Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Oct 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Time to Thrift

bindisSo far in Obsessive Beauty’s Burning Man fashion countdown, I’ve talked about the amazing loot available at Camouflage and the fashionable (to Burners, at least) pocket belts designed by Katherine Becvar. This week, I get a little thriftier. Considering the impressive bevy of thrift stores ‘round these parts, my list is severely partial, but it represents my absolute favorite places to go digging for Playa-worthy clothes.  And with only about a week left until Black Rock City rises in the Nevada desert, these are all good bets for finding last minute costumes.


Ravani

823 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz

OK, so the first shop on my list of awesome thrift stores is not, actually, a thrift store. But what the heck? My love for Ravani trumps the rules. This is the place to go if your Burning Man style is to match the desert goddess within—the store is full of bejeweled, colorful Indian imports, from belly dancing costumes and flowy patterned tops and pants to extras like bindis and tubes of henna. The owner, Preeti, hand selects and buys everything for the store in Rajasthan, India, and plays an infectiously upbeat soundtrack of Bollywood love songs in the shop. I recently bought a beautiful, exotic tunic-style dress from her that has proven to be an all-around good buy: it works as a beach cover-up, a dressy top when paired with slacks or tights, and, in no time at all, I’ll be rocking it on the Playa.


All Shook Up

861 41st Ave.,
Santa Cruz

Allshookupclothing.com

This 41st Avenue establishment offers a downright smorgasbord of men’s and women’s costumes and funky vintage wears. The prices aren’t particularly great, but if you let the cashier know that your purchase is headed to Burning Man, they’ll give you 10 percent off.


Busy Bee Thrift Store

2628B Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz

Blink and you’ll miss it. This is possibly the smallest thrift store in the world, and is tucked away in a parking lot off of Soquel Drive with just a small sign alerting passersby to its presence. But Busy Bee proves that size doesn’t always matter: the small selection of clean and quality clothes, jewelry, scarves, bags, and plants (yes—plants) are dirt-cheap. Almost everything is under $5, and many items are only a dollar. Adding to its mystery, the shop (although “roadside stand” might be a better description) is only open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Retro Paradise

1010 Pacific Ave # C, Santa Cruz

retroparadiseclothing.ning.com

I’m partial to this Downtown Santa Cruz store for a few different reasons. Among them is the friendly, welcoming staff and the fact that they stream Los Angeles oldies station K-EARTH 101, which reminds me of growing up in SoCal, belting “Build Me Up Buttercup” and other gems in the car with my family. But nostalgia aside, Retro Paradise has the best selection of reasonably priced, Burning Man-appropriate accessories: wigs, leggings, tights, fishnets, bandanas, faux fur boot covers, and so on.


Bargain Barn

392 Pioneer St., Santa Cruz

This is where donations that weren’t good enough for Goodwill stores come to die—or get snatched up by you. After all, one person’s trash is another’s Burning Man costume, no? If you haven’t been to this legendary Santa Cruz pit of hidden treasures, take heed: it’s not exactly a pleasant experience, digging through the vast troughs of questionably-sanitary items, elbowing other serious treasure hunters out of your way, and worrying about the potential health risks of the place. But it is all suddenly worth it when you check out and realize that you just bought some useful garments for mere cents. They are open Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get there early—the floods of thrifty shoppers fight their way in as soon as the barn’s doors open, and they don’t leave much behind once they’ve worked their way through the bins.


What are your favorite places to find Burning Man costumes? Tell us in the comment section below.

 

 

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by busy bee thrift shop, May 14, 2012
best low price,100's of jewelry,cool hats,and clothing!!!!!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Field Work

Santa Cruz Mountain winemakers explain how the harvest works, and what kind of wine to expect from this year's crop

 

Libra's Two Choices

Libra (our last week) is the sign of creating right relations and values. In Libra we are asked to choose how to be, our identity in the world. We can maintain a hermetic sealed-off attitude (my life, my work, my money, etc.) or we can gain knowledge of world events and learn more about those in need. Libra is a group sign—self with others. Here are some events occurring in our world this week concerning food, poverty, spirituality, values and global realities. The UN (a spiritual experiment) each month places a “light” upon world problems. This week a light shines on Rural Women, Farms, Food & Poverty. Before we choose to respond we must have knowledge. “So we can each do our part.” Oct. 15 - International Day of Rural Women (unrecognized with few resources); Oct. 16 - World Food Day & Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth; Oct. 17 - Eradication of Poverty Day (international). During the month of Libra (with Saturn exalted), we pause, contemplate and assess what it is we know, don’t know, and need to know. Libra receives and distributes Ray 3 of divine intelligence, right relations, right choice and right economy (Venus). Use your intelligence “tips the Libran scales” in terms of being able to see and then choose between the two paths Libra offers (return to the past or step forward into Scorpio’s Discipleship). Libra (the oscillating light) prepares us for the great tests and conflicts in Scorpio. In Libra we are subtly tested as we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not). In Libra we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful. And then we are to teach each other what we know. In Libra, we all become teachers. In all these ways love is cultivated.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Docs Without Borders

United Nations Association Film Festival showcases documentaries from around the globe
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

 

Nut Kreations

Co-owner Craig Olsen goes nuts over nuts

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Friends who are wine club members of Martin Ranch invited us to the winery’s fun and festive annual barbecue, where the wine is flowing and the food just keeps on coming. Music and dancing are part and parcel of the action, and a good time is guaranteed.

 

Beer Bus

Santa Cruz’s new Brew Cruz, award winning ales, mole by el Jardín, and Wildcat Ridge Chardonnay