ABOVE: GORGOUS DRESS FROM THE 1970S WITH A BRIGHT PAISLEY / POPPY PRINT & BEADED PEARL NECKLACE WITH POM POMS (BOTH FROM THRIFT STORES).
Thrift store shopping is definitely a hobby of mine that has its pros and cons. PRO: I find amazing one-of-a-kind items, usually pretty cheap. CON: It has turned me into a borderline hoarder AND sometimes I get too excited and buy things that I later find out has a unrepairable hole.
Living in the Bay Area, we are so spoiled with many great thrift stores, it is time consuming, going thru everything on every single rack. Just be patient and keep reminding yourself what your actually looking for.
Santa Rosa has some really good thrift stores and even there vintage stores that are not over priced. Check out the Railroad District.
Monterey is loaded with good ones. Even if you take the highway a couple minutes into Pacific Grove, that town is to die for. So cute and Victorian. Just be advised that the stores out there close early, by 4 or 5PM. Be sure to check out a vintage store called MEOW, that place is another hidden gem.
Hayward. Random? Yes it is but let me tell you, this place is a gem and is where I shop the most. A little secret for anyone who actually reads this.
San Jose is a MUST. I have never seen so many thrift stores in one area ever. It's exhausting but a really good day trip.
San Francisco, of course, would be a likely place to look for anything vintage, it is definitely more competitive. Just be cautious and inspect EVERYTHING for bugs, mites, holes etc. If it has the usual old clothes smell, soak it in febreeze before you wash it.
Happy Thrifting & remember to check all clothing for tears and holes that could potentially be unrepairable.