good food + awesome travel & occasional odd bits

Thrifting in Hillcrest

Today we have a gust post written by K:

By Friday I had already claimed Saturday as my own. There would be a morning of fine locally roasted coffee from Coffee & Tea Collective followed by a quick tour of the local Thrift Shops.

As a kid, shopping at the thrift was something my parents would frown upon. Although we were poor, the idea of shopping at the thrift and buying other peoples used clothes was something of an embarrassment to my parents. Regardless, I would still go to the Salvation Army in Alhambra with my friends and poke around, never really knowing what it was I was looking at and never quite understanding what I was looking for. To me, at that time, I had no clue if that Jacket I’d stare up and down at was a great deal or a worthless rag. However more and more shops that were only a few miles away in Los Angeles started opening up branches closer to home. There was an explosion, with stores like Out of the Closet and Aardvarks opening up. Wasteland, an LA favorite was a destination in itself for those of us who lived East of Downtown.
Recently however I’ve started thinking of “the thrift” differently, (although I still only buy stuff I actually really, really like). I’ve been paying more attention to the gems people are leaving behind. Which takes us to our first stop in Hillcrest, Baras thrift shop. Sifting through the racks of mostly horrid rags I came across two items. One I liked for both its style and quality and the other for its odd color but great quality. First, a Brooks Brothers tie in great condition despite its less than pleasing accent color. Despite that, it was a classic diagonal stripe pattern, with the black still bold and no crazy snags or issues. Along with that there was standard blue Polo Ralph Lauren blazer, unfortunately it was something like a size 44 L. The blazer’s condition was amazingly good, with classic gold buttons and the kicker was, $5.99!
From there we moved on to 5th street with its collection of three “vintage” thrift shops. Flashbacks, Buffalo Exchange and Luigi Vera. These are the kinds of shops which closest resemble the vintage shops I’d go to years ago in Los Angeles. The kinds of places where they do the work of picking through the local Salvation Army and Goodwill’s and charge you for it. Hanging in one of the many racks was a Missoni tank top, color blocked and in fantastic condition. The problem,… arm holes that would only work for woman with arms much larger than S’s. The treasure found here tho was a vintage Halston LBD! The dress is incredibly well made, and its black color has stayed strong throughout the years. A classic design which thanks to its timeless style S will be able to wear till her dying days. The price however was not exactly “thrift shop” ($38), but how can you deny any woman her LBD!
Which lead us to our final stop, the local goodwill, where I found a ladies wool/cashmere camel trench, made in England no less. Excellent quality, fully lined, alas there were some spots on the jacket that appeared to have just a bit too much wear. Looking on into the Mens I found something I will be going back for in the morning, a blue Valentino blazer. No doubt this thing was pushing 1K when it first came out sometime in the 80’s or maybe even early 90’s, however now, its sitting at the local thrift for the insane deal of $6.99. My jaw dropped. The cloth was flawless, the style tho, thats what gave me pause, a dated “notched” lapel and vent-less back. At this point in time that’s not something that will make you the envy of the #menswear club. Still, I could not stop touching it, I put it on and it fit almost perfect, only the sleeves need to come out just a bit. I haven’t stopped thinking about it. The goodwill opens tomorrow at nine, see you there.

Baras Thrift Shop: 1455 University Ave, San Diego, CA/619-291-4357/

Buffalo Exchange: 3862 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA/619-298-4411

Flashbacks: 3849 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA/619-291-4200

Luigi Vera: 3823 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA/619-683-2199

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