Browsing at one of Washington, D.C.’s thrift stores is a great way to get acquainted with your neighborhood while finding items to fill your new apartment. If you’re in need of attractive furniture, stylish decor, or other items to make your new space feel like home, chances are one of our local thrift shops has something that meets your needs.
We know it can take time to get to know people when you move to a new area, and shopping locally can be one of the best ways to feel like part of a community. Adding items your neighbors no longer need to your apartment instead of buying new ones connects you to the people who live nearby, and many of the thrift stores in Washington, D.C. are committed to supporting local charities and other organizations.
Thrifting can have various other benefits, too, because it’s cost-effective, eco-friendly, and fun! Here are just a few of the best thrift stores in Washington D.C. to check out!
3 Great Perks of Thrift Shopping in DC
Thrifting isn’t only about shopping on a budget. Saving money can be a major plus, but die-hard thrifters know there’s something special about stumbling on a one-of-a-kind item and giving it a new life.
1. It’s a Cost-Effective Way to Find New Favorites
Instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars to buy a few new items from your favorite brands each season, consider browsing the racks at one of Washington, D.C.’s thrift stores before heading to the mall. It may take a little extra time to find just what you’re looking for, but it is possible to find name-brand items that look new or even still have the tags on them at a fraction of the cost of buying them from your favorite boutique or big-box store.
2. It’s Eco-Friendly Alternative to Buying New Items
Chances are, you probably don’t plan to keep everything you buy forever. Children’s clothes that only fit for a year, books you only want to read once, and beginner-level equipment for a new hobby you aren’t sure you’re going to enjoy can take up significant space in landfills. Consider buying these items from thrift stores as an eco-friendly alternative, then donate them back to your favorite thrift store when you’re finished with them to help keep Washington, D.C. green.
3. You Get to Enjoy Items That Are No Longer Available in Retail Stores
Vintage jewelry, out-of-print books, and older versions of electronics may no longer be available to purchase new, but many of these items can still be found at thrift stores. Taking advantage of brand-new products that follow this year’s trends or are filled with the latest features can have its place, but sometimes it’s not quite what you have in mind. If you’ve ever wished you hadn’t given away that classic video game you spent hours playing as a child or wanted to fuel your creativity by upcycling vintage clothing, shopping at thrift stores in Washington, D.C. may be the perfect solution.
Where Should You Go to Thrift Shop?
Goodwill and other large thrift stores crammed with every type of item imaginable aren’t the only places to shop for unique or hard-to-find items on a budget. Specialty thrift stores — such as antique shops or resale stores that only carry clothing, children’s items, sporting goods, or another category of items — can be great options if you’re searching for something specific. Temporary thrifting opportunities like garage sales and neighborhood flea markets add to the fun of hunting for treasures, while eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, and other online resale platforms are great choices if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in your favorite thrift store.
Washington, D.C.'s 8 Best Thrift Stores
Here are several local top picks for thrifting around Washington, D.C. in no specific order. (Note: There are also many others to choose from throughout the area!)
Located within a block of The Rodney Apartments, this shop has been serving the D.C. community since 1986. Secondi is known as the longest-running women’s consignment shop in Dupont Circle and carries high-end items from well-known designers. Its staff is dedicated to helping customers find what they need to “look your best at a reasonable price,” and its collection comes from consignors located all over the U.S.
2. Fia's Fabulous Finds
Located in Petworth.
Fia’s Fabulous Finds is a consignment shop filled with fashionable styles. The shop frequently offers bag sales and other promotions, and fitting as much into a bag for a set price as you can is a fun way to stock your closet for the coming season. You can even buy items from Fia’s through special sales on Facebook Live.
3. Martha’s Outfitters
Located in Logan Circle.
If you’re looking for a thrift shop with a mission, Martha’s Outfitters is the place for you. This community store pop-up happens on the first Saturday of each month and is open to all D.C. residents who purchase from it and receive a membership card. Martha’s Outfitters is run by Martha’s Table, which operates food, clothing, education, and service learning programs for local children and families.
4. Columbia Pike Thrift Shop
Located in Arlington.
Columbia Pike Thrift Shop is known for its fabulous customer service. It is also one of your best options if you’re interested in thrifting gift items. From books and candles to games and puzzles, you’re sure to find something new each time you visit.
Located near our The Vintage on 16th and 1900 Lamont communities, Rosario’s 3 Por 10 Tienda is a consignment shop with a little bit of everything. It offers clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, bags, and more for men and women — and even has an attached kid-focused store — meaning shoppers are sure to find whatever they need. Signs and advertisements are in English as well as Spanish for an inclusive experience for multilingual guests.
Known as Mt. Pleasant’s “oldest and hippest second hand store for women and men,” Frugalista is a must-visit in the D.C. area. It has been in operation since 2001, offering residents and visitors the latest styles, high-fashion offerings, formalwear, casual wear, athletic and athleisure items, and big sales to help them achieve the wardrobes they want at affordable prices.
Thrifting Makes You Part of a Community
Giving secondhand items that your neighbors no longer need a new home is a simple way to feel connected to the people around you. Most of the items in your local thrift stores came from people in your community, and visiting these shops instead of national chains supports your local economy. Join the cycle by making items you no longer need available to others via Washington, D.C. thrift stores instead of throwing them away.
Moving across town or to a new city can be the perfect opportunity to donate things you don’t use anymore and redecorate your space in a new style. Exploring Washington, D.C.’s wide variety of unique thrift shops is a great way to fill your new apartment with local favorites for a completely fresh start. If you’re searching for a new apartment in the Washington, D.C. area, we’re here to help you settle into your new life. Contact us today to learn more about our amenities or to ask any questions you have about making one of our apartments your home!