Inexpensive bay area stores: Get your $3 tee today

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As winter approaches, many of us may not be able to fit into last year’s holiday sweater. Whether you are looking to save money or to mix up your wardrobe with some one-of-a-kind pieces, shopping at consignment, thrift, and outlet malls is the way to go. Luckily for us, the Bay Area contains some of the most accessible hotspots. Here are a few of the best stores from San Francisco to San Jose:

1) Great Mall of The Bay Area in Milpitas, CA


Home to more than 200 outlet stores, including Hollister Outlet, Coach Factory Store, and Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Great Mall is the largest indoor outlet and value shopping destination in Northern California.


2) Plato’s Closet in San Jose and San Mateo, CA


Plato’s Closet is a consignment store which sells gently used brand-name clothing. If you are looking to replace that sweater that has been sitting in the back of your closet or if you are looking for one of the latest styles at an inexpensive rate, Plato’s Closet is worth checking out.


3) Buffalo Exchange in Haight District, San Francisco, CA


Buffalo Exchange sells vintage and consignment clothes, original pieces, designer labels and brand-new merchandise. If transportation is an issue, taking Bart into San Francisco is an option (Caltrain stops at Millbrae Bart station and bus stops are available nearby most Bart stations) to turn your shopping trip into a day in the city. If you are interested in donating, Buffalo Exchange also accepts trade or cash on the spot for customers giving clothes.


4) Clothes Contact in Mission District, San Francisco, CA

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Clothes sold by the pound! Almost all merchandise costs $10 per pound, and the store contains cashmere sweaters, western shirts, and pumps in every color. All clothing has a unique style, contrary to the everyday look of jeans and a T-shirt. Clothes contact is more organized than the average thrift store, and many of the pieces are labeled by their time period. Once you’re done shopping, check out Stanza Coffee, which is a block away, on Valencia St.


5) Mission Thrift at Mission District, San Francisco, CA


Mission Thrift sells a large variety of vintage clothing–everything from dresses from the ‘80s to red corduroy pants to costumes. Compared to your average thrift store, Mission Thrift apparel comes at a slightly more expensive price, but is definitely worth the value. Not to mention, it is a five block walk from the 16th Street Bart stop, and nearby Clothes Contact.


6) Goodwill in Downtown Sunnyvale, CA

Many of us have donated our yearly garbage bags of clothing to Goodwill without stopping and taking a look inside. If you take the time to peruse the clothing racks, there are always some cute finds that are in good condition. The Sunnyvale Goodwill has particularly nice clothes and is much closer than San Francisco! Plus, who doesn’t want a tee for $3?