The Top 5 Best Thrift Stores Around Campus

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Inspired by Macklemore’s song? Pop some tags near USF and create your own thrift-shop style. 

    As college students, we are burdened with slim budgets, which means less money for food, weekend excursions, and shopping.  Shopping not only allows one to clean out his or her closet, but it offers tranquility and the chance for us to expand our wardrobes with fashionable pieces.  Thrifting does just that, without breaking our budget. At the same time, we can keep up with all the bohemian personalities strutting their style around campus.  Here are some of the best thrift stores near campus:

The Goodwill Store

1700 Haight St

San Francisco, CA 94117

(415) 738-5606

Goodwill is by far the cheapest place to thrift. Amidst the store’s somewhat overwhelming racks, you will be sure to find trendy shirts and sweaters for no more than $5. I left with a black chiffon H&M blouse for $4.50. Aside from clothes, Goodwill carries a great collection of old movies, books, CDs, and Vinyl records – all of which, are no more than $2 a piece.  There is a funky “pre-worn” smell that permeates throughout the store (as expected), but that is not going to keep me from heading back there so I can get my lumpy sweater fix.

Fashion Exchange

1728 Haight St

San Francisco, CA 94117

(415) 387-3333

The store is very well organized, separating their clothes between “New Arrivals” and “Sale Items.”  The new arrivals are priced around $15, and there, you can pick up cute button up blouses and lacey tops.  The sale rack ranges from $4 to $10 and usually contains out-of season items. The store’s walls are adorned with trendy name brand purses.  These can be a bit expensive – some as high as $65 – but there are many that do not go over $30.  Additionally, Fashion Exchange also has costumes and accessories.  There is a section in the back dedicated for just tutus and fur coats; and you can find wigs and jewelry near the checkout.  I recommend heading there if you want to go all-out once Halloween rolls around.

Thrift Town

2101 Mission St

San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 861-1132

Thrift Town. located in the Mission District, is the farthest from campus. However, it should definitely be on your radar if you have a strict budget.  It is like a vamped up version of Goodwill. The store is organized in every way you could imagine (size, color, sleeveless, and stretchy just to name a few).  From what I saw, their average clothes’ price do not go over $10.  Like Goodwill, Thrift Town carries more than clothes.  They have an entire second level dedicated to furniture, kitchenware, music, movies, and more.  While searching for bargain clothing and other miscellaneous items, you can enjoy listening to old school music (I’ve found that The Temptations are a Thrift Town favorite), while an oversized parrot statue overlooks the entire store.  Thrift Town is simply a fun place to be.

Wasteland

1660 Haight St

San Francisco, CA 94117

(415) 863-3150

Wasteland has a very cool atmosphere.  When shopping there, I feel as though I’m in a grungy NYC boutique rather than looking for recycled, vintage clothing; and this of course promotes the fact that Wasteland is more expensive than other thrift stores. Much of the store’s contents contain vintage items.  The more vintage, the more expensive.  But this does not mean that you cannot find cute clothes while maintaining your budget, it is a matter of knowing where to look.  For all my designer name brand junkies, this is your place.  Wasteland has the best shoe collection by far.  There is a plethora of Steve Madden leather boots that are priced around $45.  Some of their shoes are a bit scuffed, but I prefer buying shoes that have a few miles on them.  Also, the back racks of the store are stocked almost entirely with lumpy sweaters, vintage and modern alike.  You can be sure to round out your Old Lady Chic style after visiting Wasteland.  A bonus to the store would be that they have a fitting room, so you know you are not wasting your money on clothes that do not look amazing on you.  And if you do so happen to change your mind later, Wasteland offers a 15-day return policy for items with the tag still on.

Crossroads Trading Co.

1519 Haight St

San Francisco, CA 94117

Phone number

(415) 355-0555

Crossroads is by far one of my favorite places to thrift.  It is the most organized and you can find vintage clothing for prices far lower than Wasteland’s.  Their sale racks contain super stylish maxi dresses and leather jackets that cost around $16.50.  I walked away with a black jumpsuit for $9.50.  Like Wasteland, Crossroads carries designer shoes but they’re about $10 to $15 cheaper and are in better condition.  The most expensive clothes items I saw were $35, but much of the store is priced far below that.  Their walls are decorated with gently worn True Religion jeans for bargain prices.  They have great accessories that you can find by the checkout, like jewelry and cheap flowy scarves that are sure to bring out the bohemian in you.  And if you ever feel regretful of your purchase—which I’m sure you will not—the store offers a 7-day return policy.

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