August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day. We all know that I think it should be a national holiday. I love my thrift shopping – both shopping and writing about it. Why do people love thrift shopping? Why do I love thrift shopping? The thrill of the hunt is looking for that great find. The chance to create your style and make a fashion statement. The ability to save money by not shopping in expensive department stores. Secondhand and vintage clothes are better quality than today’s fast fashion. Even thrift stores have sales. Help your community by supporting local thrift shops that use their proceeds to help people in their communities. It gives you a chance to keep updating your wardrobe at reasonable prices. If you dislike a purchase, you can donate it right back.
Most importantly, by thrift shopping, you are saving the planet and keeping clothes out of landfills. These are just some of the reasons why we all love thrift shopping. I have been thrift shopping for over forty years, and it brings me great joy and is my passion. There is no better way to enjoy a few hours than by going to a thrift shop and just looking through all the racks hoping to find those unique pieces that I will buy and love for years to come.
The IFCA (Interfaith Council for Action) Thrift Shop in Ossining was a delightful surprise. They had a good selection, and the pricing was outstanding. $3.00 tee shirts and $4.00 for shirts/blouses, $5.00 for jeans and pants, $5.00 for handbags, $5 to $10 for jackets, $8 to $15 for dresses, baby, and children’s clothes, $1.50 to $3.00, shoes $2.50 and up. Household items can be found for anywhere between $1 to $35. The clothes and housewares were in excellent condition, and the selection was sizeable. I was impressed with the children’s section as they had a good selection and affordable pricing—the same for the jewelry, accessories, and linens.
The first IFCA thrift store opened approximately eight years ago on Spring Street in Ossining. The Thrift Shop moved to a larger space earlier this year at 95 Croton Avenue and is doing well. The store was busy while I was there. I spoke to Amy, the manager, and she said that there is a high turnover of merchandise, and I could see from the donations and sales that this is true. The store layout is open and easy to navigate, and the displays are appealing. They have an all-volunteer staff and are always looking for new volunteers to help with the shop and sorting donations.
Proceeds from the Thrift Shop fund IFCA’s community programs. IFCA was established in 1968 and provides a range of affordable housing development, property management, and supportive services to low and moderate-income people. IFCA owns and manages affordable apartments in Ossining and Tarrytown, NY. It is also a pioneer in developing transitional housing for the homeless, currently maintaining 16 units through Westchester County’s Emergency Housing Apartment Program (EHAP). Additionally, IFCA has adopted innovative community service programs to help hundreds of people beyond its tenant base, including financial literacy programs and job training. What better reasons do you need than to shop and help Ossining and the local communities? Bravo IFCA.
IFCA Thrift Shop
95 Croton Avenue Ossining, NY 10562 Across the street from CTown
The Katonah Thrift Shop is an excellent Westchester thrift shop circuit stop. They have a good selection of clothes, and the inventory is continually updated. I have a blast walking around and looking at the other items—fabric, light fixtures, antiques, and much more. I bought a gorgeous silver picture frame there the last visit for the meager price of $2.00. It was in perfect condition and went with my décor well. I enjoy looking through the housewares, and I have previously purchased some unique serving pieces that I love.
I spent my visit poring through the racks for this blog. Their selection of clothing is good and the prices reasonable. Both men’s and women’s and all sizes. The women’s section is more extensive and has a nice selection of formal and informal dresses. Their accessory section has various bags, scarves, belts, etc. The displays are well done. I am always pleasantly surprised to find some vintage clothing, among many other treasures.
The Katonah Women’s Civic Club runs the Katonah Thrift Shop. The thrift shop is in the basement of the beautiful historic Memorial House on Bedford Road. Currently, the thrift store is managed by Joan Kachmarik, Ursula Martin, and Bobbi Stanton and is fully staffed by members of the Civic Club. All proceeds from the thrift shop go to the Katonah Women’s Civic Club, established in 1918, and are distributed to numerous community organizations – too many to mention. While there, they had so many donation drop-offs that I could not get all the volunteers together for a photo.
I spoke to Bobbi Stanton (pictured), one of the managers, and she told me that she loves when the oldies are playing and sees people dancing and bopping in the store – Bobbi said it makes her happy and the shopping more fun for customers. She said that all the members love working there, and the thrift shop has a very loyal following with many returning customers.
Well worth a stop and highly rated, the Katonah thrift Shop is worth a visit if you haven’t been and a return visit if you have. You can follow KTS on Facebook.
One of the best things about the Hilltop Thrift Shop at the Zion Episcopal Church in Dobbs Ferry is their “fill a bag” sale. You can fill a paper shopping bag provided to you for $6.00. I went to one about a month or two ago and was able to pick up some great pieces. A pair of jeans, tee shirts, a pair of pajamas, and some other staples for my wardrobe. I fit them all in one bag for $6.00. I went home very happy!
I always enjoy reading any book by Michael Connelly (Lincoln Lawyer and Bosch series), so I am constantly scouring their book section for one of his books. I have been lucky so far and have found three. I am a big fan of their housewares section. I had been looking for a three-quart saucepan and found one in excellent condition for $5.00, significantly cheaper than I would pay in any department store, and a quality saucepan. I find that Hilltop’s prices for housewares are below the average thrift shop, so I am always on the lookout for kitchen items I may or may not need 🙂
They have a good men’s section, and the women’s section has an ever-changing inventory. They have a boutique section in the front with high-end items; everything is always reasonably priced and has a wide selection. The children’s clothes seem to fly out of the shop. Whenever I check out the kids’ clothes, they are always high quality and in excellent condition.
Like most others I visit, the Hilltop Thrift Shop uses the funds from the shop to help the church and many others in their community. Hilltop helps the Children’s Village, Paws Crossed, West Harlem Thrift, Women’s Shelter for Domestic Abuse, Saving Sight, and the Midnight Run, just to name a few. Funds from the shop are also being used for the upkeep of the church and towards the fund for the repair of the plexiglass windows.
I must also mention that it is always a pleasure stopping by and talking to Tory, Gabriel, and everyone at the shop. They are all warm and welcoming and very appreciative of your support of Hilltop.
THIS IS NOTED ON THE HILLTOP RESERVATION WEBSITE: Three shoppers can register per session on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (Saturdays open an extra hour until 2 pm) — 50 years and going strong! Free parking. Cash and checks only. Unfortunately, children under 12 cannot enter the store. Donations are welcome without an appointment (but to shop, too, make an appointment).
TO MAKE APPOINTMENTS, PLEASE NOTE:
1) Tell us the first and last name of each shopper you register – otherwise, your appointments will be canceled.
2) Tell us your phone number, which will not be publicly shared.
3) No-shows are a genuine disservice to other customers, so please cancel as soon as your plans change.
One of my favorite passions is thrifting as you all know. Here are some thrift shops I have come across recently. I will write in-depth about them soon but I just have to share these gems with you.
Please call first as some thrift shops change their hours or close during the holidays.
Deer Hill Thrift Shop in Danbury. It is part of the First Congregational Church of Danbury. Located at 164 Deer Hill Ave. What a great surprise. Maybe I was just lucky the day I shopped. I scored Calvin Klein kitten heels on sale for $5.00. A Talbot’s sweater for $8.00 and Chico’s cargo pants for $4.00. I have a feeling that this one stays well stocked. They are open Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The phone number is (203) 792-3110.
The Hillside Thrift Shop is located at Zion Episcopal Church, at 55 Cedar Street, Dobbs Ferry NY, right before the intersection with Main Street. Just go up the driveway, where you’ll find ample parking, and go through the little red door with the thrift-shop sign. Open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 12:00 to 4:00 and accept donations on Mondays from 10:00 to 12:00. The phone number is (914) 693-9320.
St. Bartholomew’s Thrift Shop reopened and just as great as ever. Lots of Eileen Fisher merchandise too. They are located at 82 Prospect Ave., White Plains, NY 10607. Open Saturdays 9-1 and Thursdays 3 pm – 6pm. The phone number is (914) 949-5611.
Ridgefield Thrift Shop. (Please read my blog about the RTS) Top rated. Top merchandise. Unbelievable prices. They are located at 21 Governor St, Ridgefield, CT 06877. They are open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 12pm – 4pm. The phone number is (203) 438-3328.
All of these thrift shops help those in need and are a great reason to shop at one, two, or all.
Thrilled to be back to thrifting and lots more to come. Please send any thrift shops suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear what your favorite places are.
Everything old is new again! The old Discovery Shop in Chappaqua was good but I must say that I am enjoying its reincarnation all the more. I stepped into Fantastic Finds and it certainly lives up to its name. A 75% off Fall clothing sale was going on when I visited. I walked out with a couple of great buys; a pair of Talbot’s pants for $5 and a Tahari dress/duster for $7.50 plus a couple of other staples. But even without the sale, this is definitely one of the better upscale resale shops in the Westchester/Putnam area. They carry men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, scarves, handbags and other accessories. I think they have a excellent selection of brand name merchandise with some high end merchandise as well. Their Spring collection was excellent. They also carry household items such as small accent furniture, housewares, china (quite beautiful too), home décor, and musical instruments. I thoroughly enjoyed looking through the art. Actually, I had a great time browsing through the store, there was just so much to see.
As far as pricing, I find it comparable and slightly cheaper than other UPSCALE shops that are similar to Fantastic Find. All the merchandise is in PRISTINE condition and there are certainly gift quality selections to be found. I hope that the pictures tell a much better story of what Fantastic Finds is all about!
What is wonderful is that all proceeds from sales at Fantastic Finds will benefit Support Connection, an organization that provides free, year-round breast and ovarian cancer support services. They rely on your donations to provide free programs and support services. 88¢ of every dollar donated goes directly to fund these critically needed services.
Check out Fantastic Finds – I promise it’s worth the trip!
400 King Street (former site of the Discovery Shop)
I am excited to tell you about my visit to Yorktown Love in Action. Let’s start with the 10,000 square feet of thrifting heaven – if you have patience, like in all thrift shopping, there are plenty of deals to be found here. The first floor holds furniture, household, collectibles and LOTS of it. The second floor has men, women and children’s clothing and shoes. Also on the second floor are tools, seasonal décor, and linens to name a few. They have separate rooms for the holiday décor and tools. The majority of their clothing are name brands and the selections endless. What won me over is that some tags are labeled “MD” which means that the ticketed price is the suggested minimum donation. This is helpful for those struggling financially so that they are able to shop at affordable prices. That is quite impressive. I am finding out that YLIA always thinks of others.
YLIA is definitely worth a trip not just to browse through the 10,000 square feet but to also help a phenomenal organization. They even have a sitting room where you can rest up and then continue shopping 🙂
YLIA’s mission is to help members of Westchester and Putnam communities who need temporary assistance due to unforeseen life events. I am sure they help more individuals and families than we will ever know about because YLIA does so with grace and dignity. They value and maintain the privacy of those they help and I admire YLIA for that. THANK YOU YLIA!
Donations are needed for YLIA – check out the YLIA website for donation information and look over what is or isn’t accepted. YLIA is looking for volunteers as well so if you live in the Westchester/ Putnam area, this is a great place to volunteer. If interested, you can also become an individual or business sponsor.
I respect YLIA and what they do. I will be heading back with a backseat full of donations that will hopefully help. I want to be able to say thank you for all they do for others.
This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
If you are a serious thrift shopper, you will notice a trend where hospital thrift shops have higher pricing than the standard thrift shop. On the upside of this, the merchandise most often consists of designer clothing and accessories. Such is the case for TWIGS Thriftree Thrift Shop in Mount Kisco which benefits Northern Westchester Hospital. I was impressed looking through the racks with clothing that you would see in Saks, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s or pricey boutiques. They carry men, women and children’s clothing and accessories. While they carry limited small home décor/housewares, what they do have is quality.
I can’t emphasize this enough, if you are looking for trendy/expensive clothing, you will pay higher prices – plus you will have to frequent the better thrift shops in trendy neighborhoods (Like St. Luke’s on Hudson Street in NYC) and those thrift shops associated with hospitals. Memorial Sloan Kettering Society Boutique was a perfect example as they carried the finest designer clothing and accessories. This even goes for furniture – the Society Boutique always, always had fabulous furniture that flew out the door as quickly as it came in. (Sadly, the Society Boutique closed last year.) I will say that every time I was there, there was someone obviously affluent going through the racks and more often than not, purchasing merchandise. It is something you see more and more when thrift shopping; everyone on every financial level is looking for that great find or unbelievable bargain.
In addition, I find that hospital thrift shops carry quality evening wear and more formal than the standards. A good rule of thumb is do NOT wait until last minute before you have a special occasion, start looking a month or two beforehand and you may get very lucky.
FYI – All profits from the Thriftree benefit the hospital. Volunteers also create layettes and make comfort pillows for patients. Donations are gratefully accepted, by appointment.
Once again, the Irvington Presbyterian Church Attic Sale did not disappoint. This year I did exceptionally well for myself and I will give credit to the fact that I went on the first day of the sale (my first time) which may have made the difference. But then again, I have also done well when going on the second day when pricing is much better and there are still great selections. Some of the items in my haul were a Lands End turtleneck for $4.00, a Kenneth Cole black wrap dress, a See by Chloe funky dress (I am loving it), a Marc by Marc Andrew tunic/dress – and each dress was $10.00. All the clothes were in pristine condition. Talk about steals; it was a great score. I did focus on the clothing FIRST. I took my time and went through the racks which were incredibly organized as is the entire sale. They have designated areas for furniture, books, shoes/handbags, jewelry/crystal, fine china, accessories and so much more. I scored a special edition Barney’s Lady Gag tote bag which is just gorgeous at the unbelievable price of $5 – YES $5. I just had to buy for my equally gorgeous niece who I know would love it. I just have to tell you that this sale is packed and there was always a line to get into the handbag room and the jewelry room – it really is growing in popularity every year for both sale lovers and collectors. I can’t emphasize it enough – this is a really great sale that should not be missed if you love these kinds of sales. All proceeds benefit multiple worthy charities in the Westchester area so all the money is helping others!
If you missed the Attic Sale, the good news is that right next door to the Irvington Presbyterian Church is the Church of St. Barnabas. And….wait for it….St Barnabas is having their Fall Outreach Clothing Sale starting on Tuesday, November 7th. I have been to this sale as well and all I can say is these sales are both equally phenomenal and not to be missed. This sale includes fall/winter clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children – they also have a Christmas room and food is served in the café. The main purpose of this sale is to raise money to support the outreach efforts of the parish. Over the past twenty-plus years St. Barnabas has donated over $726,000 to charitable organizations throughout the area.
Here are the details:
The Church of St. Barnabas
15 N. Broadway, Irvington, New York
Tuesday November 7th through Friday, November 10th from 10 am until 7 pm
Saturday, November 11th from 10 am until 4 pm
Sunday, November 12th from 12 from 12 pm until 4 pm
August 17th is National Thrift Shopping Day. Most thrift stores celebrate with significant discounts.
Why shop at thrift stores? According to the U.S. EPA, a whopping 85% of all discarded textiles – 13 million – end up in landfills every year. Plus textiles and decomposing clothing release methane, not to mention the dyes and chemicals in the fabrics that can saturate the soil. Let’s recycle folks, donate to local thrift shops, your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, Humane Society, local hospital or church thrift shops– there are so many GREAT charities that NEED your donations. The money that these charities raise through their thrift shops help countless others gain a better quality of life and protect out little four legged friends. I think that is one of the best reasons to donate along with reducing our carbon footprint. Plus think of all the people that are able to clothe themselves and their families at a deeply discounted price. I think it is a win-win.
I just happen to LOVE thrift shopping for so many reasons. I love helping the environment and I like trying new styles at a fraction of the cost – if I don’t like it, I just wash the clothes and donate them right back. The key to thrift shopping is patience. If you have some time and go through the racks, you would be surprised at what you can find. You can’t go to a thrift shop think I need a little black dress and expect to find one in one visit BUT if you go to the RIGHT thrift shops, you may just find one. For example, I always say if you want something formal or fancy, try City Opera and Vintage Thrift East in the 23rd St area of NYC. With these two stores, there is a good chance especially with a freshly stocked store – you can put together a great outfit. If you are in the Connecticut area, Stamford Goodwill is one of my favorites as well, their dress section is fabulous. Don’t be afraid to ask when they put out the “new” stock – it sometimes is Wednesday/Thursday in preparation for the weekend. I am also learning to create my own styles. I once found a beautiful black ankle length sequined duster and I paired it with straight legged pants and a clingy top and I received oodles of compliments and it was something that I might not have necessarily worn in prior years. It ended up being a favorite outfit for special occasions.
Life is complicated and chaotic at times and I find when I go thrift shopping I get such enjoyment out of finding that very special addition to my wardrobe at quite the price. I find it calming and relaxing and a great way to emerge myself in something that brings me great joy. I have also met some pretty incredible people along the way.
I look forward to telling you about my thrift shop visits – I have visited quite a few over the summer and I can’t wait to share my findings with you.