary: If the thought of used clothes really freaks you out, take your finds to a dry cleaner. Getting them pressed will make your treasure finds appear new. Also, if you purchase shoes, hit the inside with disinfectant spray and let them air out.
- Research: Make sure to check out review websites like Yelp that will tell you what to expect.
Here are a few of my favorite SF shops as well as some shops that received good reviews on Yelp. Hope this helps!
Higher-end Consignment Shops
- Simply Chic: Vintage, Designer handbags, Chic accessories
- Good Will Boutique: All name-brand/designer labels. Large jean selection!
- Fillmore and 5th: Upscale designer consignment.
- Painted Bird: Edgy and hip clothes. Some vintage too! Cool blog…
- Crossroads: A combination of new and lightly used clothes. Good for shoes!
- Community Thrift: Awesome vintage rack! They also sell furniture and household items (got my couch here). 1/2 Every 1st Monday of the month!
- Buffalo Exchange: There are many of them throughout the city. Large selection of clothes and shoes.
- Treasure Island Flea Market: Great chance to get outdoors and see local artists and designers. Trinkets galore!
- Mission Thrift: Try not to get lost in here! I have found quite a few nice blouses when I have time to search around
- Out of the Closet: I have never been but it has great reviews! Check it out :) *Plus benefits Aids Healthcare Foundation!
Happy Shopping and remember, live life in-joy!