Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Thrift (Shop) Week 2016, Day 4: Pure Green Consignment

My week of thrift-shop-hopping continued today with a trip to another local establishment, just a block away from the one I visited yesterday. Pure Green Consignment is not a complete store in its own right; it shares a building with Pure Light Gifts, a sort of New-Age-y shop that sells crystals and incense and hosts meditation classes. There's no real overlap between the two businesses, though; Pure Light occupies the back of the store, in an open space smelling faintly of patchouli, while the front half is crammed with overcrowded racks of clothing, tables full of knickknacks, piles of shoes, and ladies busily chatting together in Mandarin. I think there's probably also a dressing room in there somewhere, but I couldn't easily spot it.

The selection of clothing at Pure Green overlaps a lot with what I saw yesterday at Sibel's Vintage: there's a heavy emphasis on coats and shoes, particularly fancy ones. However, the tightly packed racks do also appear to have a reasonable selection of everyday garments. Unfortunately, searching through them was rather difficult, since everything was so tightly crammed onto the racks that it was almost impossible to extricate anything. I managed to pull a few garments partway out so I could get a closer look at them, but what I saw wasn't encouraging. Most of the clothes, particularly the few pairs of jeans on the rack, appeared to be in tiny sizes. I did dig out a colorful skirt—which actually turned out to be two skirts clipped to the same hanger—in a size that looked reasonable, but the price tags on the two skirts were $15 and $16 respectively. I'm sure that's a significant savings over retail, but it's still more than I'm really willing to pay for a garment I definitely don't need and might not ever wear at all.

My search of the shoes was equally fruitless. They weren't sorted in any way by size, of course, but that's par for the course at thrift shops and I didn't really expect anything different. But most of them also weren't set out on any sort of racks; they were just lined up on the floor, pair after pair, where you had to crouch down to get a look at them. I stooped once or twice to pick up a pair that looked like it might be my size, but none of them actually had the right number on them. A couple didn't appear to have any size marked on them at all, and I might have attempted to try them on, but since there was no place in the store to sit down, it didn't seem worth the effort to try and change shoes while standing on one leg.

One of the racks, near the back of the store, had some men's clothing on it, and I gave it a quick glance—but there aren't really any gaps in Brian's wardrobe that need filling at the moment, and anyhow, I wouldn't want to spend $15 on a garment for him if he couldn't try it on first. So after about ten minutes of browsing, I ended up leaving the store empty-handed.

So, halfway into Thrift Week, my tally is:

Thrift shop visits attempted: 5
Thrift shops successfully visited: 4
Items purchased: 4 (1 book, 2 pairs pants, 1 pair tights)
Items purchased that were actually secondhand: 3
Total spent: $20.50

So far, the numbers aren't exactly encouraging. But tomorrow I'll have a chance to visit a bigger and more upscale thrift shop in Princeton—two of the factors that I usually find add up to a better selection of secondhand merchandise. So perhaps I'll have better luck on that trip.
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