Do you find yourself a little short in between paycheques? Think you may have spent a little too much on that new motorcycle jacket or golden Zanotti sneakers? We would never tell you to stop indulging, but it might be time to consider budgeting for a high-low wardrobe. A vintage motorcycle jacket at a consignment or thrift store could run you a few hundred dollars but that is a quarter of the cost of a brand new one, and it already looks way cooler.
Shopping ‘pre-loved’ doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or style, it just means shopping smart. Doesn’t it make sense to spend less of your hard-earned money and have more? It does to us! Here are our picks for the ten best consignment and thrift stores in Vancouver.
Mine & Yours in Downtown
The dynamic duo behind this unique store, Jigme and Courtney, are savvy businesswomen with a passion for providing affordable fashion to women. Expanding for the third time into swanky new digs on Howe Street proves their curated resale shop concept is working. Their business model, consisting of on-trend luxury wear (list on website) and cash buy-outs instead of consignment, is a much loved and a welcome addition to downtown.
Image via @mineandyoursco
Modaselle in Yaletown
Modaselle is nestled, almost anonymously, at the corner of Seymour and Nelson Street. They specialize in luxury handbags, jewellery (men and women’s) and timepieces of the ultimately highest quality and offer a very diverse selection – from McQueen to Hermes, Bulgari to Yurman. All the pretties are displayed from floor to ceiling in handcrafted dark wood shelving with the lift alarms and security links anchored to the walls. Eager shoppers can look but do not touch without the assistance of staff!
Image via @modaselle
My Sister’s Closet in Yaletown
As advocates of zero waste, eco-fashion and the thrift movement, My Sister’s Closet was created for women, men and children. They re-sell donated clothing from their well-heeled neighbourhood, local made artisan accessories and giftware. All revenue helps programs for violence prevention and intervention services for Battered Women’s Support Society. We love shopping here because of the $5 rack and the selection, which is as diverse as the neighbourhood (Obakki, JNBY, Roxanne Nikki). The store is always clean and pressed, and many local retailers donate new stock at season’s end for great deals up to 70% ticketed prices.
Image via @msc_bwss
Used House of Vintage on Robson Street
If labels aren’t your thing, walking up the stairs to UHOV, is akin to walking into a candy store. Vintage clothing, footwear, accessories, costumes, and kitsch explode from one end to the next. Want a 1930s band uniform or a 1970s fringed doeskin vest? This is where you find it.
Image via @usedhouseofvintage
Second Suit in Kitsilano
Specializing in men and women’s brand name clothing, with the occasional luxury label thrown in, SS doesn’t mess with items older than 3 years. Their consignment program has a great turnaround, just make sure to peruse their online consignment rules before showing up with armloads of your closet clean-out. That behaviour will not be tolerated! We’d say this is the best location on this list for casual business wear and workplace sensible footwear.
Image via @secondsuitvancouver
Once Again Resale in Kitsilano
Angel has created a beautiful, yet casual chic space, complete with a baby grand piano that acts as a display unit for the Louboutin and McQueen heels. Who does that?! The clothing consists of luxury labels and that tend to be on the smaller side given a majority of Angel’s market is overseas and online. If you arrive and the door is locked, give her a call, as this woman runs all aspects of the business and sometimes needs to visit the Birkin vault during store hours.
Image via Angel Hung
The Main Exchange on Main Street
Catering to a Main Street clientele, you can expect to find casual and comfortable mid-range labels like Anthropologie, Lululemon, Topshop, and Talula Babaton. Everything is on-trend, seasonal and reasonably priced. This is the kind of store you can go to every weekend and consistently be greeted by the same warm atmosphere, welcomed back like a hug from an oversized sweater.
Image via @themainexchange
Front & Co on Main Street
Situated on the quirky hip strip of Main Street, Front & Co is well-established amongst consignment stores in Vancouver, having opened in 1993. F&C carries both women and men’s (smaller selection) mid-range labels, have tight consignment rules (always read first), and items for babies, giftware, homewares and odd knick-knacks that make shopping here so adventuresome. F&C is known for their creative window displays which makes night-time window shopping so much more interesting after too many micro-brewed beverages.
Image via @frontandcompany
Mintage on Commercial Drive
‘Eclecticism’ is one word created for this store. It always feels like walking into the Wild West with an expansive collection of vintage kitsch and collectibles lining the walls. The items are either grouped by decades or by theme. If you are looking to add an original military jacket, pin-up girl crinoline dress, adorable housewife pinafores or 1970s polyester disco wonders to your wardrobe, they all live here. Before you leave, remember to dive into the bargain bins and pick out a piece or two for that special someone who could use a bit of sprucing up.
Image via @mintageclothingco
Turnabout Home – 4 clothing and 1 furniture around Lower Mainland
Turnabout consignment stores dot the core of Vancouver with 4 locations, offering low to mid-range consigned clothing. That in itself is great but the new store, Turnabout Home, is what has shoppers excited. Expanding their consignment empire from clothing to luxury furniture was desperately needed in this IKEA-centric city.
Image via @turnabout_home
Being that Vancouver is home to many entrepreneurs and lovers of fashion (contrary to its Lululemon and hipster reputation), it is only fitting that new concepts on how to sell pre-owned clothes would be developed here. Newcomers MyModernCloset and Swag for men are consignment resale concepts that blur the line between online, pop-up and retail.