Friday, April 02, 2010

Second Hand Shopping in Denver

Three weeks before my Denver trip, I searched out two local bloggers and asked them for thrifting recommendations. Brigid of Costume Party and Lauren of Magpie Mania were kind enough to give a complete stranger several recommendations and I visited them all!

ARC (6791 West Colfax, Lakewood CO)
This was our first stop. Lauren described it as a “thrifting department store” and she wasn’t exaggerating. The place was huge. It was also clean and well lit. Bonus: dressing rooms!

My sister scored a very sweet floral dress and a perfect navy blazer (from the boys’ department).

This ARC is in the same complex as Casa Bonita (of South Park fame). After shopping at the ARC, we killed time in a dollar store, waiting for Casa Bonita to open. We went inside just to check it out, but they wouldn’t let us past the cashier without purchasing a meal. We were to meet Beefy’s cousin at Smashburger for lunch, so we didn’t get to explore the Casa. Next time, we’ll plan our meal around it! (Although Beefy is really bitter about the experience, so maybe not.)

Assistance League of Denver (1331 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO)
Lauren recommended the Assistance League of Denver as the place to find designer steals. It did not disappoint! I bought a pair of Kors by Michael Kors clogs for $5. My other score (a dress from Chadwick’s) wasn’t designer, but I’m quite happy with it.

Ping had the ultimate shoe steal of the day: perforated leather oxfords. They were hardly worn (if at all). I wish I had size six feet so I could wear more dead old lady shoes.

Goodwill (13600 E Mississippi, Aurora CO)
After Smashburger, Beefy’s cousin directed us to a nearby Goodwill. Like many other Goodwill stores it was full of Target deadstock. I scooped up a Converse One Star shirt, but no one else bought anything. The store was nice, but it seemed to be lacking special “finds.”

Boss Vintage (10 South Broadway, Denver CO)
Boss Vintage was full of beautiful, interesting, well-preserved vintage pieces. After visiting the ARC and Goodwill, though, we were spoiled on price points and unwilling to shell out for curated vintage.

Goodwill (21 South Broadway, Denver CO)
This was the nicest Goodwill I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. We bought nothing, but perhaps that was the result of fatigue. The store was gorgeous. It was clean, airy, and well-lit. It was housed in a historic building with high ceilings, wooden floors, and brick accents. Clothing items for sale were styled on wire mannequins. It felt like a boutique. I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

Buffalo Exchange (230 East 13th Avenue, Denver CO)
I was so not cool enough to be in this store. I felt like a dowdy old lady next to all the hip employees and shoppers.

We don’t have a Buffalo Exchange in Cincinnati, but I wish one would open! It is not a thrift store, but a consignment store. This location was full of the most interesting clothing, all in great condition. The prices weren’t thrift-store-low, but they were reasonable. My sister and I were both overwhelmed by the sheer number of things we would have liked to take home. She tried a few things on, but nothing fit quite right. The clothing selection was too much for me, so I retreated to accessories, where I found a couple of treasures.

I suspect these items are not “recycled,” but I’ll still enjoy them.

ARC (1515 South Broadway, Denver CO)
After finding so few things at our last few stops, we were hopeful that the final ARC would be a goldmine. Lauren said it was smelly, so I was hopeful that less intrepid thrifters had not yet picked it over. After getting used to the odor, we flipped through the racks. My sister fell in love with some granny boots. I despaired of finding anything until I visited the jewelry case. There, I found a triple strand, mixed metal necklace.

I thoroughly enjoyed our day of second hand shopping in Denver. Not only did I bring home some great things, but it was a neat way to tour the city. I recommend a thrifting day in any large city you visit. Just email a couple of local bloggers for suggestions.

Brigid also recommended Perpetual Clothing (2027 West 32nd Avenue), but it was closed that day (Monday).


Lesa said...

I love everything you got! And I am so glad to see you wearing clogs--I love them.

DaShannon said...

congrats looks like a profitable and enjoyable day!

Mel said...

I still can't believe I saw you at ARC and didn't say anything!!

The ARC I saw you at was the smelly one. It's only two blocks away from where I live, but not my favorite. That particular day I was looking for vintage sheets to make a quilt.

Sooo glad you got to see the Goodwill Boutique! I was just as impressed the first time I went!

I'm glad you listed other shops that were suggested, as I'm new to Denver and now have a great list to explore!

Unknown said...

Great finds ! Is that a thimble necklace? Too cute! The Valley Thrift on Reading road is very nice and well organized , plus very big! The prices are a bit higher, but better clothes.
I think it in Reading , behind the old air craft engine factory somewhere !

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I live about an hour north of Denver but I've never attempted my thrifting there, because it's sooo overwhelming. It looks like you did very well.

I'm totally inspired to plan a Denver trip now.

p.s. Been lurking this blog for awhile and I love it. Keep up the good work!

Ashley J said...

Congrats on yur great finds!!

Anonymous said...

you need to come to chicago - we have awesome thrift stores AND 2 buffalo exchanges. :)

Sarah said...

You had a great thrifting day!!

Sheila said...

You got some great items! I love that longer swirly skirt.

Londyn said...

Great finds! I especially love the dresses!!!!

K said...

I have that mixed metal necklace! I love that it can go with any metal. I wish we had a Buffalo Exchange up here :)