Secondhand Rules: Where to Find the Best Vintage, Contemporary, and Thrifty Threads

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Vintage go-go boots from Closet Revival were made for dancing – on top of tables. Photo by Terri Conners.

I love to rifle through the closets of my friends and loved ones in search of items to borrow (and sometimes keep). There’s just something about wearing a hand-me-down sweater that feels kind of sweet. This same affinity drives me to the racks of thrift, consignment, and vintage shops to find clothes that feel like they could tell their own stories. That I’m saving money and cutting down on my consumption footprint doesn’t hurt my cause either.

If, like me, the idea of wearing secondhand clothes appeals to your sensible side, then this this roundup of local shops will give you a direct line to some of our fave places to find pre-loved designer, vintage, and other fun clothes. (Got some pieces you want to unload? Don’t ditch them. Many of these stores take consignment items, too.) This month, as Earth Day approaches, you’ve got a triple whammy of perfect excuses for picking up some new-to-you threads: Do it for your wallet, your closet, and the sake of the planet.

1.Maison DNA

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One of the most unique shopping destinations on Aquidneck Island, Maison DNA is a true bohemian paradise. In addition to vintage clothing, this funky boutique also offers one-of-a-kind pieces and accessories handcrafted by local artisans. Every piece is carefully curated by the owners, Jesse and Beth, who have the best antique dealers and auctioneers on speed dial. With premium inventory and absurdly reasonable prices, no wonder Maison DNA is a favorite stop for local musicians. Check out their Instagram feed for their latest additions, or stop by the shop, which is located on Spring Street near the corner of Touro Street.

 

2. Vintage to Vogue

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Specializing in pieces from the 1920s through 1940s, Vintage to Vogue offers everything that a vintage connoisseur could want. From shoes to earrings and Armani to Pucci, this shop has all of your retro designer needs covered, plus contemporary items, too. Located on lower Thames Street in Newport, the atmosphere emanates sophistication with an array of gorgeous pieces at reasonable prices. Can’t find that Jackie O pillbox you’ve been searching for? Don’t fret. Vintage to Vogue will put your request on a wish list and notify you when your specialty items come in. ready to consign? Appointments are available in-store or in the convenience of your home.

 

3. Chateau & Bungalow

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Tucked into the shopping mecca that is Williams Street, Chateau & Bungalow is largely known for their assortment of housewares, but also hosts an array of consignment clothing and accessories that will appeal to the upscale prep’s closet. Most items are contemporary classics, with a few vintage pieces peppered throughout. Like their Facebook page for flash sales, coupons, and recent arrivals then pop into the shop to scoop up your faves. (Full disclosure: The shop is owned by the sister of Puddingstone’s founder and editor!)

 

4.Wish

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Photo courtesy of Wish.

The aptly named Wish sells coveted designer (think Kate Spade, Tory Burch) and on-trend pieces, at very affordable prices that keep getting better thanks to their dated markdown system (meaning prices go down after a certain period of time on the racks). If you’re into modern shapes and contemporary styles, make this a regular stop on your shopping route. Wish is the ideal place for any woman looking to clean out her closet – and then refill it again. Consignment appointments can be made online; shop online or in person – and note that the boutique recently relocated to 80 Thames Street (coincidentally where Chateau & Bungalow used to reside; ironically C&B is now in a spot that once housed Wish. Weird, right!?)

 

5. Closet Revival

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Image courtesy of Closet Revival.

Located in a large space on Broadway in Newport, Closet Revival has an impressive variety of inventory. The store is well organized and easy to navigate: Jeans are paired with jeans, dresses with dresses, and so on, and a killer array of cowboy boots lines the spaces in between. The main room here is dedicated to contemporary consignment pieces; head into the smaller side room for vintage stunners like fur hats and beaded handbags. With choices from Lululemon to Gucci, we can pretty much guarantee you won’t leave empty handed.

Jillian Tullgren is a native of upstate New York, happily transplanted to Newport, RI. A natural born explorer, she enjoys green juice and a daily dose of yoga and is motivated by the idea of endless possibilities and inspired by everything and anything. You can find her at the beach sipping Yerba Mate and planning her next adventure. Follow her on Instagram @gypseachild.

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