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