By: Kara Haselton
In a world full of overpriced and overrated name brand outlets, it’s refreshing to walk into casual, and almost spontaneous, shops known as thrift stores. I frequent thrift stores all the time, and here are some of the best in the Wake Forest area.
Goodwill Wake Forest
Goodwill is like the poster child for thrift stores; it’s the place that pops into nearly everyone’s mind when they hear “thrift store.” There’s good reason for that: Goodwill is literally the king of everything. You never know what you’re going to find, and you can get different treasures nearly everyday. One day you might go just for fun and find the perfect flannel, a brand new pair of Vans for $7, and a prom dress. But the next day you might go for the purpose of buying jeans, but then not find anything that fits you. It’s always hit or miss, but the hits supply so much goodness and happiness, you can’t not go back for more.
Cami Swafford and I went to the Goodwill in Wake Forest by Food Lion and Dairy Queen and it was definitely fruitful. I was able to buy 5 different items (both clothes and miscellaneous purchases) for only about $15. The Goodwill in this location has some crazy clothing items and it is a great, cheap place to check out for costume parties. Not only that, but the amount of kitchen appliances, kitchen ware, and toys it has is impressive. So, if you’re ever needing to find new plates, cups, or if you just want another antique tea cup for your collection, this Goodwill is a choice place for you.
You can’t go to just one goodwill. It’s a good thing then that if you live in the Wake Forest area, there are TWO Goodwills in close vicinity of each other! Now, this Goodwill can be found in the Wakefield Commons shopping area. However, it’s kind of hiding, so good luck finding it.* This Goodwill is even more legendary. It’s never very busy thanks to the fact that it is fairly difficult to find, and they have an even wider selection of everything. The shoe rack is twice the size of the previously mentioned Goodwill, and if you want very large and sparkly heels, this is the place for you. But not only does it have a great shoe and clothing selection, there’s so much more to choose from. When Cami and I went, there was an antique sewing machine table for only $15. A very well-furnished dresser for $20. Glassware and matching plate sets galore. VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, computer games, and for all you hipsters out there, records.
Goodwill is always an A1 choice, and these Goodwills are definitely ones you shouldn’t miss.
*However, your GPS will have no problem finding it
The Red Door
This little heaven of treasures is just waiting for you, located beneath the Olde English Tea Room in downtown Wake Forest. It’s called The Red Door, and guess what: it has a red door. It’s not your regular thrift store, oh no, it’s an antique thrift store. This means that everything there is donated, but they’re all items that come from past generations.
As previously mentioned, The Red Door is located in a basement. So yes, it’s tricky to find, but it’s so worth it. When you walk down the stairs to the shop, you’re overloaded with antique goodies. But unlike most antique stores, this one sells clothes! And they, too, are antiques. So, for all you people who are trying to bring back the 70s or 90s thing, they gotchu. Honestly, this place was a dream come true. They have a $1 rack. And a $2 rack. And nearly everything I showed interest in, I was able to get for half the price that was on the tag. I was able to get a true 70’s jacket, shirt, and two authentic antique-branded teacups for a grand total of $12. 10/10 would recommend.
Next Consignment Boutique $$
This one is for all you kids who have no care about how much things cost. Right across the street from The Red Door in downtown Wake Forest, you can find the Next Consignment Boutique. This place is super cool. But honestly, it’s a place I generally avoid unless I’m checking out the discount rack. They have lots of second-hand expensive clothing lines, and it definitely has its fair share of crazy sweaters and clothes. But it sure will leave you wanting a better paying job. Or a job in general.
Ukay Ukay Thrift Store
Okay okay this place is very interesting, but very great. It’s located past all the historic homes on North Main Street in Wake Forest, and like all the other thrift stores, it won’t leave you disappointed. It’s small, but it has so much stuff packed into the small space. Outside the door there was a big table with lots of books and movies for five cents. And they have a great, packed selection of clothes as well. While it wasn’t my top choice of a thrift store, it was still pretty spectacular.
Keep in mind that when you’re thrift-shopping, you must have a certain mindset going in. You can’t be expecting to find a bunch of Calvin Klein jeans and Prada bags. You have to be willing to find different, weird, and kind of “out-there” clothes, but then rock them. Occasionally, you’ll find some crazy good deals on expensive clothes, but usually, you have to be able to take second-hand and enigmatic brands of clothes, decide that they’re cute despite their obscureness, and then style them in the right way. My personal favorite thrift store finds are grandpa sweaters. They’re usually huge and have crazy, exclusive patterns and are just a great addition to any winter outfit.