Only $20 in your pocket? Carmel makes it easy

Into labels, but not price tags? Carmel is home to a variety of upscale thrift and consignment stores that are filled with high-end labels at a fraction of their original prices.

In most other towns, thrift stores are home to the junk that no one else wants, but Carmel thrift stores are sprinkled with hidden treasures. The Barnyard Shopping Village is home to the three thrift stores in Carmel—The Yellow Brick Road, the SPCA Benefit Shop and Joining Hands.

Most thrift shops are home to awful-looking, rundown shoes, but Joining Hands is different from the rest. The store receives regular donations of brand new shoes, mainly heels. Recently they had Betsy Johnson black and gold platform heels, originally $225, for only $50. Other pairs of shoes include various colors of Jessica Simpson peep-toe platforms for $35 and faux snakeskin BCBG peep-toe heels for $25. All shoes are still in their boxes and never worn. Although they only have these shoes in obscure sizes, if you happen to find your size, these are a score.

The Yellow Brick Road is the most reliable for decent clothing. My philosophy is as long as you’re willing to take time to search, you will always find something worth the time. In my twenty minutes of searching I found a variety of different treasures, the best being Lucky Brand Jeans that weren’t an outrageously large or small size for only $10.

Others include an adorable, brand-new-looking Ann Taylor black top for only $10, and for men there were red J. Crew pants with tags still attached for $12 and a nice lacrosse helmet, just $20.

At the SPCA I found the fewest treasures. Although it is good store for the stylish “grandma sweaters,” there wasn’t much for teenagers clothing-wise. After thinking all was lost and I had wasted my time, I saw that hanging on the wall was a lightly worn classic red Victoria’s Secret long pajama set for just $5.

Carmel is also home to a variety of consignment stores including Déjà vu, Mon Amie and Ritzy Ragz and Thingz. The difference between thrift shops and consignment stores is that consignment stores look to make profits. People can go to consignment stores and offer to sell their things knowing that they would make some money while the store would also make some money.

Even though these stores have more high-end designers like Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, the prices are outrageous in comparison to thrift stores. But if you are looking for nice designer jeans, I think consignment stores are worth the visit. Ritzy Rags and Thingz was overall the best since they currently have a half-off all shoes and apparel sale.

With the half-off sale you can get white True Religion jeans for just $35, 7 For All of Mankind jeans for $35 and Miss Me jeans for just $27.50. The deals are simply fabulous.

Thrift and consignment stores are great ways to save money while still getting the labels you love. The effort will be worth it when you find those perfect Lucky Jeans for just $10, or whatever your treasure might be.

Good luck, and remember: wash the clothes before you wear them. You don’t want bed-bugs.

-Helaine Ridilla