By Caroline K. Gorman

The popularity of thrift stores is dual, sprung from a simultaneous need to wear something nobody else is wearing and the more pressing need to save money. In striving to attract customers, each thrift stores must balance between the two needs, and sometimes one is sacrificed for the other. The more inexpensive all too often feature clothes which have only barely made it into hangers and in the racks; forget about anything like organization by size or color. Saving themselves the cost of labor results in cheaper but more time-draining stores. Other stores dispense rather quickly with the thriftiness of ‘thrift' stores and focus on the originality of their wares, which are often pricier but more rewarding to driven seeker after exclusivity.

The Good Stuff

325 W. San Francisco St.,

The Good Stuff consists mostly of wildly colored print dresses, each one composed of a variety of fabrics. Glass jewelry is also heavily featured; and there wer a few delightly Mexican-inspired sundresses. The selection of clothing is yet small but tempting; certainly worth a visit.


A look at a few other nearby thrift stores:

Act 2

839 Paseo de Peralta, 983-8585

Act 2 is small and meticulously well-organized. Featured brands are Chico's (heavily featured). There's also some nice jewelry (lots of crystal earrings) and a hat stand full of vintage, mostly straw, hats.

Beat Goes One

333 Montezuma Ave., 982-7877

The Beat Goes On is a mature establishment for mature women; there are dozens of linen skirts, linen shirts, and linen pants suits, in every (mostly muted) shade you could ever desire. The pickings precisely aimed towards a more conservative group who firmly believe, as one shopper stated it, that ‘comfort is the name of the game.' Smaller sizes are hard to come by here, everything is of excellent quality and from solid, well-respected brands like Ann Taylor and Sigrid Olsen.

Double Take

321 South Guadalupe St., 989-3363

Double Take is probably the swankiest and largest thrift store. The front of the store features truly vintage clothing (definition: not before 1920 and not after 1980) of astonishing elegance and unfortunately high prices. After moping over lack of funds, heading ot the back room is certain to brighten the spirits, because that's hwere the ‘thrift' items are collected, organized and put out for sale to such enterprising shoppers as yourself.

Pink House Consignment

905 Cerrillos Road 989-3344

The Pink House is well-named; the place is a riot of femininity, although a a second glance shows the riot to be enthusiastic and perfectly placed. Silk scarves are draped around the bases of lamps, alongside long beaded necklaces and delicate pink-bowed Marc Jacobs pumps are poised as if to step elegantly down from the table. The variety is impressive; don't let the diminutive appearance of the building fool you. The room for dresses includes many formal dresses, a rarity for thrift stores. Brands range from the designer to the more affordable; prices vary accordingly. However, the shher enthusiasm for fashion makes the prices pale, because what is really being purchased is elegance.