Best Thrift Stores in America
My mother raised me right. Meaning, she taught how to find a great bargain. As kids, my sister and I rose with my mother at the crack of dawn to go to outlet malls in far away towns, dedicated whole weekends to garage and estate sales, and didn't leave a single thrift store until we'd combed through every inch of the place...twice. (There's sparkly, patterned, retro treasure to be found in every corner of every thrift store, trust me.) Years of incredible purchases later, and I'm proud to say that all of that bargain hunting guidance has paid off. These days, I'd consider myself a little bit of a thrift expert. Props, Mom. Props.
When I thrift and shop for vintage, my plan is simple: go early, go often, go cheap, and most importantly, have so much fun. There isn't room in my wallet to splurge on much, so the goal is to get as many outstanding pieces as I can for as little as possible. You'll know you're doing it right if it feels like stealing.
I've compiled a list of some great thrift stores around the country that not only offer AMAZING prices, but also provide an equally inviting shopping environment.
Have at it! Click through the slideshow to see where you should go on your next thrifting trip. (Bring something cool back for me!)
The last time I visited New Bohemia, my friends had to drag me out because I didn't want to leave. There are racks upon racks and walls and walls upon walls of colorful vintage pieces. Bring your guy friends to check out New Bohemia's brother store, New Brohemia, where there are guayaberas and shirts from the '70s and '80s galore.
New Bohemia, 512-326-1238, Facebook
Take two steps inside of Cream and you'll be greeted with rows of boxes of discounted scarves, button-ups, and other random goodies. Keep walking and you'll find all kinds of vintage dresses, tees, skirts, jewelery and shoes. I can't leave Austin without stopping here.
Cream Vintage, 512-474-8787, CreamVintage.com
I've been making trips to Blue Velvet since I was a tweenager going through style phases, but for every trip I've made, I've always left with something special. This place has something for everyone. Cute vintage shoes, sweet hats and scarves, and best of all, lots of wacky clothes and jewelry.
Blue Velvet, 512-452-2583, BlueVelvetAustin.com
Fox and Fawn was the very first thrift store I visited in New York. It's small enough that you won't be overwhelmed, but also has amazing finds so you can't leave empty-handed. I left with an oversized striped tee that I'm going to wear as a dress.
Fox and Fawn, 718-349-9510, FoxandFawn.Blogspot.com
Clearly, this is not your typical thrifting experience. Udelco has so many giant cartons filled with clothes from the '60s, '70s, and '80s. You're guaranteed to find something wonderful. Most items here are priced from $3 - $20. For real.
Udelco Inc., 973-423-9301, UdelcoInc.com
Just look at this place. On Sundays, they have $1 parking lot sales, which means you could potentially find perfect pieces without even going inside. But you'd have to be crazy not to want to.
Jet Rag, 323-939-0528, Google Plus
Sometimes the stores that look the most unsuspecting turn out to yield the greatest purchases. Such is the case with Southern Thrift in Nashville, where you can shop the countless aisles full of all sorts of clothes. Plus, they make it easy to save on your savings. Certain colored tags are half off, and they offer coupons. I'm in.
Southern Thrift, 615-292-1807, SouthernThriftStore.com
If you're in Virginia, Thrift Store USA not only has tons of clothes, they also carry fun vintage furniture. Who knows what else you might fall in love with here? The place is 24,000 square feet.
Thrift Store USA, 757-588-2900, Facebook
Vintage by Misty, in the heart of downtown Phoenix, is such a cool place to find dresses and blouses with fun, bold prints, as well as killer vintage from London, Paris, and Israel. Plus, Misty is sweet and super-helpful.
Vintage by Misty, 602-707-6235, VintagebyMisty.com
This "neighborhood resale store" has all kinds of high-quality used goods. And they really are all about their 'hood. Sometimes they even host free outdoor movie nights here. Bring clothes to sell, but make an appointment quickly, because you can be sure there will be a long line.
Rereun, 503-517-3786, PortlandRerun.com
Ready to dig around? Edie's is small, but offers one-of-a-kind funky hats and shoes, along with all sorts of vintage trinkets. You'll find clothes that inspire in a Grey Gardens sort of way.
Little Edie's Five & Dime, 503-284-1051, LittleEdiesFiveandDime.com
There are so many places to shop in Scottsdale, but My Sister's Closet is always my first—and favorite—stop. In my experience, it's an especially good spot to go suit shopping. (I once found a GREAT red skirt suit here for $17!) They have everything from shoes and clothes in practically new condition, to slightly more expensive designer vintage.
My Sister's Closet, 480-443-4575, MySistersCloset.com
If you're ready for a treasure hunt, Unique has everything from designer and vintage clothes to rare home decor and books. Their staff goes through everything before it goes on the floor, so you can rest knowing that you're getting the best—and the cleanest—they have to offer.
Unique Thrift Store, 651-489-5083, ImUnique.com
Did you ever watch Pee-Wee's Playhouse? Shopping in Hidden Treasures is kinda like that. The shop is somewhat hidden and therefore, overlooked, so think of it as a bit of a California escape. They have a $1 bin full of stuff right as you enter, so why not stock up?
Hidden Treasures, 310-455-2998, Facebook
It's easy to come to this spot looking for one thing, and to instead leave with armfuls of steals. Most clothes (including a good amount of designer duds) here are priced at less than $10, and shoes for less than $15.
Georgia Avenue Thrift Store, 202-291-4013, Yelp
It's clean, it's well-organized, it's loaded with awesome vintage. They have completely on-trend and seasonal stuff in a "you-name-it-they-have-it" kind of way. This isn't a place you just visit once.
10 ft. Single by Stella Dallas, 718-486-9482
Even in Brooklyn, Monk feels like an escape from the ordinary. The place is completely covered in weirdly cool items, like bright yellow duck umbrellas and every kind of patterned button-up you can imagine. If you're a shoe fanatic like me, you will love what feels like the endless collection of shoes. Check out these loafers I almost got.
Monk, 718-384-6665, Yelp