I’ve been here before. When I visited Denver for the first time, in 2010, I asked local bloggers for thrift store recommendations. I visited this arc location and was so impressed that I returned, seven years later. (Nearby Casa Bonita may have also influenced my decision.)
When I first considered the traveling speaker life, I wondered what I’d do with myself in the evenings. Would I read post-apocalyptic fiction? Chat up strangers in the hotel bar? Dance at local ballet studios? No. I planned to hit the local thrift stores and gather treasures from around the U.S.
In practice, I spend the evenings either traveling to the next location, studying for the next day’s seminars or passing the eff out. My thrifting fantasies have been lost in a haze of exhaustion. On this particular trip, I spent the weekend in Denver, following a Friday seminar, and made my thrifting dreams come true with a visit to the Colfax Avenue arc Thrift Store on Sunday.
There are 25 arc stores along the Colorado Front Range. I’ve only been to this location (and I’ve been here twice). I can’t speak to the other stores, but the Colfax Avenue location is large, well-lit, and full of treasures.
The store is divided into the usual sections: dresses, skirts, sweaters, jackets, long-sleeved tops, short-sleeved tops, etc. I was fighting a food coma after gorging at Casa Bonita (more sopapillas!) and didn’t do a thorough job of photographing the weird and wonderful. I got only a few pics of some of my favorites:
Because I was flying home, I was restricted to purchasing soft, light-weight items. Still, I dreamt of taking this train painting and owl clock home with me.
Beefy is relieved that I did not buy the painting or the clock.
Let’s try on!
I never shop the jeans section, but this pair of pink London Jean pants literally fell of the rack as I walked past. I took that as a sign and added them to my stack.
I tried on three skirts. The first two were way too tight and short. I’ll do tight and I’ll do short, but not both at once. The second one was a little loose, but the ultimate deal breaker was that it doesn’t fit with my wardrobe color palette.
I tried on two, white, sheer, boho blouses. The first one was missing a button in a critical place. My friend Erin found the second one, misplaced in a random section, and I love it!
Finally, I tried on this striped top with faux suede elbows and shoulder detail.
I left the store with the pink jeans ($7.99), second boho blouse ($5.99), and striped shirt ($4.99). None of my items had a white tag (the deal of the day). The prices were a little higher than I like to see in a thrift store, but I’m happy to contribute to the arc’s mission of enhancing “the lives of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families.” I’m also satisfied that I’m finally taking advantage of my travels to share “Thrift Stores of the United States” with you. Stay tuned for a report from Reno!