Friday, January 20, 2012

Touring in my own town: Second-hand Shopping

Okay, so I need you guys to cut me a little slack on the final day of "Touring Castro Valley".  You see, one of the wonderful things about living in Castro Valley is that we are really close to awesome things.  Proximity and access to awesome are essentially the same as possessing awesome, right?  Right!  Sweet, now that we've agreed upon that fact, I can confess that my favorite thrift stores are actually in San Leandro and Hayward.  (I totally didn't mean what I said yesterday, Hayward. You're the best!)  Mere miles from my current residence you fill find treasures such as these:

Thrift Town.  I buy almost all of my clothing second-hand.  I like how Thrift Town organizes their clothing by colors AND size.  Very helpful.  And every now and then, a treasure such as the couch above will appear.  That beauty was $39.99, AND it was available on Monday when everything in the store was 30% off thanks to the Martin Luther King holiday!  Some lucky potato bought that couch for $28!  Unreal deal.  Anyway, I know where I'll be on February 3rd—scouring the racks during the annual 99¢ sweater sale!   

And my most recent discovery is Eco Thrift.  Whoa.  Quite an impressive outfit (no pun intended) they got goin' there in what is clearly an old warehouse.  Sweaters for days.  And coats!  Oh my little pony—the coats!  The photo above does not do the styles nor the colors justice.  Peas, swings, and belted maxis; mustard, light camel, and lemony-lime.  There was one in the perfect shade of red, too.  I wanted them all, and tried each on in vain.  As my grandma says, "Some days you don't make a dime," which I think roughly translates to, "You can't always get what you want."  So true, Mick and Grams, so true.  Still, when a wool coat only costs 200 dimes (before factoring color tag discount), it can be a challenge to walk on to the next rack.

Today was green tag day, so the vintage JC Penney "ski sweater" above was 50% off, and therefore could've been mine for $9.98.  Alas and alack, 'twas not meant to be.  Like the aforementioned wool coats, it just didn't fit properly.  Le sigh.  But, behold!  Le purr:   

I pretty much guaranteed securing Grand Prize should I find myself at an Ugly Christmas Sweater Fête next holiday season.  The teddy bear(?)'s face is pretty effed up.  And his scarf is three dimensional.  As are the jeep's tires.  Truth be told, though, I think it's so ugly, it's kinda cute.  Like a chihuahua.  Or monchhichis.


  1. Whoah, cuz! What a FIND! I totally agree with you that the effed up qualities make it plain endearing but I have to say that monchhichis are so ugly that they're...well, just ugly. Ha!

    I've been enjoying learning about all the treasures you have found in the East Bay!

    ...And I'm inspired by your second-hand shopping: I've never been patient enough to shop in thrift stores but I think my taste in pricey clothing is outgrowing my crappy salary (not to mention the eco implications). So, changes need to be made...and STAT! I know Eugene must have many great places. My goal is to find them soon! I'll let you know how it goes!


    P.S. The bob is still AWESOME!!!!! Love it!

  2. Meliss! Yes, please keep me updated on your quest to find decent thrifting in Eugene! I'm a fan of the big, warehousey places I mentioned in the post, but there is a method and a whole lot of patience involved when seeking treasures. I like this gal's thrifting tips a lot, and I'd probably only add "keep a running list of items you need". Don't just buy random crap b/c it's cheap; shop with a purpose and a budget! Also, even though places like Buffalo Exchange (and Crossroads Trading Company - my favorite! But the nearest to you is currently in Portland) are pricier than "thrift stores", you'll definitely find treasures there for bargain (compared to retail) prices, all items have been curated/organized/cleaned, and you get store credit for selling your clothing to them. It's such a win-win! You purge your closet of clothes you don't want/need anymore AND you earn credit toward new-to-you gems!

    p.s. hahaha! A true testament to your sister's talent: I hadn't washed my hair in almost 3 days when I took that photo. Don't tell her. ;]

  3. Have you been to Eco Thrift in Hayward? On Mission, usually some good stuff to be found there (one of my faves). This blog inspired me to head to over there yesterday just to poke around. Thanks!! Hmm...also the Salvation Army in Hayward (and in Oakland) are fun. I feel like H-stack does a good job with the whole second-hand stores as far as the suburbs go.

  4. Alicia - Yeah! That's where I saw that awesome ski sweater + purchased the Ugly Christmas Sweater. LOVE it.

    I agree that the Salvation Army has some really good deals + cool gear, but I fear I can no longer support them now that I am aware that the SA is an actual Christian church, with a very conservative doctrine. Check out their official statements on topics such as homosexuality, abortion, etc. They direct portions of their funds to fight against legislation that criminalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation. I know they provide services to those in need, but there are PLENTY of other organizations that provide similar services that don't hold beliefs contrary to my own.