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Road Trip to Thrift: The Oakland Experience

"Oakland was like a jewelry box and its street art was like its marvelous accessories."

Oakland was like a jewelry box and its street art was like its marvelous accessories.

Happy belated Valentine’s Day, love Bugs! This Valentine’s Day I wanted to wear something extra special—preferably red, preferably vintage, and preferably sexy! So imagine my delight when I discovered a ravishing vintage Valentino dress that embodied the very essence of L-O-V-E for under $5!

My search for the perfect Valentine’s dress began with a trip to downtown Hayward. I was on the lookout for vintage clothes and street art. What I found was that Oakland was like a jewelry box and its street art was its marvelous accessories. The roads were lined with truly captivating graffiti-decorated cafes and vintage shops. I was genuinely floored by the amount of talent in the city.


I "scored" this 1970’s Valentino dress for $3.99 at the Salvation Army!

I “scored” this 1970’s Valentino dress for $3.99 at the Salvation Army!

On my way to Eco Thrift, I spotted a Salvation Army store nestled in a little shopping complex on A street in downtown Hayward. I couldn’t resist the temptation to go in. My curiosity was immediately rewarded with what I like to call a “pre-store-score.” As per usual, I walked by the plethora of housewares and furniture and straight to the dress section where a “40% off Dresses and Accessories” sign greeted me! “YES!” My day had gotten off to a fabulous start and was about to get better. Remember that “eye” I mentioned in an earlier post? Well, it proved itself once again when I spotted a 1970’s Valentino dress and a vintage romper by FADS cleverly hidden on the racks. The red Valentino dress ($3.99 after discount) was PERFECT for Valentine’s Day, an engagement dinner, or—dare I dream—a night in Paris!


My Friday-Frolic Errands and Exploring Outfit

My Friday-Frolic Errands and Exploring Outfit

Comfortable and warm, the romper has become my “Friday-Frolic Errands and Exploring” outfit—especially in the Bay Area, which tends to be a bit windy and cold. An adorable addition to my collection of cute and comfortable casuals, I can easily dress this romper up with a pair of nice five-inch heels, a pair of wooden earrings, and an array of bronze bracelets.


Eco Thrift

Eco Thrift

After making my purchases, I continued on to the Eco Thrift on Mission Blvd. Eco Thrift is like the Macy’s of second-hand clothing, furniture, and housewares. I’m beginning to think that massive thrift stores are a trend in California, because it would’ve been quite possible to spend hours sifting through racks of clothing. Thankfully, Eco Thrift had a curated vintage clothes section with moderate prices.

The average vintage dress ranged from $14 – $20. (Sadly, I wouldn’t be “scoring” vintage gems here for $3.99). On the other hand, modern dresses, slacks, and tops averaged $3-$4 each.  But the highlight of Eco Thrift was the “Collectibles” section. I found an impressive array of statues for $40, but passed on buying anything after learning that there was going to be a 75% off sale on Sunday in observance of President’s Day. This would bring the price down to $10, which was surely worth the wait.


Thrift Town

Thrift Town

After leaving Eco Thrift, I made my way to Thrift Town—another massive thrift shop in Oakland with a bevy of housewares. This Thrift Town curated its vintage clothing under the “Better Clothing” section. The selection was small and moderately priced, but the only “score-worthy” item I found were a pair of vintage Gap overalls. I decided to hold off on purchases until Monday to see what the President’s Day Sale would bring. My patience paid off. I found a chic pair of Steven Madden Platform heels that retail for $80 at Macy’s for a more than reasonable $8 (marked down from $20). WEPA! I’ve since then dubbed these my new favorite comfortable wardrobe pumps!

Oakland was an art-filled vintage find success! My next stop is San Francisco, and I can’t wait to see what it has to offer.

Tune in next week for my take on the area’s flea markets and thrift shops.


Nicole Soul

Nicole Soul is a contributing writer for Thrift Store Runway. Follow her and her thrifting excursions on InstagramTwitterFacebook.comInCarriesCloset.com, and/or YouTube.

Watch the video review of Road Trip to Thrift: The Oakland Experience usp=sharing https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B30vc7BGCS4DQ2NjZ0I4cW9LX2s/edit?usp=sharing

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One Response to Road Trip to Thrift: The Oakland Experience

  1. Anissa March 31, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    I absolutely love both of these items!
    The Valentino dress is KILLER!

    Love it & what you’re doing!

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