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Arts & Culture

The Standard Guide to Thrifting in San Francisco

Written by Shelley D. Fargo, Joseph GillespieResearch by Annie Gaus, Liz Lindqwister, Juliana YamadaUpdated at Aug. 17, 2022 • 6:10pmPublished Aug. 17, 2022 • 3:43pm
Patrons browse at No Shop on Valencia Street in San Francisco, on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

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Whether your pleasure is cheap and kitschy, vintage denim, Gen Z workwear, Burner faux fur, designer deals or just a decent colander to drain your pasta, San Francisco’s thrift shops have something for everyone. With some planning and a little luck, a trip to the Haight or the Mission may help you find the Russian nesting dolls and leather pants of your dreams—or a bespoke, upcycled fashion masterpiece. 

In honor of National Thrift Shop Day, The Standard created a guide to San Francisco’s vintage delights. Zoom in on the map to find the best thrifting opportunities around town and then scroll down to read more about our staff’s favorite secondhand hunting grounds.

A Map of San Francisco’s Best Thrift, Vintage and Resale Boutiques

Held Over

Haight

Held Over is one of two vintage stores in the Bay Area owned by Retro City Fashions, a clothing company that has specialized in curating unique vintage for over 35 years. With affordably priced clothes sorted by decade, it’s impossible to walk out of Held Over empty-handed. Owner Werner Werwie also has a thing for legit Hawaiian shirts—and no, I’m not talking about Tommy Bahamas. 

Community Thrift 

Mission

An iconic thrifting location since 1982, the purple-walled Community Thrift in the Mission is affordable and packed with quality furniture and knick-knacks. If you’re a bookworm, we recommend getting lost in the tall aisles. They stock a wide range of titles from classic literature to celebrity biographies, all for a great price. And though clothes aren’t the store’s specialty, it’s always worth a look.

The exterior of Salvation Army on Valencia Street in San Francisco on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

Salvation Army on Valencia

Mission

What would a thrift store list be without a Salvation Army? The Mission’s Salvation Army location is one of the largest thrift stores in the city. Packed wall-to-wall with endless aisles of clothes and a wide selection of furniture, appliances and knick-knacks, finding something isn’t hard. It’s figuring out where it’s going to go in your apartment that’s difficult. 

Patrons shop at ReLove on Polk Street in San Francisco on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

ReLove 

Polk Street

A perfect mix of high-quality, well-curated vintage and designer clothes at reasonable prices, ReLove is the store for the expressive and imaginative. Red suede trench coat and a matching belt? Check. Blue and yellow ‘80s varsity jacket? Check. You can find the colorful, subdued, modern and gaudy, without looking like you just stepped off a PanAm flight from the ‘70s. 

Body Philosophy Club

Inner Sunset

Body Philosophy Club lives up to its name. With a focus on the aesthetic and emotional experiences of the clothing, the Inner Sunset store curates items primarily made from natural fibers, sourcing from within 50 miles of San Francisco. With a solid mix of ‘80s silk and cotton, as well as bags, towels, housewares and other vintage, BPC is a one-stop shop for a mellow, breezy look. 

Patrons shop and sell clothes at Crossroads on Fillmore Street in San Francisco on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

Crossroads on Fillmore

Lower Pacific Heights

With three locations in San Francisco and dozens of locations up and down the West Coast, Crossroads is one of the most successful recycled fashion and consignment companies. Due to its proximity to Pacific Heights, the Fillmore location is a constant stream of high-quality donations at hard-to-beat chain prices. Crossroads also buys clothes—though usually, that involves watching the clerk slowly sort all your old favorites into their “no” pile.

Cris 

Polk Street

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A high-end consignment show with a staff that takes pride in helping you personalize your look. Cris Consignment runs pricey at the high end, but accessible basics, like casual dresses and blouses, are fairly priced. With a selection of top-quality brands like Chanel, Gucci, and Prada, it’s a go-to stop when shopping for a special occasion. 

Decades of Fashion

Haight

Owner Cicely Hansen has been collecting and curating vintage for over fifty years and it shows. Within the Art Deco building of Decades of Fashion, you’ll find a wide and diverse selection of vintage from the early 20th century to yesterday. If you are going to a themed party, Decades of Fashion is your best bet. 

Pedestrians walk by No Shop on Valencia Street in San Francisco on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

No Shop

Mission

No Shop has a well-curated, well-rounded selection of clothing for men and women alike. Prices have yet to be influenced by the trendiness of vintage thrifting, so buyers can find low price items alongside pricier, rare vintage finds. The shop tends to rotate inventory pretty frequently, so it’s an easy place to come back to again and again. The many plants in the shop make for a nice shopping experience.

Wasteland

Haight

Though prices are high, Wasteland on Haight is one of the best stores for finding high-quality and boutique mid-century vintage. Designer styles with designer prices, Wasteland prides itself on its history as a California fashion-maker. Shaped by the vibe of the Summer of Love, there are few stores that can connect styles of the past and present so effortlessly.

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