“Thrifting” can evoke the idea that a buyer shopping with a limited budget. But in more recent years, “thrift” shops have also become the favorite stomping grounds of fashionistas hunting down unique and vintage pieces, partygoers looking for retro items to add to a costume, and eco-conscious consumers trying to reduce their footprint in a world of fast fashion. D.C denizens are no exception. Even in a city full of suit-and-tie wearers, there is enough of a market to sustain several shops catering to those in need, as well as those seeking lovingly-worn and vintage-inspired threads.
Meeps has been an Adams Morgan mainstay since 1992. Emerging in the golden era of D.C. Punk and located in the heart of one of the city’s “funkier” neighborhoods, Meeps never fails when it comes to eye-catching pieces. In addition to stocking vintage from the 1960s on, the shop has a renewed focus on supporting local artists and musicians.
Current has four locations around the DMV with an active and easy-to-use consignment program for women’s fashion. Consignment offerings are carefully curated by buyers (sometimes a little too curated, IMO), and include everything from denim to dresses to Doc Martens. They also have a limited selection of new and original label items.
The first Buffalo Exchange store opened in Tucson, AZ in 1974 selling new and recycled fashion. There are now 49 locations around the country, including in D.C.’s 14th St. Corridor. Buffalo is always hip to the ebb and flow of fashion trends, and is a great spot to sell your closet clean-outs for either store credit or up-front payment.
Fia’s curates new and used women’s fashion, with a special eye on being inclusive of all sizes and styles. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Fia’s has moved the thrifting experience online, and hosts regular “themed” sales virtually. Read more about Fia in the July print issue.
Operated by Martha’s Table, a nonprofit serving local individuals and families in need, Martha’s Outfitters is a community store that supports families by offering various items for young children, as well as gently-worn maternity clothing and business and business-casual attire for caretakers in the job market. This is a great place to pay it forward with clothing donations.
Fittingly located on U Street, Joint Custody really leans into the joint love of retro fashion and vinyl. If you’re looking for some tunes to go with that vintage tee, look no further… just don’t forget your chain stitch jacket to go with it.
Clothes Encounters is one of the District’s high-end consignment shops. The store specializes in selling designer, one-of-a-kind and luxury women’s clothing and accessories. It’s been a fixture in Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market neighborhood since 1979 and though not exactly thrifty to most, is still worth popping in for a solid find.
Located in Old Town Alexandria, Vintage Mirage is one of those spots where you can find truly historic and genre-specific pieces. Their clothing and jewelry includes recovered items from Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco and WWII eras on up to today. Garment fitting and personal styling is their speciality, so if your goal is to walk out looking like Mrs. Maisel or Betty Draper, this is the place to go.
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