Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Feb 27th
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

 

Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia