Friday, May 22, 2015

Thrift Store Review: Salvation Army in Medford, MA

My favorite Japanese market is in Medford, MA (Ebisuya). They're unbeatable because everything they carry is Japanese, so it's not like a mixed Asian market but a true Japanese market. I visit as often as I can, and recently I took a road trip down just for my favorite Shokupan and bento ingredients. While I was down there I decided to check out the local thrift scene and I went up the street to Salvation Army.

For a Salvation Army it was definitely very small, and (surprisingly!) curated. Now generally I like Salvation Army a huge deal because they do not curate their merchandise. They just kind of throw out whatever looks sale-able and walks through the door. This one, however, was different. With a small amount of square footage they have to be particular, and what results is an experience slightly akin to shopping your friend's closet.

Now the prices were definitely higher, which you can expect considering the area (closer to Boston, and Cambridge where MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and Boston University all reside). And it was actually not a great store for vintage-hunting...but if you're looking for some sweet threads for yourself it's definitely worth checking out!

Here's what I picked up for myself... a little vintage planter which now has a home by my bed, a knock-off LeSportsac bag that is made with a Fifi Lapin print I couldn't resist, a silk floral Mossimo Dutti dress (for sale on Ebay) that I totally would have kept if I wasn't pregnant, and a super-adorable polka dot fit-and-flare dress I won't even be able to fit into until next year, but bought anyway because it's so me!

The whole store was filled with the kind of things you'd find in the closet of a college kid from a pretty wealthy family. Anna Sui dresses, and other name brand and designer items.

An entire rack of colored cords and jeans... Yes please! All Jcrew, Talbots, Banana Republic, etc.

And the movies and books! Never have I been to a salvation army and seen such an intellectual group of books! Not one trashy romance in sight - all of it was literary fiction, psychology, popular science, and nonfiction. I've never seen 3 copies of For Whom the Bell Tolls at a thrift store before...

It looked like you were looking through your friend's bookshelves... Good picks!

And the movies were the same! $2.99 for most every movie, including Poirot box sets, foreign films, a few classic animated titles, 80s classics... it was hard not to walk out with a few movies, but since we downsized after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up I try to be really conscious of what I'm bringing into my home.

 Seriously, how could you resist those mustard yellow cords!?!?!?! If I weren't pregnant, they would have been mine.

And the movies! Annie Hall, Benny and Joon, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Random foreign movies... and all in perfect shape.

Their furniture section, while the tiniest thing ever, was filled with amazing mid-century pieces (with price tags to match, though!) Awesome sideboards, china hutches, mirrors, etc.

They also had really clean dressing rooms, and a clean public restroom (amazing! Being pregnant and over an hour from home sometimes you don't have a choice).  So props for that.

So whether it's just the stuff they get donated from their local population, or whether they've learned to curate for what is selling, it's definitely worth a fun visit. Just don't take someone who's your size.

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