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New England Vintage Chic: Finding Your Favorite Second-Hand Store

Friday, December 21, 2012


Crompton Collective

Okay, if you haven't heard, shopping at second-hand stores is the new trend. The trend, that is here to stay! It seems today, at every corner turned, there is a new consignment, thrift or vintage store open for business. For many people shopping at second hand stores is “not their thing” or they don't know where to start. Well, as an avid second-hand shopper, I’ve learned the highs, the lows, the in’s and out’s to shopping at these one-of-a-kind shops.

First, understand that every second-hand store is unique in their own way. Each one can offer you a different shopping experience and different product. There are three main categories to second-hand clothing; vintage, thrift and consignment/re-sale.

Vintage Clothing: Used clothing that came from a previous era, usually from the 1920’s through 1960’s. However, today, the 1970’s & 1980’s can also be considered vintage and is normally found in vintage stores.

Thrift Clothing: Used clothing that was donated from another person for charity or a tax write-off. The clothing can range from damaged to new, and from current to vintage.

Consignment/Re-sale Clothing: Used clothing that was turned in from another person for their value. Most consignment clothing is high quality with a designer tag to match.

Know what you're looking for

Now that you understand second-hand clothing a bit better, let’s talk about knowing what you’re looking for. For some of you, you may not have a specific item in mind, that is great, shop them all. But, for those of you who only want to shop high-end designer labels or vintage clothing, you’re going to be better off going to select second-hand stores. Let me explain more -

Vintage Stores: There are a handful of vintage-only stores. These stores can be tough to find, since the name usually doesn’t include vintage. The Haberdash Vintage is a great examples of vintage stores. These stores will offer quality vintage pieces, most of the time organized by era for a easy shopping experience. You can also hunt for vintage clothing at thrift stores. Although, it takes someone who has patience.

Thrift Stores: Savers, The Salvation Army and The Goodwill are all examples of thrift stores. These stores are filled with hidden treasures, the catch is, you have to find them. You never know what you will find here. You could bring home ten items you love one day and the next, nothing.

Consignment/Re-sale: Alexis Grace Consignment on Harrison Street is a prime example of a consignment store. This type of store is geared towards the trendy fashionistas who want to save money on their designer label addictions. For those of you who don’t care for high-end designers, they also carry labels, such as GAP, Banana Republic, H & M and Express. You can also find these labels while hunting through the racks at thrift stores. Again, you need patience for this.

Finding the right second-hand store

Finding second-hand stores is not easy. This is the main reason why I started blogging and reviewing local stores throughout New England. Your best bet is to search for what your looking for; i.e.: “vintage stores”, “consignment stores”, “thrift stores” specific to the area you want to shop in. Also, ask your friends and family for any recommendations. Word of mouth is the best way to learn about local second- hand stores in your area. You can also visit my blog at http://www.Newenglandvintagechic.com. Where you can find reviews on local second-hand stores and get guidance on what store might fit your style.

Have an Open Mind

The first second-hand store you visit may not be to your taste. Don’t even think about walking away from the idea of becoming a second-hand shopper at this point.
Remember, every store is different, with their own unique style and atmosphere. Even if you find a store you love, but don't find something worth buying, don't give up. You know the saying “any given day”? Well, the same saying goes for shopping second- hand stores. Leave your expectations at home.

Get Ready To Save

Do you want to save money, but still look good? We all do! The biggest reason why you should be psyched to find your favorite second hand store is to start thinking about all the money you will save. As a capricorn, saving money has always been a goal of mine. So when I shopped at a thrift store for the first time and bought a velvet blazer for $2, I was hooked. There is no need to empty your bank account to look good.

Ready to Shop

Ready to shop locally? Here is a list of a few of my favorite spots in and near Worcester:

If you’re looking for quality vintage clothing: Haberdash Vintage/Crompton Collective - 138 Green St., Worcester - (508) 753- 7303 - http://www.cromptoncollective.com/ Recommend: Haberdash Vintage is located inside Crompton Collective. Owned by the same person, this Worcester native, has turned the Antique and Artisan Mall into quite the popular shopping destination. Crompton Collective offers a mix of vintage clothing, vintage accessories, and local hand-made goods. Truly an eclectic store.

If you want to hunt for hidden treasures and stay on budget: Savers - Two locations in Worcester to choose from - Click on their website to find the locations closest to you: http://www.savers.com/ Recommend: If you’re looking to spice up your wardrobe and stay on budget, go here.

If you’re looking for quality clothing and designer labels: Alexis Grace Consignment - 7 Harrison St., Worcester - (508) 799-4700 - http://www.alexisgraceconsignment.com/ Recommend: This store offers top quality designer clothing, as well as vintage pieces.

Taylor Kloss lives for the hunt—to find that one-of-a-kind piece that no one else has and to put amazing outfits together on a tight budget. To share her passion with the world and encourage shopping at vintage, thrift and consignment stores, she blogs on New England Vintage Chic, a journey of her adventures, advice, styles, and reviews of local second-hand stores throughout New England.


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