The Best Thrifting in Miami
This season, as in every season, it seems, everything old is new again. This season, we'll be wearing 70s-inspired day dresses, and pencil skirts, and mod silhouettes and brightly colored solids. Because these are all things we've seen before, there's no need to hit the rack (or the mouse) for everything you need to look hot and on-trend this Fall. So try hitting the bin, instead. With that, we bring you three of our favorite Miami thrift stores with a handful of worthy honorable mentions.
Red White & Blue, Hialeah
Located in the legendary Flamingo Plaza, this mega-store is the best of all the thrift shops in the plaza. Though the atmosphere can get incredibly hectic, it's an all-around great place to shop.
© Jordan Wolf / MFbThe Set-Up: This massive store organizes their super-long racks by style and color, so you’ll find all short black skirts, fuchsia pumps, strapless dresses, and navy jackets together. Shoes and purses are at the far end of the store; women’s clothing takes up the whole front half of the place.
Pricing: Pricing here is color-coded, but all over the place. Some worthy things are 99 cents, while other unremarkable, poor-quality pieces can run exceedingly high. On Saturdays, most items are 50% off, and on Wednesdays, seniors get a 50% discount, so this is a good day to bring your older family members along for a nice outing with ulterior motives. But be warned: cash is king at the Red White & Blue. If you forgot to bring any, there's an ATM on-site and a Bank of America branch in the same plaza.
Best Finds: Marc Jacobs skirts, J.Crew Italian Leather flats, mint-condition navy leather Coach messenger bag, DvF blouses, Prada and Miu Miu shoes, great vintage skirts and dresses (though a little pricey by my standards) Indian saris, lots of genuine leather pieces.
Tip: This is one without fitting rooms. Mirrors can be found along the scarves and wall of belts/hats.
Goodwill, Biscayne Blvd
Hidden in the Rent-a-Center plaza off 79th Street, many successes here are probably due to the fact that most people don't know the place exists.
© Jordan Wolf / MFbThe Set Up: This Goodwill divides their clothing by “designer” and “regular” items; the “designer” section is usually where anything with a recognizable name-brand goes to (there are a lot of things from the Gap, Liz Claiborne, Loft, and Banana Republic). But the rules do not always apply: we once found a brand-new Missoni blouse in the “regular” tank-top section for a mere $3.89. Also, this location organizes partly by size.
Pricing: Regular items have a fixed price by type; “designer” pieces are priced-as-marked.
Best Finds: The aforementioned Missoni top, made-in-Italy two-tone leather ankle boots, a teal-green silk midi-skirt, an army jacket, and a beautiful like-new knitted dress ($6) from a brand I didn’t recognize, that a quick online-search revealed to retail for more than $200.
Tip: The consequence of low-traffic is that the stock doesn’t turn over as quickly as you may like, so visit monthly, not weekly.
Red White & Blue, North Miami
The sister store to the Hialeah location is a good deal smaller, and thus can feel sort of cramped. But don’t worry – the cramped conditions are totally worth it. Exercise patience as you rummage and you may be rewarded.
Pricing: Prices at this location seem more reasonable (and consistent) than at the Hialeah store. And, as at the Hialeah location, the NoMi store is cash only (but there's an ATM located by the register – lest you should forget!)
Best Finds: One trip alone yielded a gorgeous black crocheted mini-dress, new Steve Madden jelly flats, a striped silk kimono, and a perfectly broken-in buttery leather motorcycle jacket (not to mention a beaded apple-shaped purse and a brand-new Bodum French press) – all for around $40. What does $40 get you at the mall?
Tip: Mirrors can be found hidden amongst the rack of sweaters!
Out of the Closet: With two locations, one on SoBe and one on Biscayne and 29th, not only are these small stores great for a quick look around on your lunch hour, they’re owned and operated by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, so proceeds benefit the charity. These stores are always new, clean, and very well organized.
Salvation Army, Wynwood: This store just underwent a major makeover! All the fixtures have been updated, and I have never seen it look better; the downside of this is that prices have gone up considerably, so shop with caution. They have an extensive selection of sequined merchandise!
Goodwill, Tamiami: This is a very large store by Goodwill standards, impeccably organized and divided into “designer” and “regular” sections. This one is a little out the way, so we don’t frequent it often but would highly recommend it if you live in the area. We’ve found excellent dresses, designer jeans, and purses here.
Douglas Gardens, NW 27th Ave: An enormous, warehouse-sized store that is hit-or-miss more so than other stores mentioned here. Some days, it is full of fabulous things; others, not so much. Still, there are nice things to be found so it’s worth the occasional visit.
Lotus House Thrift, NW 36th Street: This small shop supports a great cause, the Lotus House Shelter for women and babies. This store is divided into a thrift section up front with a back room for vintage pieces. Clothes are grouped together only by color, so shopping can be a little frustrating, but we have found a few favorites here, and spotted in the vintage section: Dolce & Gabbana!