Boulder has been named the city with the most beautiful people in the country. Statistics have shown it’s also home to the smartest. So how do all we hot hip gorgeous Boulderites keep our wardrobes as beautiful and smart as we are? We make like Macklemore and buy used.
Used clothing is the best way to have rocking style while staying ecologically smart (as well as economically so). Boulder has several used and otherwise recycled clothing shops to choose from: thrift, consignment, and everything in between. I’ve covered the biggies here:
Plato’s Closet feels like a high-end consignment boutique but is priced like a thrift store. Not only that but they have excellent clearance bargains as well. It’s a little place, and only sells clothes and accessories (no other stuff like a thrift store does). Its variety is all on the trendy side, very geared toward the younger buyer who’s looking for the latest styles. They offer mostly women’s wear, with a very small selection for men.
I’m gonna pop: 4/5 tags
Arapahoe near Pier 1 Imports
Buff Exchange is the trendiest of the used clothing places in Boulder: they are super-selective with what they accept for sale, and are constantly shifting their inventory for the seasons, fashion trends, etc. The good news about this is that they always have a different selection to choose from, and they have a very robust men’s section. The bad news is that they are very pricey–the priciest of the used-only places in Boulder. But then, all their discarded and rejected inventory goes to Goodwill, so…
I’m gonna pop: 2/5 tags
East Pearl Street, near Laughing Goat
Speaking of Goodwill, obviously this venerable institution has been doing good (will) work for a long time, and is the first place anyone thinks of when they think “thrift store.” They have a vasty expanse of a huge variety of clothing and accessories (and anything else you may need–did you know you can get laptops at Goodwill?), and all at dirt-cheap prices. They aren’t concerned with fashion trends so their variety is much more diverse than pretty much any other used shop you’ll go to, and you can even shop there online. The only downside is that they are not super-picky, so the overall quality of their merchandise tends to be a little lower on the totem pole than the others on this list (though there are myriad chances to find treasure too).
I’m gonna pop: 3/5 tags
Baseline and Broadway
ARES claims the lowest prices in Boulder, and gosh darn it if they aren’t right. Ares is a huge thrift store with a very high standard of goods selection–their lightly used clothing and furniture tends to be the highest quality certainly of the thrift stores, and of the same standards as many boutiques. They have many daily specials, too: student and faculty discount days, happy hours, and an Ares Buck system that keeps shoppers coming back. If I had to pick the one best shop for recycled clothing out of the list, I’d pick Ares.
I’m gonna pop: 4.5/5 tags
Just off of Pearl and 28th, near the Dairy
Now before I rave about Goldmine, know: they are smack dab in the middle of Pearl Street (near the Boulder Bookstore), they are posh as heck, expensive as you might imagine, and not all their clothing is used. Having said that, they cultivate their inventory very carefully and it shows: they are a little boutique but they have robust collections for both men and women, and they have some of the widest variety of actual vintage clothing in Boulder, for all their small size. Their fashions are eclectic and beautiful, even to steampunk-costume levels of beauty, no lie. I wouldn’t recommend this store if you’re looking for a bargain, but as far as recycled fashion goes, the height of vintage class is at Goldmine.
I’m gonna pop: 3/5 tags because VELVET CLOAKS!
Pear St. Mall, near Boulder Bookstore
Honorable Mention: Candy’s
Candy’s has been an institution in Boulder almost as long I have been, and has long been the go to vintage and costume shop of Boulder, since back when it was way North near the Bustop. Candy’s specializes in vintage clothing and in costuming, so they again are not at the price level of a thrift store, but their collections are wild, odd, funky, and especially good if you need to play dress-up. As far as shopping for an everyday wardrobe, you’ll probably find Candy’s too weird for the most part (but hey, who doesn’t need a little weird in their day-to-day, right?) but if you’re in the market for a costume, Candy’s is your best bet, both for quality and selection.
Broadway, near Casey Jr. High
And added by our editors — Common Threads for upscale ladies’ resale. We wrote all about them here in a previous post. Check ’em out!