Thrift shopping for vintage treasures is easy when you know where to find them. Here are seven of our favorite thrift shops in San Francisco.
San Francisco is the vintage mecca of the U.S. Whether its because of the strong sense of individual style or the green-leanings of its residents, no trip to the Bay Area would be complete without a shopping expedition to the center of second-hand style, the famed Haight Ashbury neighborhood.
Vintage shopping is part skill, part luck and part perseverance, but you can stack the odds in your favor by hitting up stores known to always stock good stuff. Here are seven of our favorite thrift stores in San Francisco. For those of you located elsewhere, many of these also have online shops.
More accurately termed “high-quality consignment,” this store has a very organized – the clothing is color coded – selection of designer pieces that will blow your mind. So if you’re looking for barely-worn Manolos, DVF or last season’s Theyskens’ Theory (with the tags still intact), this is the place to get it for less.
2056 Polk St: Nob Hill
The owner, Oran Scott describes himself as “someone who has had a lifelong obsession with vintage clothing” and it shows in this meticulous Art Deco decorated store. Top quality men and women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories and undergarments are available in a great range of sizes, which is unusual at vintage stores. Trust us, you won’t believe your eyes at this newly opened store. And the absolutely best thing – it’s not over priced.
1605 Haight St: Haight Ashbury
Quirky treasures are to be found in this gem of a store in San Francisco’s Mission district. Featuring a great selection of late vintage from the 80s and 90s, the buyers have a great eye for upcoming trends and the helpful sales staff have inspiring style too. If you want amazingly affordable, ahead-of-the-curve clothing head on over.
1360 Valencia Street: Mission
Great quality, to-die-for vintage fashion from every decade from the 20s to the 90s is represented at this upscale store. Going thru the racks is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon for fashion history buffs. There are two locations in Hayes Valley, one with a high end assortment, the other more casual. You might be rethinking paying your rent after one look at their incredible jewelry and accessories section.
437 Hayes St: Hayes Valley
Anyone who is into vintage relishes a trip to the famed La Rosa. Take a step back in time to the 30s and 40s with their rare collection of Bakelite and Lucite box purses. Their clothing is as close as most of us will ever get to museum quality fashion. On past visits, I’ve seen everything from a Ziegfield Folies’ costumes, a Victorian corset and a highway man’s velvet cape from the 1880s. Find the highest quality items available, which are expensive but not over-priced. An equal selection of men and womenswear, this is the Queen of San Francisco’s vintage scene. If you’re in town, pay homage to one of the U.S.’s best vintage collections.
1711 Haight St: Haight Ashbury
Decades of Fashion is organized as its name implies, by the decade. Since moving to a bigger location, the huge selection is now arranged so you can actually see the merchandise in all its glory. Plenty of menswear and everything you need to pull off the retro glamour look of your favorite era.
1653 Haight St: Haight Ashbury
Ok, technically it’s not in San Francisco, but after a quick 15 minute drive over the Bay Bridge you’ll be shopping alongside the city’s savviest style seekers. This first Sunday of the month flea-market extravaganza entices hardcore shoppers out of bed after a hard Saturday night’s partying. Hands down the best flea market in Northern California for finding vintage clothing, accessories and furniture. If you’re really looking for unique finds, get there early or if you’re looking for a bargain, get there really late when the sellers are willing to negotiate.
2900 Navy Way: Alameda
SEE ALSO: 7 Awesome Thrift Stores in New York City