Secondhand America: 604 Thrift

America's wealth of secondhand stores is not exactly a secret, but it it can be pretty intimidating in its vastness. Follow our writer as she tip-toes through junk, browses the shelves of antique malls and bargains with vintage brokers, reporting back on just what makes our resale shops so damn good.

Last week, we introduced you to a Massachusetts thrift shop with the perfect youthful, community feel. This week, we bring you to a Portland, Maine secondhand shop with an awesomely similar MO. Portland's 604 Thrift is a small-but-mighty downtown thrift shop where the vibe is more friend's townhouse than store: robin egg blue paint covers the walls, the ceiling is patterned tile, the staircase is medium-dark wood.

Always wish you could shop a pal's apartment? Well now you can—sort of. Stay downstairs for the books ($1 and perfectly displayed), planters ($5-range), winter accessories (under $2), and mugs depicting nearly every type of flower imaginable. Upstairs is a small, low-ceilinged but cozy nook with the clothes and shoes—of course L.L. Bean, Gap, and Pendleton are represented among the stock. There are also plenty of other off-brand cold-weather gear (sweatshirts, flannels) to prep for a Maine winter. All these were selling for under $5; shoes (tons of dark flats and even a pair with triple straps!) were at the same price-point. It's not just about staying warm, though! There were also dresses and retro-perfect floral.

604's vibe is small and intimate, with handmade signage and vibrant paint colors everywhere. But it's not exactly exclusive—prices are dirt-cheap enough to attract pretty much anyone. In the same vein as last week's pick, 604 is just what we like to see in a thrift shop: attention to detail from a passionate staff, filled with stock without being overwhelming, and just generally a nice, fun place to be.

Image: 604 Thrift

Freelance writer Alison Baitz (who also writes for Bust and Refinery29) is so excited that she got to visit thrift stores and antique malls as part of her job.


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