I have purchased several awesome finds from thrift stores, and I thought I’d share some of my favorite spots around the Seattle area!
It can take a while to get the hang of thrift shopping, especially if the places you first visit are super unorganized and messy. My biggest tip for thrift shopping is to go with zero expectations and with lots of patience to spare. It can take time and persistence to score at thrift and vintage stores. Sometimes, you walk out having purchased nothing! But visiting and taking the time to sift through inventory is worth it. It’s the perfect way to get a feel of the store so you can shop more efficiently the next time you visit!
1. Last Rites
This shop is based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, but makes many of the sales online. This is where I’ve found all of my vintage nightgowns that fit my petite frame! The owner, Miranda Rights, is 5’2″ and I mention this because the person modeling all of the clothes on this site is Miranda herself! If you’re wanting to get your hands on some pieces, I fully recommend following Miranda Rights on Instagram so you can be on the ball with shop updates. She has a big following that makes the sales go pretty quick – usually within an hour or two. I sometimes will set an alarm on my phone when I see items I want just so I won’t forget about it! Because of high demand, her items are not always super cheap, but they are reasonably priced, beautiful pieces in fantastic condition.
I own a gorgeous vintage Valentino nightgown because of Last Rites! I won’t be modeling in these gowns yet as they are a bit transparent, and I have yet to find a nude slip to wear under them for photos.
There are also two other floor-length nightgowns from her in my closet. I had also purchased a springy, yellow vintage dress from her that ended up being a little too big and long for me – so that ended up going to a friend who filled it out much better! That purchase was my own mistake though. As you can see when you look at her StoreEnvy site, she has very detailed descriptions and measurements on each item. I got caught up with beating the crowd on Instagram! So be sure to know your measurements ahead of time, and don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions either! You get two hours after you comment with your claim on Instagram to make your purchase.
I have found several pairs of Miss Me jeans and the perfect oversized Banana Republic sweater for fall and winter at the Plato’s Closet chain. I also like to sell my clothes here! They give you cash or store credit for the clothes they want. Just beware though that they don’t buy just anything and the amount they give you is a fraction of their planned sales price, which is also a fraction of the original price. You can go online to see what kind of items a certain location is trying to stock up on in advance! But don’t go in looking to make a ton of money from clothes sales. They also do not accept certain designer items. I personally don’t mind getting a lot of cash back from Plato’s. I am happy to support these places, and I know one of their biggest appeals to shoppers are their discounted prices.
Trove Vintage Boutique is located in Ballard along the popular NW Market Street, and is full of amazing vintage finds! They have an Etsy shop here, and their own blog here. The one time I visited their store in person, most of the clothes they had at the time wee for fuller, vintage-style curvy figures. Their online store has more small sizes in stock, currently! So while a short, petite figure might have a harder time finding vintage pieces that fit, there still are a lot of good accessories to be found! This place does have a LOT of beautiful lace vintage items for the well-endowed, so don’t miss out!
Le Frock is located in Capitol Hill, and carries various sizes as well as designer items too! I saw several (worn) Christian Louboutin shoes there for men and women, but mostly in bigger sizes (I am a size 6 or EU 36.5). They also note if one of the designer items is a definite fake, but they cannot 100% guarantee authenticity. They also carry vintage nightgowns here in various sizes that were able to fit even me with my short, flat frame!
The Buffalo Exchange in the U-District is AMAZING! I have yet to visit their Ballard location, but the people in Seattle who consign here have taste.
I found a pair of tall Balenciaga boots with worn, peeling soles for only $60. I got the soles replaced and they are totally ready for the fall and winter! I have no idea if these boots are authentic and I’m rather too lazy to have them authenticated since they were purchased at such a cheap price.
I also once saw a pair of beautiful pink silk Jimmy Choo 2.5″ heel pumps there for only $50. They weren’t in my size, unfortunately for me.
I also found a lovely, watercolor designed tube top that was brand new with tags attached for only $15! It’s been a perfect summer item pairs with high-waisted shorts or pants. Buffalo Exchange is also a consignment store though I’m not totally certain what their policies are like, as I have yet to consign there.
This place can seem overwhelming at first because there are SO many items, but it is a fun place to wander around when you have a chance! I found a galaxy patterned Supreme zip-up jacket there that my boyfriend adored, but it was a size too small for him. He could have gotten it, but he would want to never raise his arms up! They also have great variety in vintage records, toys, knick-knacks, frames, maps, furniture, and women’s clothing.
Goodwill Industries is ol’ reliable to me. Furniture, clothes, shoes, you name it. Easy bargain chain. I hear the Goodwill in Bellevue is a treasure trove!
I went to the South Lake Union location last month and found a cute pair of blue and white gingham shorts for only $6. I threw them in with my laundry and discovered as I was putting them away that they are actually from J. Crew! I have also found a fantastic black vegan leather jacket at a Goodwill in Portland, Oregon last winter for only $30. I also love to donate to Goodwill knowing that someone else will find my items at such great prices while I do my closet purge.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Poshmark website. This is website that hosts listings, so you deal with the seller directly. This is definitely one of those places where you need to have patience. You also need to do your research and take everyone’s descriptions with a grain of salt. While Poshmark does offer a complimentary authentication service for purchases over $500, I have read from several reputable users that their authentication service is not always accurate.
I have unfortunately received two purchases that were not as described. One was a Kate Spade dust bag for a purse that came to me COVERED in animal fur and smelled like wet dogs. I have also received a Tory Burch leather tote purse that was described as “perfect condition,” but came to me in a damaged, oversized box with tears on the straps, a tarnished Tory Burch logo, and permanent stains on the exterior leather and interior lining. Poshmark approved the returns on both of these purchases, so those issues were resolved quickly! But this was because the sellers’ descriptions literally lied about the genuine condition. Poshmark does not approve returns if an item simply does not fit or if you’ve simply changed your mind about the purchase. I think that’s reasonable, as you are able to comment and ask questions about sizing and such before actually purchasing.
I’ve also dealt with people who have harassed me because I won’t take extreme low-ball offers on my own listings, and with someone who missed out on one of my listings and got mad at me for having sold something to someone else before she made her decision, though I had never promised to hold anything. That definitely hasn’t deterred from still making listings, but I have been feeling less inclined to make purchases from this website unless the seller has a good history of sales.
However, I have also purchased my authentic Prada sunglasses, a like-new Kate Spade crossbody purse, two brand new Kate Spade wallets, and like-new Badgley Mischka peep-toe pumps from this website at amazing prices. These were not fast finds though. It took a lot of searching to find the listings, and it took a lot of research on my end to determine signs of authenticity with each brand. You also have to check past sales’ reviews with the sellers. Poshmark has pretty good policies in place to help protect users and to also resolve disputes. But it’s a big site with tons of users, so they cannot always weed out replicas (which they are illegal to sell in the US) or scammers who may try to convince you to make transactions over PayPal or other websites (which is where Poshmark is not able to help).
Thrifting is so much fun and so worth it. It’s also a great avenue to donate clothes to not only help with spring cleaning or wardrobe clear outs, but also to help give someone else a gorgeous item at a great price. I hope this post encouraged you to either give thrifting and consigning a try, and to check out one of these spots this weekend!