Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thrift Store Hunting in Walnut Creek, CA

This week I was happy to have my best friend and soul sister, Kat, visiting me from San Diego.  We traveled down the freeway to Walnut Creek to find upscale and downscale thrift and consignment shops and we were not disappointed.  Our first stop was Labels (1367 N. Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA), an upscale consignment store that has beautiful clothes, purses and shoes for everyone's budget.  Kat found a pair of velvet Manolo Blahniks heels for $150.  This may seen steep to some, but considering that the same shoes would cost $700-$900 at a department store, it was a HUGE deal.  They were in perfect condition and she was very happy to get them.  I also found many shoes that I wished had fit me that were under $50 and by many well-known designers, but unfortunately I went home empty handed.  Labels also had bins of shoes and purses for $20 and lots of sale items that were 50% off.

Our next stop was an old favorite of mine - Main Street Rags (1380 N. Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA), which is across the street from Labels.  Main Street Rags is a consignment store that has a variety of contemporary clothes for work and evening wear.  It also has a shoe department that is not too extensive and purses.   I used to shop here for office clothes, but I have also bought Betsy Johnson dresses here for about 75% of the retail cost and in perfect condition.  It is worth checking it out if you're ever in Walnut Creek.  Nothing in the store is over $100, so clothes here are definitely affordable.

Rainbow's End (1389-E N. Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA), described as an "upscale thrift shop" is another store to check out.  Proceeds from this store go to a non-profit nursing facility on Castro Street in San Francisco.  It not only is a great charity, but is also filled with clothes, art and even a grand piano - all at rock bottom prices.  Kat bought a Kenneth Cole purse for $7 and it was 75% off.  I scored a Gucci glasses case for $2.50.  There were many more items that I captured in the photos below.

Finally, we visited the Discovery Shop (1538 Locust Street, Walnut Creek, CA), which also has a variety of contemporary clothes at thrift shop prices.  They will be having a Vintage/Retro event on July 21st.

Entrance to Labels

Kat looking at shoes at Labels

Kat modeling red pump at Labels

Shoes, shoes, shoes at Labels

Kat's modeling her Manolo Blahnik next to a gorgeous red pump

Overview of Labels

Christian Lacroix black pumps at Labels

Boots at Labels

Purses in pastel shades at Labels

Burberry purses at Labels

The Marc Jacobs section at Labels

Issy Miyake purses at Labels - sooo cute

Friendly sales rep at Labels

Louis Vuitton behind the counter at Labels

Brown evening dress at Labels

Gold mini dress at Labels

Deal section at Labels

Moschino purse section at Labels

Prada section at Labels

Brown beaded purse at Main Street Rags

Overview of Main Street Rags

Dresses at Main Street Rags

Cute Juicy Couture mini dress at Main Street Rags

Sales rep ready to help you at Main Street Rags

Wall of purses at Main Street Rags

Rainbow's End "upscale" thrift shop

Kat near entrance of Rainbow's End

Sales rep at Rainbow's End hard at work

Overview of Rainbow's End

Kat modeling blue shoulder purse ($7)

Summer dresses on wall at Rainbow's End

Grand piano at Rainbow's End

Discovery Shop thrift store

Entrance to Discovery Shop

Overview of Discovery Shop

Red dress at Discovery Shop

Happy shopper at Discovery Shop

Friday casual outfit at Discovery Shop

Hot boots at Discovery Shop

Monday, May 7, 2012

North Coast Vintage

This weekend, I was lucky enough to travel to one of California's most beautiful areas -  up Highway 1 from the Bay Area to Mendocino.  Since it takes about 4 hours to drive there from Berkeley, I stayed with friends who have a cabin at the Russian River.  We left Berkeley Friday afternoon and made a stop in Sebastopol, which has a vintage store that I wanted to visit called Aubergine Vintage Emporium (755 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol, CA,  This store is unique because it is also a cafe and music venue.  I have been there before to hear music, but had never seen the store.  I noticed when I got there that that there was a poster announcing a group that I am very familiar with - Doug Blumer & Bohemian Highway who are playing there on May 17th.

Now about the store.  It is huge - 10,000 square feet and filled with every kind of vintage clothing item you can imagine.  There were rows and rows of vintage sweaters from the 1950's and a wall of cowboy boots in every color, style and size.  I saw two very long rows of purses and photographed a canvas and black leather Coach purse that I ended up buying for $38.  If I had been alone, I would have spent hours poking through everything.  Since I was with friends, I had to do a quick survey and take as many interesting photographs that I had time for.

On Saturday morning bright and early, we took off for Mendocino, driving up Highway 1.  The weather was amazing and the ocean beautiful at every curve in the road.  There was a little wind, so there were white caps on the ocean and waves breaking over rocks in the water.  Very dramatic effect!  We finally got to Mendocino about 2 hours later and after a coffee, I headed for the only vintage store in town called Mendo Village Clothing Exchange (10481 Lansing St., Mendocino, CA).  The store is owned and operated by Sarah Theiss and her 2 small dogs.  She was very encouraging about my blog and enjoyed taking out special items for me to photograph.  If you are ever in Mendocino, make sure you stop by and see Sarah and check out her store.

After a walk around the town of Mendocino, which is on a bluff overlooking the ocean, we decided to drive up the highway a few more miles to Fort Bragg.  I had heard that there were several vintage shops there (not true).  But Fort Bragg is a cute town too with a beautiful working harbor filled with fishing boats.  I was able to find one store with vintage beaded purses and jewelry called Mendocino Vintage (334 N. Franklin St., Fort Bragg, CA,  So here's the highlights of my vintage trip to the north coast.

The entrance to Aubergine Vintage Emporium in Sebastopol

Too many vests to choose from at Aubergine

Wall of Boots at Aubergine

Coach purse hiding in a row of hundreds of purses at Aubergine

Friendly sales rep welcoming me to Aubergine

The cafe/music venue at Aubergine with an outdoor patio

Entrance to Mendo Village Clothing Exchange in Mendocino

Sarah Theiss, owner of Mendo Village Clothing Exchange

I love this fur cape

Prada loafers at Mendo Village Clothing Exchange

Emmanuelle Khanh sunglasses from the 1970's

Victorian beaded top that would be perfect over a strapless silk dress

Sarah displaying a vintage white coat

Suede & faux fur coat

My favorite leather trench coat at Mendo Village Clothing Exchange

Sarah and her assistants at Mendo Village Clothing Exchange

Mendocino Vintage in Fort Bragg

Beaded purses at Mendocino Vintage

More beaded purses at Mendocino Vintage

Pins & clip-on earrings

Friendly sales rep at Mendocino Vintage

Jewelry in the case

Bakelite jewelry at Mendocino Vintage