I am an advocate for second hand shopping. Some people find it disgusting, but I’m one of those people whose favorite threads have all originated from the wear of someone else. Lucky for me, my friends know this, and hand me downs are constantly added to my collection of clothes. I’m also an avid thrift store shopper.
To put it simply, I have fallen in love with Second Time Around. The stores have all been extremely neat, clean and orderly. They organize clothes by size, the service has always been phenomenal, they have a rewards program, and generally speaking, the prices are very fair. I have gotten a ton of closet staples at these stores, including a $29 black velour Juicy Couture hoodie in impeccable condition.
The clothes are in phenomenal condition, clearly washed, and well taken care of. I’ve spoken with the manager of one of the stores, and it is clear they are very picky when it comes to selling clothes. They won’t sell you garbage, and the clothes are always in great condition. They also have great accessories.
Expensive name brands are set aside at the store, and, while expensive, are unrealistically reasonable in comparison to their initial selling price. Some of these clothes are in less than perfect condition (but $15 for a Coach bag covered in the “C” logo is any middle schooler’s fantasy, even if it’s slightly used). I remember the importance of labels during my early teen years.
As for the Garment District…my thoughts vary. The store is downright disgusting. I’m not sure if they’ve ever heard of a vacuum, a duster, a washing machine or any form of cleaning product. The music is consistently terrible, and the prices make no sense.
With that said, you’ll be surprised to know that I actually go to the Garment District fairly regularly. The staff is great – always helpful, personable, funny. Even they make jokes about the lack of hygiene in the store.
The store has a “buy by the pound” policy, where you can buy pounds of clothes for minimal cents. I will never go near these clothes, nor should you. There is a reason these clothes are in unkempt piles on the dirty floor in the back of the store. Even the store clerks won’t touch them. A coworker of mine informed me his friend obtained shingles while perusing these garments. Not for me.
Their “New Women’s Clothes” section is also ridiculous. Ugly clothes for $30+. No thanks. I’ve noticed some of the used clothes smell like body odor. Ew, walk away.
The saving point for me are the hidden treasures I’ve found tucked in some of the store racks. I got one of my favorite funky summer dresses for $9 there, and just bought a “tag still on” Joe’s Jeans skirt for $20. Both were great deals, and there are some wonderful clothes there – if you have the time and patience to find them.
My warning about The Garment District: wear “undergarments” before going there. I always wear a pair of spandex and a tight fitting undershirt. I will not put these clothes on my skin until they have been washed…multiple times. I recommend the same to all.
Second Time Around (listed with my preferred store locations on top)
8 Eliot Street, Cambridge, MA
324 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
176 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
219 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
The Garment District
200 Broadway, Camridge, MA