Thrift, vintage, used, consignment – call it what you will, San Francisco is the residing queen of second-hand shopping, perhaps because of the sheer number of costume events throughout the year or the residents’ naturally eclectic sense of style. One of the best places to find some great deals is in the Mission district. Read on for five great places to buy some of the funkiest ensembles, unique accessories, and eccentric trinkets in the city.
“Hell Yes! We are Open” Sign at Schauplatz | Courtesy Lindsay Cooper
As the name implies, Schauplatz Vintage is chock full of vintage garb from the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. The apparel is carefully curated to provide only the best vintage options. Everything is in excellent condition and the owner is known to be both knowledgeable and helpful in picking items fit for your needs.
Interior wall of wigs and makeup | Courtesy Lindsay Cooper
The crowning jewel of thrift shops in the area, Mission Thrift is the place for all of your costume/festival needs. The store stays on top of the social scene, keeping shelves well-stocked before big SF events like Bay to Breakers, Burning Man, Edwardian Ball, and, of course, Halloween. Used and new costume pieces can be found all year round, making this the perfect place to pick up, say, a cowgirl costume in the middle of April, should the need surface.
Retrofit is a smaller scale vintage shop on Valencia with a huge personality. The incredible costume selection showcases an array of wigs, bright make-up and distinctive accessories. There are also a lot of casual options as the store is chock-full of a wide selection of t-shirts and button-ups.
This thrift shop has the ultimate ‘do good in your hood’ mentality. Community Thrift works with hundreds of bay area charities, allowing shoppers to donate their goods and pick the charity the proceeds go to. The shelves have the most diverse merchandise of all the thrifts in the area. In addition to the normal clothing and shoes, the shop is also full of furniture, books, kitchenware, toys and various bric a brac. Make sure to mark the first Monday of the month in your calendar, everything in the store is 50% off for the day.
The most boutique shop on the list, The Painted Bird is a vintage shoppers’ paradise for buying unique daywear. Instead of combing through racks of clothing to find gems, the staff has done the work for you. The selection is stellar to revamp your wardrobe at a reasonable price. The accessories are spot on as well with funky jewelry, purses, and shoes you really can’t find anywhere else.