Offbeat Shopping: Thrifty Business, Part One

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These days, the word “thrifting” can be interpreted in many ways. Whether categorized as second hand, vintage, recycled, upcycled, consignment, or resale, it’s stylish to wear clothes with a past.

However, as this type of shopping gains popularity, items become more expensive and harder to find. This trend, I believe, completely negates the idea behind thrifting in the first place.

So, in the interest of historic preservation, I have decided to see if I can still get an authentic thrift store experience here in Big D. Since our city boasts dozens of potential sources for this very special form of offbeat shopping, I’ll break my search down by neighborhood. Today, the hunt begins in East Dallas/Lakewood.

The goal? Amazing finds, incredible prices, and interesting surroundings.

 

 1. Garland Road Thrift Store


The first stop on my tour was Garland Road Thrift Store (10030 Garland Rd. Dallas), a truly giant secondhand Mecca. My first impression was that the entire place smelled like Grandma‘s house. My second impression was, Whoa, look at all those jeans!

Garland Road Thrift’s denim rack is a mile long, including some quality items that are very gently-priced. For example, when was the last time you paid $14 for Banana Republic jeans? The items can be a little dated and some digging is required, but it’s fun to listen to the ‘80s rock soundtrack and slowly peruse the selection.

I scored a black leather skirt for $10, and the formal wear section would also be an excellent place to search for Halloween costume items or simple black dresses to spruce up to your taste. Overall, this store’s a little rough around the edges, but the women’s clothing selection is massive.

 

2. Tulis Thrift Store 

 

Moving on, I first promise that I won’t always write about how places smell. However, I swear this place smelled like it was on fire.

A very small enterprise, Tulis Thrift Store (10710 Garland Rd., Dallas) might be a better stop for housewares or old electronics, rather than clothing. I was greeted by a friendly sales clerk and had a nice time walking around the tiny store, but with only three racks of women’s clothing (and equally small men’s and kids’ sections), nothing piqued my interest. They did have Top Gun on VHS, though, if that’s your thing.

 

3. Casa View Thrift 

 

Casa View Thrift (2303 Gus Thomasson Rd., Dallas) was my favorite stop of the day, due to its perfect balance of well-organized selection, excellent pricing, and clean atmosphere.

Many items in the store still had their original tags, like a pair of Isaac Mizrahi for Target tuxedo pants priced at $3.43. The denim selection here was not quite as big as at Garland Road Thrift Store, but the items were of higher quality. I found pairs by both Armani ($4.94) and Ralph Lauren Denim ($3.43).

This spot is also a great source for specific, unique items. Trench coat? Grab a vintage London Fog version, or current Banana Republic cast-off. Leather jackets? You’ll find them in a rainbow of colors. Black hobo purse with stud detailing? Find that one on the wall-of-bags. You get the idea.

Finally, shoes, in particular, were pretty worn, but heavy on the boots and casual styles (which can be a great place to save some money). Overall, Casa View Thrift Store is not to be missed.

 

4. White Rock Center of Hope

 

Last on today’s list, this non-profit store is dedicated to improving the lives of neighbors in the Lakewood community. White Rock Center of Hope (10021 Garland Rd., #A, Dallas) offers a food pantry, transportation assistance, financial aid, and many other services to those in need.

One way the Center funds these programs is through its Resale Shop, stocked with donated clothing and household items. While the selection isn’t as big as you might find elsewhere, the clothing is of good quality, and the atmosphere is inspiring.

Founded in 1998 and completely run by volunteers, this store has brought in over $1.5 million for its parent organization over time. The clothing is well-priced, upscale, and all of your money goes directly to the Center.

 

 

(All photos, credit DFW Style Daily)

 

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