Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Sep 21st
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

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.