Recently, I spent the weekend in DC with a great friend from high school – well the high school I attended for a year. We worked an event together on Saturday, and after the event, one of her friends suggested we go to this thrift store called Value Village – Unique Thrift Store located in Silver Spring, MD. Apparently there are a few Value Villages in the DC area, but the one we went to had the best selection. Value Village supports local nonprofits and charities in the area – yay!
None of us had actually been to Value Village before, so we had no idea what to expect. When we got there we were overwhelmed! The only way I can describe this store is a combination of a thrift store and a Big Lots. One half of the store is second-hand items – so many racks of clothes, housewares and furniture at awesome prices! The other side is new items at discount prices; we didn’t venture over there.
A few observations about Value Village: So many items. This thrift store is the size of a large department store. The clothes are priced great and they have many brand names, but are grouped by kind, not size. This means you will need time to search for pieces and sizes that you want. Also, I did not see a dressing room (this doesn’t mean they don’t have one, but I personally didn’t see one), so you may have to take a gamble that the pieces will fit or try on over your clothes. The furniture is great and well priced – I saw so many pieces that were quality wood products. Can we say refurbish projects!? Housewares are a little expensive, but reasonable. They also take credit cards.
Overall, this store blew me away – great clothing and awesome furniture. I was in thrift store heaven and probably could have spent an entire day in there!
My friends and I found designer pieces for under $5. What a steal!
First great find – this lime-green chunky cable knit sweater. Props to my friend Sydney for finding this one! I will most likely wear it with skinny jeans or my favorite – black leggings. I dry cleaned this.
Brand: Old Navy. Second-hand Price: $3.99
Second great find – Navy blue blazer with 3/4 length sleeves. You can’t see it in the picture, but the fabric is textured. I will definitely be wearing this to interviews or if, fingers crossed, I get a job! I dry cleaned this too!
Brand: Gap. Second-hand price: $3.99.
Third great find – Vintage crossing colors loose sweater. I absolutely love this print and the fact that something so old can still be stylish! Able to put this in the washing machine!
Brand: James Korman by Dalton. Second-hand price: $2.99
A bit of thrift store advice:
- Sizes don’t always matter. The lime-green chunky cable knit sweater was a large. For those of you who know me, I am definitely not a large. So I don’t know if it was a children’s large put on the adult rack, or if someone shrunk it and that’s why it ended up at the thrift store. It fits me great. The vintage crossing colors sweater is definitely big on me, but that’s the style now – lose and draping.
- Check, check and check again. People give things away for many reasons – mostly because it doesn’t fit or isn’t their style anymore. But some items are damaged and they do end up on the racks, so triple check for rips, tears, and moth holes. But hey, if you know how to sew and can fix something up, kudos to you!
- You can be stylish and brands don’t always matter – if it looks good on you, you like it and you’ve seen something similar in the fashion magazines, then get it! I feel that I can be more stylish by thrifting because certain pieces are always coming back in style. For example, these blousy tops that are popular – don’t they kind of resemble the ones our grandmas wore to church a few years ago? Just have an open mind, know popular styles and be creative. Check out Madewell – I have seen these fashions in second-hand stores. But most of all, do you!
- You get more, but you have to search. 5 second-hand shirts for $20 or 1 new shirt for $39.99 – Which is better?
- Check to see thrift store hours and if they take credit card. Some are closed on certain days to inventory and smaller ones will only take cash.
So questions to you! What great items (clothing or otherwise) have you found second-hand?! I want to know! 🙂