Friday, May 30, 2008

Sea Captain's Thrift a Trunk Show

One of the lesser known thrift stores in Brewster is the Sea Captain’s Thrift Shop on Route 6A in Brewster Town Hall Annex. The small shop has an assortment of clothes (mostly women’s), linens, household goods, and books. The volunteers are great for a chat if you’re feeling social and all the proceeds benefit the Brewster Council on Aging.

The clothes are divided into sections such as jeans, sweaters, dress pants and boutique apparel. I must admit, I’ve never recognized any of the brands on the boutique rack, but I have seen a nice party dress or two nonetheless. They do offer special discounts on occasion, such as for Brewster in Bloom, and I believe they offer a 10% senior discount on Wednesdays as well.

One entire wall of the thrift store is devoted to kitchen items, knick-knacks, baskets and wall hangings. The back wall has all sorts of linens: sheets, table clothes, comforters, etc. They also have a nice selection of paperback books, many of which are relatively recent editions. The books are $0.50 each which is a great bargain; the only cheaper place to get books is the Treasure Chest on Queen Anne Road in Harwich. The books at the Treasure Chest won’t cost you a dime! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The gift of thrift: it keeps on giving

The Hope Chest in Orleans is the newly opened thrift boutique run by the Lower Cape Outreach Council. The LCOC provides assistance in the form of food, clothing and financial help to residents of the eight towns that comprise the lower cape.

The Outreach Council already had one clothing store in operation, Katy's Korner, which gives out free clothing to those who qualify for assistance. I haven't found information on what the proceeds from the Hope Chest go towards, but I am sure it's for a good cause.

Upon first entering the store you'll see an entire section devoted to upscale furnishings. There are plush sofas, elaborate works of art, end tables, bureaus and even an antique roll-top desk. The furniture is priced fairly and donors will receive fifty percent of the selling price.

The clothing sections are theoretically divided into thrift and vintage, but the two times I've gone there was nary a flapper dress in sight. The LCOC says vintage pieces will be accepted at the manager's discretion, so perhaps nothing appropriate has yet to come along.

The women's department has a vast assortment of clothing sure to satisfy ladies of all ages. I found many clothes that girls in their twenties, like me, would wear and also many brands (such as August Silk and Alfred Dunner) that would appeal to the older crowd. Their prices are very reasonable and the clothes are in great condition.

I'm going on vacation to a warm weather climate next month, so I have been on the lookout for seasonable attire for mes vacances. At the LCOC I found:
  • a pair of white Union Bay capri shorts for $5 [new with tags; actual retail price:$32], and
  •  a pair of dressy plaid shorts for $4.

I really like the length on the white capris because they stop just at the knee. I am a petite, aka vertically challenged, woman and the capris that hit at mid-calf don't do my legs any justice; they make them look like stumps! But knee length capris worn with a midsize heel make my legs look long and skinny; Cameron Diaz, watch your back!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thrift shopping on MadTV

Please check out the clip below from MadTV; it's hilarious!  And not an ad, I promise!

Thrift shopping on MadTV.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Sale at St. Vincent's

An alert reader informed me that there is a 50% off sale this weekend at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store at Christ the King Parish on Route 28 in Cotuit. They are located 1/2 mile east of the intersection of Routes 28 and 130.

I have never been there before so if you go, please tell me what you think!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Are You a Consigning Woman?

Several of my clothes have come from Consigning Women in Harwich, but I've been hesitant to write about them because they contradict my mission statement.

This store, generally speaking is not cheap. My first purchase was a suit by Kenar with a $49 price tag; my only justification was the fact that it would have sold at Marshall's for $100. Granted, they do have designer clothes that are in great condition, but their prices are much higher than any other Cape consignment shop.  

The skirt in the picture below is part of the suit, the original jacket was orange corduroy but I no longer wear it.  Also pictured is a brown Limited jacket ($2.50, Our Lady of the Cape Thrift) and an off-white shirt ($19.99, Ann Taylor).  

As an incentive, Consigning Women does offer "Comeback Buks" which equate to a $0.50 coupon for every $10 you spend. Yet Tots to Teens Fashion Exchange, the consignment store I recently blogged about, also offers Comeback Buks, but they offer a $1.00 coupon for every $10 spent.

At any rate, if you like Talbots, Ann Taylor, J Jill or Banana Republic, then you will love Consigning Women. And if the clothes stay on the rack for more than a few weeks, they will start taking discounts off the original price. Consigning Women also has a really great selection of shoes (mostly new) and designer purses.

The skirt is from Ann Taylor ($13 [after $2 comeback buks], Consigning Women), the blouse is from Fisherman's House Thrift and the jacket is from Old Navy (United Methodist Thrift).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Advent of the Thrift Boutique

A rising trend in the world of secondhand stores seems to be the creation of the 'thrift boutique.' No longer are thrift stores resigned to being the musty church basements of yesteryear; today, consignment and thrift stores rival the chic boutique atmosphere of designer shops in the cities. Case in point is the newly opened "Thrift Haven" in South Yarmouth owned by proprietress Judiann and managed by her daughter, Gianna. Like the owner herself, the store is warm and inviting and as you shop, upbeat music sounds from playlists on itunes.

Because she just opened on Saturday, Judiann is still putting the finishing touches on the store. She already has a great selection of clothes though, and I tried several pieces on. As I griped to her afterwards, I am in between sizes right now, so only one shirt fit: a pink Gap tee for $5. In addition to hip women's clothes, she features men's, children's, and maternity clothes as well as a great selection of shoes.

Another great thing about her store is that she accepts consignment but, unlike other shops, she actually gives you the money up front. Most other stores won't give you money until your clothes are sold, but Judiann's philosophy is simple: you shouldn't have to wait to get paid! I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Update on New Thrift Stores

  • Hope Chest in Orleans is now  open for business.  According to, "Revenues from the sales of used clothing, furniture and household items will support the council's mission of providing short-term emergency assistance to needy individuals and families."  So stop by and show your support!  
  • I spoke with Gianna, manager of Thrift Haven in South Yarmouth, and she told me they will be opening on Saturday, May 10th.  Thrifters rejoice, the market is growing!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Tale of Two Thrifts

Chatham is an affluent community, so I expected their thrift stores to be of the same caliber; sadly, they were rather lackluster.  There are 4 Chatham thrift stores listed in the brochure, "Touring the Thrift Stores of Cape Cod":
  1. The Benefit Shop at the South Chatham Community Church 
  2. "Bear-ly" Used Unitarian Universalist Meeting House Thrift Shop
  3. St. Christopher's Gift & Consignment Shop, and
  4. First United Methodist Church, Chatham, Thrift Shop.
Saint Christopher's only has a small assortment of clothes, but they do have a great array of shoes.  Many of the shoes were in sizes 7 and 8 and they looked nearly brand new.  They also have a lot of high quality bric-a-brac, so I'd suggest visiting them if your home is in need of some decorating.  The one thing I purchased on my visit was the novel, Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson.  Best dollar I ever spent!  If you haven't read it, go to the library and check it out!! 

First United Methodist Church Thrift Shop is "an all volunteer, mission-oriented shop" with an ever-changing selection of clothes, books, holiday decorations, knick-knacks, get the picture.  I had a wonderful chat with one of the volunteers (turns out we've shared  an employer), but I had trouble finding some wonderful clothes.  The only thing I bought was a hot pink tee shirt for $1, what a bargain!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

New Consignment Brochure and Other News

I met Wendy, owner of Tots to Teens Fashion Exchange, yesterday while I was browsing through her store. I had gone with the intent of shopping for my little sister, but I ended up finding a red jersey dress for $12 for myself as well. Wendy explained that while her primary target market is children, many women come in and find clothes that they can wear too.  Indeed, many of the brands in her store are worn by women of all ages including:
  • American Eagle, Aeropostale
  • Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch
  • GAP, Banana Republic, and J CREW, just to name a few.

Wendy also gave me a brochure, "Consignment Shops of Cape Cod," that lists 16 consignment shops across the Cape, many of which are located in the Upper Cape area.  You can find the online version here.

**THRIFT NEWS**If there's some sort of fashion signal for trying economic times, I think it would be the 'overnight arrival' of many new thrift stores on the Cape.  The newest one is called Hope Chest and it's located in the Friend's Market plaza in Orleans.  Hope Chest benefits the Lower Cape Outreach Council and in addition to thrift and consignment clothes, they will also have a vintage section.