Alrighty, on to today's entry!
When I was in college I used to shop at the huge Salvation Army on the other side of town. I'd pick up lots of little boy t-shirts (like Superman and Tiger Scouts) and little girl sweaters from the 80s (complete with big flowers and purple hearts knitted into them) as well as anything that screamed 70s (I still have and LOVE my vintage puffy ski vest that I got for $7). I'd go every few weeks when I'd saved up about $20 of the money my mother would send me every month (Binghamton was a pretty cheap place to live which was great for my parents' wallet, but bad for mine because I'd get about $75 to spend on food and fun stuff for the month and it was near impossible to find a job) and I'm browse the long racks hoping to find a gem amongst the old lady crap most people dropped off. Tuesdays everything was 50% off, so I'd usually go then and stock up on other things too like old Nancy Drew books or vinyl. I always felt so...well...thrifty picking up stuff. But then I graduated and there isn't a single decent thrift store around where I live. And obviously now that I'm an adult with a real job with other adults, I can't get away with wearing little kid clothes to work.
Then last July I visited my best friend, Katrina, in Oakland, California to check out some graduate programs out there. It was the first time I had ever visited the San Francisco Bay area, but I was already pretty dead set on it being a top location that I wanted to move to for school. I asked her to show me around the different neighborhoods and take me to things that were outside so I could enjoy the great weather. In the process of doing that she took me to a couple of really cool second hand/sample sale stores and I must admit, I went a little overboard picking up quite a few things (actually now that I think about it I don't think I've done that much shopping since then). But at the end of the weekend, I only spent about $100 and ended up walking away with a lot of stuff.
The first place we visited (and my favorite of the two) was Jeremy's. Jeremy's gets their clothes from stores (either overstock, damaged pieces, display pieces, or customer returns). So everything is new, just a season or more older. I saw a lot of stuff from Anthropologie, J Crew, and other name designers. The store was not wicked cheap, but still cheaper than buying things full priced. I got a shirt and a cardigan from J Crew and I think I spent $50 total on both. There's two locations, one in San Francisco and one in Berkeley. Needless to say, I'll be frequenting Jeremy's when we move on to California...or on second thought, avoiding like the plague.
The second place we visited was Crossroads Trading Company. Crossroads has locations all over the country, and is basically a consignment shop. In our case, the locations were located near colleges, and a lot of students would come by and drop off their gently worn clothes (from the Gap to vintage to designer things) and sell them to the store to clean out their closets. There was also some things that were overstock products as well, but most of those things I'd never heard of the brands. In any event, almost everything was dirt cheap (rarely was there an item for over $10 unless it was designer) and the things were all in good condition. It wasn't like going to a thrift shop where everything smells of mold and dust, so you don't need to worry about spending a fortune in dry cleaning. I bought a new thermal and a used shirt dress and cardigan for $25.
When I asked Katrina about the places we visited for this entry, she also told me about another store that's very similar to Crossroads called Buffalo Exchange. I've never been there, but they are all over the country, there's a couple in the NY Metro area including Brooklyn and Soho. Also in Brooklyn is Beacon's Closet. My friends Jen and Lexie have been telling me about this places for years and I've never gotten my butt in gear to go. Perhaps I'm subconsciously avoiding it because I've heard of all the awesome things they have there and I don't want to go overboard spending money? Knowing me, that's probably the case.