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Sofia’s Guide to Thrifting in Boston

As vintage fashion trends have begun to resurface, so has thrifting. Thrifting adds a level of creativity and individuality to shopping, giving you the opportunity to sift through individual pieces to put together the perfect outfit. There are things you can find while thrifting that simply cannot be replicated in regular clothing stores—and they come at a much lower cost and have a much lower environmental impact. Besides the good prices, one of my favorite things about thrifting in Boston is that each store you walk into has a distinct ambiance and vibe. An adventure to Thriftland—aka Cambridge—is incomplete without stopping at a few of my must-visit shops and experiencing all the different patterns, fabrics, and colors thrifting has to offer. Need some inspiration to embark on your journey? You’ve come to the right place!

My first stop is a classic: Boomerangs. Located in Cambridge’s Central Square, Boomerangs is a great place to begin your thrifting adventure because of its excellent prices and wide variety. Boomerangs also has locations in the South End and Jamaica Plain. Like any thrift store, it takes some digging through the countless racks of tops, bottoms, jackets, and other items before you find a gem, but I always find some staple, standout pieces scattered throughout. The last time I was there, I got a nice pair of black jeans for $6, two belts for $4 each, and a unique jacket for $6. I especially remember this haul because it was kind to my bank account, the jeans fit me very well after I tailored the waistline a bit, and I receive frequent compliments on my new button-up jacket. Overall, Boomerangs is the perfect place to find both classic, everyday pieces and some with a splash of boldness.

After Boomerangs, if you feel inclined to search through a more one-of-a-kind selection while still riding the high of a good bargain, your next stop should be The Garment District.

Located just down the street from Boomerangs, the establishment itself is a fashion statement. Floors upon floors of pink walls and vibrant colors bouncing off the clothing racks will leave you not knowing where to begin. You should budget a decent amount of time to sift through its items—the first floor features assorted costumes, while the upstairs level has rooms separated by type of clothing and decade. An added bonus—which just reopened after being temporarily closed due to COVID-19 precautions—is its by the pound room. In this section, if you come prepared with a willingness to dig through piles of clothing, you can find some treasures at the insanely cheap price of $2 per pound of clothing. Another perk of The Garment District is that it features an array of fun costumes (My friends shamelessly bought a banana costume, an eggplant costume, and a peanut butter jelly costume all in one journey there).

This final stop is a little more pricey, but that’s because the selection is known for its vintage aesthetic and rare items. Great Eastern Trading Co, located on River St. in Cambridge with another location in Malden, Mass. has an excellent selection of unique jackets and shoes. I especially recommend the men’s section for vintage jackets—it will not disappoint if you’re going for an ’80s retro look. I bought the cutest turquoise men’s bomber jacket for $30, and it was definitely worth the price. My friend bought a beautiful bomber jacket with a butterfly print that I would have gotten if it were a little cheaper—it was $45—but I can thankfully borrow it from her closet. We also found a gorgeous baby pink corset that perfectly encapsulated the vintage vibe of the store. A trip to Great Eastern Trading Co is definitely worth it.

These three stores are just the tip of the iceberg of the many thrift stores the Boston area has to offer. With fall fashion just around the corner, a trip to Thriftland will leave you feeling chic, retro, and bold, and might even send you home with a banana costume.

Featured Graphic by Meegan Minahan / Heights Editor 

Photos by MC Claverie / Heights Editor and Sofia Fauza / Heights Staff 

September 12, 2021