With our newly heightened awareness of the environment and fast fashion taking a downward turn, buying second-hand or gently used is the way of the smart shopper. These eight stores dotting the North Shore are the crème de la crème of thrift, consignment, and vintage clothing. No need to trek into Boston or to break the bank to find some beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces. you’re guaranteed to have a blast perusing the racks to find those hidden gems.
With over 3,000 square feet of selling space, Chic Consignment is one of the largest thrift stores on the North Shore. Often mistaken for a traditional retail space, Chic is fully stocked with high-end women’s consignment. Brands like Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry are among some of their top selling lines. They like to keep things refined and sophisticated at this Andover stop, making sure to change their window displays every two weeks and their internal displays weekly, to show off their sophisticated and on-trend wares. Expect a warm greeting from the staff, styling services, and even some fundraising and charity events for causes like Melmark New England, a human services organization that supports children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Brands to Look For: Burberry, Gucci, J.Crew, Lululemon, Free People
44 Main Street, Andover, 978.474.1755, chicconsignment.com
What’s better than finding that perfect vintage staple piece? Giving back to the community, of course! All purchases made at Uncommon Closet help to fund their non-profit program, Uncommon Threads, which gives back to women in need. This program is tailored to low income, veteran, elderly, disabled, and homeless women plus domestic violence survivors and women in recovery and aims to help empower them through an “outside-in, inside-out” approach, utilizing style and clothing to improve self-worth. Step into their industrial renovated mill space to find some of the chicest garb on the market. From classic and on-trend styles to vintage and outlandish finds, there is literally something for every kind of shopper. As one of the only resale stores to exclusively benefit women, you can rest assured that your money is going somewhere worth-while.
Coolest Finds: a Valentino gown with original tags, a Burberry jacket, Gucci boots
60 Island Street, Lawrence, 978.219.9559, uncommonthreads.org
Madam Had’em Boutique Consignment
Born in 2004, Madam Had’em Boutique Consignment is the spot in Manchester-by-the-Sea to find everything from designer consignment to “sustainable and evolutionary fashion”—a term they’ve coined that includes upcycled, repurposed, and renewed clothing and accessories. Armed with a professionally trained stylist and boutique overstock (brand new inventory purchased from local boutiques to be sold at a fraction of the retail value—think 50-75% off!), Madam Had’em is ready to cater to any shopper’s need, including specific fashion palettes and unique requests. What’s even cooler than this star-treatment are the celebrities that you might see frequenting the racks. From models and actresses to designers, you never know who you’ll run into. The legendary fashion icon Iris Apfel even stopped by for a visit.
Coolest Finds: Hermes ‘Birkin’ bags and Louis Vuitton stock
7 Summer Street, Manchester-by-the-Sea, 978.526.7798
A Little Bit of Naples
As the sole store on this list dedicated to men’s attire, A Little Bit of Naples deserves some major credit. Featuring upscale brands like Ferragamo, Burberry, Armani, and Hermes, this shop is dedicated to the refined man. Just a stone’s throw away from the Merrimack River, you’ll get to shop with a view—perhaps a nod to its Italian namesake, a city with red rooftops, cobbled roads, and spectacular waterfront vantage. You might just find some patterned Hermes ties or suede-y Ralph Lauren jackets, and for that summertime spunk, Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirts emblazoned with bright green monstera leaves or a Vineyard Vines pull-over sweatshirt. Visit this cozy wood paneled space for some of the best men’s consignment and vintage on the North Shore.
Coolest Finds: a brown suede Salvatore Ferragamo jacket to channel your inner cowboy
50 Water Street Suite 31, Newburyport, 978.462.1423
Castaways Vintage Café
Though it’s based out of Gloucester, known for its beautiful beaches and New England-style faire, this café/restaurant combo is all West Coast vibes. Full of brands like Harley Davidson, Black Dog, and Hurley, this store beckons all who enter to come as they are. You’ll find quotes and mottos like “Vibing n’ Thriving” or “Whatever Makes Your Soul Happy” scrawled on the walls in swirling cursive script. Whether you come for the $1 coffee specials that they roll out on occasion, their acai bowls with all the fixins, or some repurposed jean jackets and beach tees, there’s a little something for every kind of shopper—even the hungry ones. Only open from April to November, they also sell their limited, one-of-a-kind stock online.
Try (On): the $1 coffee special and one of their handmade beach shirts made from upcycled materials on the way to Good Harbor
65 Main Street, Gloucester, 978.559.7984, castawaysvintagecafe.com
For almost 10 years, Francie’s Boutique has been a staple to the Topsfield consignment crowd, offering an experience fueled by “quality, service, and style.” Not only is Francie’s known for their “gently used, new, and hand-crafted clothing,” but they are also home to the work of over 20 local artisans. After expanding from solely consignment to include homewares and décor in 2012, Francie’s Home was born. From hand-stamped bracelets and locally-made soap and skincare to hand-blown glass and colorful pottery, Francie’s offers up a unique selection of gifts for any true New Englander. As a bonus, Francie’s also accepts consignment by appointment, so you can try your hand at selling your wares.
30 Main Street, Topsfield, 978.887.0331, franciesboutique.com
Coolest Finds: hand-poured soy candles and hand-painted and upcycled leather and denim
With a mission to create a space where women can shop second hand “in an environment that doesn’t smell like your grandmother’s basement,” Worthy Girl aims to curate a retail experience that’s chock-full of “stupidly good consignment.” Opting to up the thrift game, Worthy Girl wants to make the consignment experience one sans mothballs, musty smells, or overflowing racks. They’ve made shopping second-hand modern with their colorful unicorn-themed dressing rooms and handpicked finds ensuring it’s simple to get your hands on that hidden gem of a steal. Not only can customers peruse the shop in-store; they can also try their hand at consigning their own clothing to make some extra cash or gain store credit.
Brands to Look For: Madewell, Free People, Kate Spade, Levi’s, Frye
156 Cabot Street, Beverly, 978.969.2761, worthygirlshop.com
Kitsch meets classic vintage in this decade-expansive store. You’ll think you’ve gone Bananas upon arriving at this seaside spot, dazzled by the ‘30s thrifts, ‘40s and ‘50s frocks, sweet ‘60s ensembles, and beyond. Appealing to the funkiest of clientele, Bananas is home to a wide array of vintage costume jewelry and quirky trinkets along with a huge selection of wearable garments. Featuring the likes of your grandparents’ dusted-off treasures from basements and attics, Bananas stocks some truly one-of-a-kind pieces. Almost 45 years old, Bananas is a mainstay in Gloucester’s downtown area. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the leopard print wallpaper, stacked hat boxes, and the Pinocchio belt rack.
Try (On): the 1930s and 1940s style clip-on earrings
78 Main Street, Gloucester, 978.283.8806