Why go thrift shopping in Marin County California? For one thing, Marin County has one of the highest per capita incomes in the US. That means that the thrift stores there get their stock from a high-income populace who wear good quality clothing with designer labels and who probably replace items in their wardrobes more often than the hoi polloi can afford to. Secondly, at least in San Rafael, there seems to be a cluster of thrift shops near one another because the typical consumer is a lower income person. And yes, there are poor people in Marin County. I checked out three stores in San Rafael. The first one was the Goodwill located At 805 Lincoln Avenue.
This is a big store with large Men’s and Children’s departments as well as Women’s. The prices were a bit higher than what I’m used to on the east coast, but not outrageous by any standard. I saw Ann Taylor blouses in excellent condition for under $10, lots of low priced Banana Republic items and a nice leather skirt for $10.00. There were some interesting looking items on the shoe racks, but I didn’t investigate. (My wide bumpy and mangled toes limit where I can buy shoes.) Hospice By the Bay Hodgepodge Thrift Store has less clothes and more dishes and tschotskes. There are a lot of the latter to choose from if you want to furnish a new place on the cheap with expensive looking items. They are nicely displayed.
Hospice By The Bay didn’t have as great a variety of clothes as were as the Goodwill and they were a bit more expensive, but they do important work and certainly deserve to be supported. Most of the items were dressy or casual Friday office wear. Very little men’s and children’s clothes.
Image for Success Retail proceeds enable IFS to provide complimentary wardrobes to these in need. Women’s clothing, good condition, older styles and trendier takes, designer labels and a nicely curated shoe department. You can get a formal gown or a casual look. Smaller then Goodwill and more expensive but it seems like the the clothes are screened and uniformly in good condition. Women’s dresses only
Mill Valley has a well-earned reputation as a bastion of affluence. The high school looks more like a well-kept hotel to a golf resort than a dungeon of higher learning. I have heard that the people are supposed to be snobby but everyone I had contact with during my thrifting exploration was very friendly.
I walked into consignment shop Diamonds in the Rough thinking it was a thrift shop. It’s not, There were a lot of designer labels-Christian Dior clothes, Jimmy Choo shoes and Kate Spade bags as well as less expensive brands like Ann Taylor and Jones New York. Oddly enough, some of the clothes seemed to be in less than mint condition for a consignment store. The prices were high but for some shoppers used to buying at high-end boutiques, a store like Diamonds in the Rough could produce a real bargain.
The Family Thrift Store is right next to Diamond in the Rough and it was my hands-down favorite. It carries men’s and women’s clothes, children’s items, housewares, and pretty much everything else. There’s one pricing scheme except for a few specially marked items.
For example, all women’s tops are $5.00 except for those marked differently
like the Eileen Fisher silk shell that I snagged for $8.50!
Silk hand-dyed scarf $3.50!
I hit a few more stores between Mill Valley and Ft. Bragg that I’ll write about in another post.