Thriftamore: Edition 2 – The Garment District


We’re back! This time we took on the Garment District, a thrift store situated near Cambridge’s Central Square. Located on the second floor of a hard-to-miss pink building, the Garment District has three main components: vintage and contemporary clothing, costumes and “by-the-pound.” The costume section is on the first floor – and technically part of a different store, Boston Costume – but it’s impossible to not visit the two stores simultaneously. Tragically, the “by-the-pound” section was closed because of the additional Halloween costumes taking over its space, but it will be reopening in November. In spite of this, we got a pretty good sense of the store, and were able to judge it based on our usual three criteria: user friendliness, finds, and price.

User Friendliness:

The Garment District would get an A++ in terms of user friendliness. Not only was the store easy to navigate, it was also fun to navigate. Various sections included “70s Hawaiian shirts,” “80s and 90s women’s sweaters,” and “rock and roll.” This had to due with the type of clothing but also with the way they organized the store. Where another store might have put a leather jacket into a vague “Outerwear” section, the Garment District put it in a specific “Western” section.

Despite initially striking us as odd, this setup made it super fun to explore the store. It also made it quite easy to find the perfect 80s nylon jacket or 90s flannel shirt, since they were all located side-by-side on a rack. Additionally, most racks, especially the bigger ones, were sub-organized by size, making locating the perfect item even easier.

There were also dressing rooms! Many thrift stores do not include dressing rooms, but the Garment District had many. There were at least six to eight, which means that you never have to wait for a dressing room. We appreciated this, although the store offered mirrors scattered throughout as well.


The Garment District offered better finds than any thrift store either of us had ever visited. The top floor is covered in those previously described racks of cool, vintage, unique statement pieces. We found that many of these items are the true original version of trendy items that retail stores like Urban Outfitters and many others often try to replicate and sell today.

The finds in this store are hard to describe, because everything was a find. There was not exactly the excitement of a true thrift shopping experience, where you dig through a heap of clothes for an hour and manage to find one glorious top that is exactly what you were looking for. Instead, you could look for five minutes and find four or five perfect item, so less of a classic thrifting experience but all the outfit-making statement pieces you could ever want.

While far from the most exciting thing in the store, our great find was an adorable pair of overalls. It is rare to find a nice pair, but the store exceeded our expectations and we found a well-fitting and adorable pair of overalls that didn’t completely break our budget.

It might be unfair to assume that you wouldn’t get the true thrifting experience because we were unable to go to the by-the-pound section. In this section, you pretty much sift through a pile of clothes and pay for it, as the name suggests, by the pound: $2 per pound, except on Fridays, when it’s only $1. For reference, a t-shirt weighs about 1/3 lbs and a sweater or hoodie just over one, making this a really fantastic deal if you find something you like.


Yet with all these upsides, there was still a price to pay. Items from this store cost significantly more than your average thrift store. The pair of overalls cost $30, and flannel shirts an average of $16. Funky 70s earrings were $5 and shoes ranged from $15 to $85.

All in all, the Garment District is a fantastic place to find that specific funky statement piece you’ve been looking for your entire life, but for the everyday thrifter on a budget, the price might be a deal-breaker. We suggest giving it a chance, especially if you have a specific item in mind. Thinking about your shopping experience as more of a cool and unique Urban Outfitters will make your expedition much more enjoyable than if you compare it to a store like Urban Renewals.

That said, for those who don’t have the patience or desire to comb through stacks of grandparent clothes, the Garment District is by all means a great option, and hey, if you do, there’s a Goodwill a 10 minute walk away.