(Photo courtesy Thinkstock)
Usually, the first rule of thrift shopping is: don’t tell anyone where you go thrift shopping. Thrifters hold their regular haunts close to their vintage vests for fear of the uninitiated masses blowing up their spot and leaving them picked over and bare. Thankfully, I am a generous and giving individual and have decided to let you in on my top thrifting picks. This list has been carefully curated over seven years of local thrifting so you know I mean business. Literally— I starting thrifting around Richmond for my vintage clothing business.
The Clothes Rack (2618 W. Cary St., 6780 Forest Hill Ave.)
Both the Carytown and Stratford Hills locations are worth frequent pop-ins. I’ve found a pair of 70s YSL striped pants for $7 and a pair of butterfly print Valentino Rockstuds for $17 at each store, respectively. I bought neither since the second rule of thrift shopping is don’t buy something just because it’s there and neither of those items were really my style (you’re welcome). H&M, Ann Taylor, Gap and LOFT are on regular rotation.
Goodwill, Ashland (10485 Dow Gil Rd.)
Small but mighty, the Ashland Goodwill packs a lot of women’s clothing into a deceptively tiny space. The good people of Ashland definitely do their part to keep J.Crew in business; never before have I seen more of the brand other than in their actual retail stores.
Salvation Army, Mechanicsville (3807 Mechanicsville Turnpike)
Taylor Swift once sang that no amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity but the Mechanicsville Salvation Army would like to politely disagree. It’s a treasure trove of 70s boho frocks, all under the $7 mark and all in great condition. I’ve also found quite a few cozy vintage furs and some seriously sparkly sequin tops here as well. If you’re looking for some fun statement pieces, definitely check this place out.
Location is both a blessing and a curse for both of these beloved local spots. Being so solidly in town makes it easy to swing by when you have an extra few free minutes which also means half the city can have the same idea when you do. The result is often that the stores are picked over and cramped but when you do score, you’re scoring big.
Goodwill, Mechanicsville (7147 Brandy Run Drive)
Last but certainly not least, the Mechanicsville Goodwill— otherwise known as my Holy Grail. All of my best thrifted finds have come from this location; from 1950s Mad Men style floral print dresses to floaty lace Free People blouses. Most of its (ample) square footage is devoted to women’s clothing, so be sure to give yourself at least an hour to comb through every rack.