This week, I unfortunately did not find time to go to a secondhand store of any kind (besides ones that I have already written about for past columns, so that would be boring). However, I have an issue with the secondhand selection in the District, and I can’t think of a better place to voice my opinion than right here.
Here is my burning question: Where are all the thrift stores? Yes, I understand that we live in the nation’s capital, and (maybe) its image would be tarnished by a Goodwill or a Salvation Army storefront. That is why there are so many trendy boutiques and a three-story Forever 21 on F St. (I love the idea, but come on).
But who doesn’t love a good deal? And since Halloween was just this past week, a great thrift store would have made it that much easier to find a silly T-shirt or dress for a costume, without spending a lot of cash.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The consignment and vintage shops that I have visited in the District have been nice. But sometimes I get into this unrealistic habit of comparing the prices at these consignment shops to the prices of the thrift stores I have back home. For example, I bought my favorite pair of dark-wash Joe’s Jeans at a thrift store back home for probably about $10. If I were to go to a consignment shop here in D.C. (I’m thinking of a few in particular as I write), I would find the same pair of jeans or a comparable pair for double or maybe triple that price. I understand that this pair of Joe’s Jeans can run upwards of $150 to $200, so even at $30 I shouldn’t complain.
But where are the bargains? Where are the stupid T-shirts and comfy pullover sweaters that my grandfather would wear? I’ve been searching and I have yet to find one thrift store besides Martha’s Outfitters (associated with the charity Martha’s Table on U Street) where I can get a good bargain. Maybe some of the best thrift stores are inaccessible by Metro. (If yes, there is my problem. I don’t have a bike nor do I have a car. Even then this seems unfair.)
If you are aware of where some of the thrift stores — the good, nitty gritty, kind of shady thrift stores — in the area, I would love to hear from you, and I may even possibly write about it for this column. Otherwise, I will have to settle for Martha’s Outfitters and the newly-opened Buffalo Exchange on M Street in Georgetown (in the location where Annie Creamcheese used to be). Yet hopefully my eyes will be opened and I will no longer be bitter.
I’m frugal, what else can I say?