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 is 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 the Metroplex. Since our area boasts dozens of potential sources, I’ve divided my search by neighborhood.
Earlier this month, I explored East Dallas and Lakewood. Today, my hunt moves north, with a few choice spots in Allen, McKinney, and Frisco. The goal? Amazing finds, incredible prices, and interesting surroundings.
1. ACO Resale Shop
My first stop on this excursion was ACO Resale Shop (801 East Main St., Allen). Benefiting Allen Community Outreach, or ACO, the shop was the smallest of the bunch, yet boasted some of the lowest prices I’ve seen in the local thrift category. Shirts were priced at $1.99, shoes at $2, and dresses at $3.99.
Despite a smaller selection, some good pieces were to be found, like an adorable pair of bright red skinny jeans ($2.99) and some cerulean tennis shoes ($2). Sizing up the inventory is a quick job at ACO, and I was able to find these deals within five minutes.
As with many donation-based thrift stores, all proceeds benefit families in need in Allen, Fairview, and Lucas. While this might not be the most likely place to strike out on a thrifting trip, its gentle prices, friendly faces, and convenient location make it worth a quick stop.
2. Thrift Store 2
Thrift Store 2 (1330 N. McDonald St., McKinney) is one of several McKinney shops operated by The Samaritan Inn, a program that provides support and assistance for the homeless throughout Collin County. Though the store’s plain Jane name and underwhelming curb appeal gave me pause, I was immediately impressed by the quality of items in stock.
In fact, this seemed more like a resale shop than a donation-based program, with finds from Banana Republic and Levi’s, plus brand-new Gap Special Edition white skinny jeans, all priced at about $10. Thrift Store 2 also includes an awesome collection of men’s button-ups and vintage shoes, for guys with quirkier taste. The ladies’ professional collection was excellent as well, with nice blazers in an array of sizes, lengths, and colors.
I’d label this the most well-rounded of the thrift stores I checked out on this trip, with a nice mix of eclectic older pieces and fresher, trendier items in a funky location. Also, if you’re in the market for household items, check out the sister location, which deals in appliances, furniture, and ephemera.
3. Goodwill Industries of North Texas
If you only have the time, energy, or desire to visit one thrift store from my travels, head to this Goodwill Center (2010 North Graves, McKinney). The store is impeccably clean, incredibly stocked, and fantastically organized. I’d describe it as nothing less than a Pantheon of Thrift.
Upon entering the bright, sunny store, I saw a swimsuit that was so cute, I actually thought about buying it. As a bit of a germaphobe, second-hand swimwear isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse, but I swear I gave it some serious consideration in this setting. Next, I checked out the shoes, immediately spotting a pair of tri-toned brown brogues for only $5.99. Moving on, shirts are stocked on three long racks organized by color, including tank tops and camisoles for summer in a rainbow of shades. The selections of pants, dresses, and skirts are equally massive.
Budget plenty of time for finding deals here, and never fear – the shop even offers clean restrooms, a true rarity in the world of thrifting. At the risk of repeating myself, this one is not to be missed!
4. Uptown Cheapskate
Okay, so maybe some of you aren’t so into the whole thrifting thing. The stores sometimes smell like musty old houses, and the selections are completely unpredictable. I get it.
Well my picky friend, you need to check out Uptown Cheapskate (2787 Preston Rd., Frisco). Recently opened, this store like is Buffalo Exchange, minus the hipsters and the horrible Greenville Avenue parking. They only accept consigned items that are on-trend, freshly laundered, and have resale potential. Plus, you’ll also find new items available at reasonable prices.
On my visit, I spied lots of neon and cropped shirts ($10-$15) and brightly-colored jeans ($28.99). In fact, the entire denim selection was fabulous, boasting Rock & Republic and other comparable designer brands. Also of note, shoes practically covered the store.
The demographic here seems a bit young for the time being, but with the store being so new, there’s no telling what arrivals will come through as summer continues.
(All photos, credit DFW Style Daily)