It’s time to discuss San Francisco.
With its captivating Golden Gate Bridge, quaint trolleys, and abundance of personality, San Francisco gave New York City a run for its money. My first stop in this magical place was the Goodwill on Haight Street.
Vibrant and frequented by artists, tourists, and young professionals, I predicted that this store’s prices would be moderate to high. Rather than scour the racks for affordable items, I immediately asked a store clerk if there were any special promotions. It turned out to be “Yellow Tag Day.” Unfortunately, this did not include vintage items. I didn’t find anything that I loved, so I left empty handed with hopes of better luck at my next stop.
My jaw dropped when I arrived at the Thrift Town on Mission Street. It resembled a mall with two floors that were overstocked with gently used housewares, books, and clothing. But quantity did not equal quality. Uninspired by the selection, I again left empty handed and discouraged. After successfully thrifting in L.A. and Oakland, I now found myself in a “thrift drought.”
Unwilling to lose hope, I took a second look at my research and realized that I’d forgotten about Clothes Contact on Valencia Street—a store known for selling vintage by the pound. To my delight, the store was having a mark-down sale when I arrived. Vintage, which usually sold for $10 per pound, had been reduced to $7 per pound! Between the price and selection, I have to admit that I went a “little” overboard.
Clothes Contact was a convenient place to shop for guys and gals who wanted inexpensive vintage clothes without all of the digging. The merchandise was organized by era and by color. Since items were sold by the pound, there were no price tags on the clothes, so I felt more inclined to “throw it in the bag.” And “throw” I did. I picked up EVERYTHING that I liked (which amounted to 40 pieces of clothing), found a well-lit corner, and spent the next 30 minutes carefully inspecting each garment. I ended up purchasing three items for a total of $14. Not bad.
My favorite item this go-round was a 1980’s, black romper of the Laura and Jayne Petite Collection. Trendy and comfortable, this romper makes for a perfect outfit for an art gallery opening when paired with a pair of ankle boots.
I fell in love with this 1980’s day dress by C&A Western. The mesh sleeves with a matching pocket on the front are darling additions to what would have been an ordinary dress.
Overall, the California thrifting culture was good to me. I came to the conclusion that in California, shopping at thrift stores should be reserved for the major cities and searching for finds, or as I like to call it, “scoring,” is best suited for the suburbs. I also learned that quantity is not always reflective of quality, and that it’s always worth asking if there is a planned promotion or sale.
While I’ve enjoyed thrifting across California, I’m ready to hit a new state. Next on the list is Pheonix, Arizona. Tune in next week to read about how my adventure in Arizona compared to those in California.
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