In today’s economy, virtually everyone, especially high school students who are in the process of breaking free from their parents’ forgiving bank accounts, feel the strain of a low budget. Such difficulties prove to be quite the burden whether you need money for a new gaming system, gas or even just lunch. However, this burden is particularly stressful on society’s obsessive shoppers and fashion enthusiasts. A cash-strapped wallet doesn’t generally ensure a happy wardrobe, which is why smart shoppers turn to consignment and thrift stores to satisfy their need for “new” clothes. Here are a few of the Bay Area’s best thrift and consignment stores that will be sure to alleivate the stress on your pocket.
Crossroads—1519 Haight Street, San Francisco
With four locations in San Francisco alone, along with one in Berkeley and one in Oakland, Crossroads is a fantastic place to find fashion-forward clothing at amazing prices. Many of the store’s pieces are actually bought wholesale from other companies’ excess inventories, so a large amount of the clothing actually still has the original tags on. Shirts and skirts have average prices around $15, pants—including some designer brands—are around $25, and gently used shoes (from flats and sneakers to heels and boots) range from just $5 to $25. Crossroads also boasts an extensive men’s collection as well, complete with jeans, hoodies and thermals.
Black and Brown—850 The Alameda, San Jose
Although Black and Brown’s location isn’t what you might expect (on a busy street in a slightly downtrodden part of San Jose), the store itself is a goldmine of gently used, and sometimes even brand new, trendy clothing. The pieces in the store are all in fantastic condition, and Black and Brown’s collection of modern-but-still-vintage clothing is impressive (think Urban Outfitters). Prices are fantastic, and the organization of the store doesn’t make you feel like you’re wandering through someone’s dusty, old attic like other consignment stores do. All types of clothing, for both men and women, are carried at Black and Brown, including shoes.
Wasteland—1660 Haight Street, San Francisco
Wasteland, despite its name, is a gem of a consignment store, if you can even call it that. Although one half of the store is comprised of completely new clothing, the half that is made up of vintage pieces hardly feels like thrift-store clothing at all. The prices at Wasteland are slightly higher than at other thrifting locations, but this is completely justified in that the employees at Wasteland spend significantly more time searching through the old clothing they receive to only pick out the best and, most importantly, most current fashions for their floor. Again, there are both extensive men’s and women’s sections, with shoes and accessories to boot.
—Compiled by Samantha Donat