Thrift Store Review – Housing Works Warehouse

13 Sep

Church Lady Gretchen and I attended the “world-famous” (though I’d never heard of it) Housing Works Warehouse sale this past Saturday.  In the deepest industrial depths of Long Island City, Housing Works keeps a warehouse full of second-hand merchandise and will sell you, for $25, a brown paper bag to fill.  You could end up with Theory dresses, dirty bandanas, pillows, or vintage winter coats.  I’ve seen some crowds in my time but nothing like this!

There were pools of discarded clothes to wade through, and mobs of people ready to snatch items right out of your hands!  I saw some really great stuff: a pair of JCrew wool pants with tags, fantastic winter coats, scarves, and blouses; but for every one nice thing there were 500 terrible things!  I’m okay with this.  In fact, I excel at finding the needle in the haystack and of course: making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Another challenge is that there were only two mirrors in the place, rendering it impossible to take a good look at one’s self. Its important to bring along a companion that you trust!

Most of the treasures I brought home aren’t wearable as they stand.  I was on the hunt for raw materials to use in my sewing as well as fun vintage goodies.  Here is what I bought:

Looks like a mess, right?

1. Silk polka-dot dress (may end up being repurposed because it looks a little like a clown)

2. Striped men’s shirt (tag reads: Fraternity Prep 100% cotton)

3. Mid-century house dress

4. Plain bed sheet (to be used in sewing)

5. Men’s 70’s silk shirt (fabulous print – to be used in sewing)

6. Contemporary yellow sweater

7. Silk scarf

8. Red polka-dot shirt

9. Melbourne kitchen towel

10. Silk scarf part two

11. 70’s plaid teacher vest

12. Blue batik skirt

13. Mid-century black hat box

My favorite item is of course number 13.  I think the whole stunt was worth that!  I’ve already cleaned it up a bit and can’t wait to fill it with goodies – maybe my scarf collection could live there!

Below are the warehouse rules as listed on the Housing Works Web site:

This is a not your everyday shopping experience so its important to realize there are a few rules.

  1. Clothing is sold by the bag only; No individual sales
  2. Shoppers may line up beginning at 9am outside the building
  3. Strollers are not allowed-this may not be the best environment for children
  4. No horseplay, leave it at the ranch!
  5. Public restrooms are not available
  6. No loitering
Housing Works Warehouse 
4849 35th St., Long Island City, NY 11101
Saturdays Only 
(crowd begins forming as early as 9 am)

2 Responses to “Thrift Store Review – Housing Works Warehouse”

  1. Gretchen September 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    It was fun but you do need a trusted friend. Can’t wait to wear my sweater alla Designing Women out on the town!

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