The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

Lawrence thrift stores are thriving–which ones are best?

Join veteran reporter and thrifter Ava Lee on a deep dive into the LFK thrifting scene
Maya Smith

Over the years, Lawrence has welcomed a variety of new additions to the second-hand retail community. Each store provides different styles, vibes, and spunk. I visited local thrift stores over the course of a few weeks to compile an accurate description of each location. When comparing the thrift stores I took into account product, pricing and overall shopping experience. 

Arizona Trading Company

Arguably the most popular among high school audiences, Arizona Trading Company has a wide variety of styles, including both modern and vintage products. Jennifer McKnight, owner of the Lawrence location, has successfully created a space that is enjoyable to customers through the specification of vintage products vs. non-vintage products in addition to setting aside a new-arrivals section. 

In my opinion, one of the most valuable aspects of the store would be the fairly large section of men’s clothing, making it stand out amongst its competitors. Additionally, the store features a large collection of handbags, backpacks, jewelry, and other accessories, not limiting itself to just clothing. The staff at ATC is generally welcoming and ready to assist customers when necessary, though selling your clothes can be hit or a miss.  

Wildman Vintage

Transitioning to purely vintage products, Wildman Vintage in downtown Lawrence has always served as my go-to place for quality items. My source for a solid pair of jeans, the denim section at Wildman is unbeatable. Wildman has a solid collection for casual wear as well. However, what makes the store interesting is its collection of clothing dating as far back to the 1950s and 60s. With Halloween creeping up, it may be a fun place to check out for unique costumes. 

What I appreciate most about Wildman is their devotion to maintaining the integrity of their items. It’s rare to see an item altered from its original form, and in cases as such, the overall energy of the piece remains unchanged. This inevitably makes their inventory stand out among other thrift stores. Because they have such a selective array of clothes, it’s easier to find something of value. Additionally, it’s not uncommon to find the same piece in several sizes, as they receive a surplus of vintage items. Considering the quality of their clothes, Wildman’s price point is fairly reasonable. The staff is typically nice and helpful, making the overall shopping experience welcoming and comfortable. 

Daisy Lee Vintage

Coming from Kansas City, Daisy Lee Vintage moved into the corner storefront at 8th in Mass. Hosting its grand opening on September 23, a line of 20 somethings accumulated outside in preparation for the event.

Maya Smith

The initial impression of the store proved to be pretty intense, featuring a girl throwing up in line. Though Daisy Lee had some cool pieces, I would say overall they try too hard to keep up with current trends, making their inventory a bit overdone. This was seen in the rack dedicated entirely to Harley Davidson and the overall pattern of cropping items that may look better if left alone.

A few things I did appreciate about the space was their wide collection of pants, including some solid pairs of jeans. Their collection of masculine clothing was also something of substance, taking up a little less than half of the store space. Though overall I wasn’t super happy with the selection, I did purchase two items at the grand opening that have proved to be on my rotation recently.  What they lack in customer service, they make up for in overpriced items. In comparison to Wildman Vintage, Daisy Lee primarily carries pieces from the 2000’s, limiting their customers to a specific style. 

Plato’s Closet

Plato’s Closet on 23rd Street has been a prominent location in the thrift community for decades now. I would say Plato’s is best for basic pieces, such as athleisure. Most of the time when I buy something from Plato’s, it’s a staple hoodie or sweatpants. The selection of clothes is definitely catered towards college students. 

Plato’s is one of those second hand retailers that feels like a regular store. There isn’t a whole lot of character and since the clothes are from the 2000s to more recent, the quality isn’t going to be the best. However, if you’re looking to replace your wardrobe’s basics, Plato’s is definitely the way to go. 

Social Service League

One of my favorite thrift stores in Lawrence is the Social Service League. Not only do they contribute to a good cause, they also get so many donations you’re guaranteed to find something you like, it just might take some digging. What makes the League special is the staff, who create a positive environment for customers. When I’m trying things on, it’s not uncommon for employees to hype me up about the piece I’m trying. One of my favorite things about the store is their extended collection of random jewelry and accessories. I always make sure to check out the items on display, especially their assortment of earrings. The best time to go to the League is fall and winter, as they usually have a pretty strong array of sweaters and layering pieces. Overall, the Social Service League provides a large inventory that’s priced fairly, and the shopping experience is something I look forward to.  

Considering the size of Lawrence, I feel as though our thrift scene is pretty solid for finding drip. It may take some time and dedication to find something you like, but given the range of our second-hand retailers there’s something for everyone. Hopefully this guide makes things easier for prospective shoppers, as there’s a lot of pros to thrifting. Not only does it limit one’s impact on the environment, it also creates more eccentric and individualistic outfits.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Ava Lee
Ava Lee, Reporter
I'm a second-year reporter on the journalism staff. When I'm not working on a story, I'm playing tennis or practicing guitar. I enjoy watching High Fidelity with Zoe Kravitz and mastering my cold brew recipe.
Maya Smith
Maya Smith, Red and Black Co-Editor in Chief

I am a second year editor-in-chief of the Red and Black Yearbook and have been on staff for three years. I am considered a jack of all trades - I take photos, write, design, and do lots and lots of live reporting. When I’m not working on journalism, I’m a part of IPS, Student Council, Unified Sports, Link Crew, and Hang12.

Comments (0)

All The Budget Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest