Shop ‘til you drop — but just don’t drop a fortune. For label-loving fashionistas, gently used clothing is the answer to scoring designer brands and striking ensembles at bargain prices. With spring cleaning underway -- discarded apparel, shoes, purses and jewelry in good condition will find an afterlife in Atlanta’s vintage stores, where formerly pricey fashion labels are available for less.
Secondhand shopping can be daunting for first-timers, so look to this roundup of local re-sale, vintage and thrift stores for guidance.
The rundown: Plato’s Closet specializes in gently used clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories for those in their teens and twenties. If the name sounds familiar it’s because the resale shop is a chain with locations across the country. They have a huge selection of trendy styles at up to 70% off retail prices, all brought in by the public and carefully selected by their buyers.
Vibe: Trendy. Brands: Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, Converse, Victoria’s Secret as well as unique ‘60s-’70s vintage items that match today’s trends. Don’t be surprised to find: Uggs, Jordans and Dr. Martins Tip: Check out their Facebook page for events and discounts.
Location: Brookhaven - 2480 Briarcliff Rd; Website: PlatosCloset.com; Contact: 404-929-0224; Price: Ranges from $7 to $100+ for leather goods.
The rundown: A favorite among hipsters — naturally, the first Atlanta location is in L5P — Rag-o-Rama specializes in men’s and women’s gently used vintage and contemporary apparel. The buy-sell-trade store’s mixed bag inventory includes casual wear, like edgy pop culture T-shirts, tops and shorts, and some items that blur the lines between costume (perfect for theme parties) and ‘80s kitsch.
Vibe: Hipster/edgy. Brands: Levi’s, Ann Taylor, Umbro, Betsey Johnson, Polo, Gap and manufacturers found in Urban Outfitters. Don’t be surprised to find: Alexander Wang and boldface name accessories from Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton. Tip: BYOB, Bring Your Own Bag. Guests receive tokens valued at 5 cents that they can give to one of the store’s sponsored charities in lieu of paper or plastic.
Location: Little Five Points - 1111 Euclid Ave. NE & Sandy Springs - 6500 Roswell RD NE; Website: Ragorama.com; Contact: 404-658-1988; Price: Ranges from $15-$20
Labels Resale Boutique
The Rundown: With brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin and more upmarket designers, Labels is an apt name for this boutique that has several bungalow-style specialty shops lining Paces Ferry Place. Satellite stores focus on menswear, jewelry, shoes, dresses, and casuals and separates.
Vibe: Modern/chic. Don’t be surprised to find: Vintage Versace sunglasses, Alexander McQueen dresses, Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo heels, and Chanel earrings. Tip: Unsold inventory is moved to the Labels Vinings outlet (4199 Paces Ferry Road SE), where prices are slashed even further.
Location: Buckhead (main location) - 3202 Paces Ferry Place NW; Website: labelsrb.com; Contact: 404-549-7562; Price: Ranges from $15-$500+.
The rundown: Luck has everything to do with the bounty of vintage and vintage-inspired threads at this Midtown thrift shop. Authentic to the past, Lucky Exchange opts for timeless silhouettes like sheath dresses and wrap skirts instead of retro kitsch.
Vibe: Authentic retro Brands: Old favorites like Members Only to contemporary designers like Tori Burch and Prada. Don’t be surprised to find: Concert tour and ‘80s T-shirts, sequins, statement jewelry and a large selection of cowboy boots. Tip: Check out Lucky Exchange’s Facebook page for coupons and alerts on deals like BOGO (buy one, get one) dresses and clearance sales.
Location: Midtown - 212 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE; Website: luckyexchange.com; Contact: 404-817-7715; Price: Ranges from $15.99-$99.99
The rundown: Part costume shop, part vintage store, the independently owned (since 1993) gem, Psycho Sisters, in Little Five Points has two floors of used and new fashion.
Vibe: Kitschy casual wear Brands: Betsey Johnson, Banana Republic, Gap and lesser known, but unique labels. Don’t be surprised to find: Go-go boots, tutus, costume jewelry, tribute T-shirts and tie-dye shirts. Tip: Visit the Psycho Sisters’ website for coupons and monitor the store’s Facebook page for more.
Location: Little Five Points - 428 Moreland Ave.; Website: psycho-sisters.com; Contact: 404-523-0100; Price: Ranges from $15-$65
Goodwill of North Georgia - Buckhead
The rundown: Shop for a good cause at Goodwill of North Georgia, Buckhead. The non-profit organization provides job-search resources and skills training to help put Georgians back to work. This location boasts large aisles and a variety of apparel options for men and women, particularly for suits, shoes and dress-to-impress job interview attire. Racks are restocked daily and every 21 days the sales floor is refreshed.
Vibe: Contemporary Brands: Many current items from Gap, Kate Spade, Anne Klein, Dooney and Bourke, Brighton, Cole Haan and contemporary budget-friendly labels. Don’t be surprised to find: Lily Pulitzer, Juicy Couture and Anthropologie. Tip: Weekends attract large crowds, so aim for weekdays. Seniors enjoy an extra discount on Tuesdays. Weeklong sales include 50 percent off items designated with a “color of the week” sticker, but the best finds are at the beginning of the week. Mondays are 99 cent day.
Location: Buckhead - 3906 Roswell Road; Website: Goodwill Buckhead; Contact: 404-869-3112; Price: $2.50+
Salvation Army Thrift Store - Midtown
The rundown: Near Georgia Tech, this Salvation Army location has no shortage of Yellow Jacket gear for football fans. College students looking to de-clutter their dorm rooms unload gently used casual wear and shoes, as well as men and women’s formal wear. As a bonus, your purchases go to a good cause. Best known for its Red Kettle Christmas campaign, the non-profit is a religious-affiliated organization that offers rehabilitation, prison ministry and veterans affairs services.
Vibe: Contemporary Don’t be surprised to find: Low-cost furniture (including $15 sofas), home goods and art.
Location: Midtown - 746 Marietta St. NW; Website: salvationarmy.com Contact: 404-523-6214; Price: $2.50+