NEW STYLE COLUMN Thrintage: Valley Thrift

January 22, 2009

Every other Thursday, FADER style contributor Bethany Cosentino will cross boroughs, counties and states to find us fine thrifted and vintage pieces on the cheap for her new column, Thrintage (get it?). This week she traveled to the San Fernando Valley to check out Valley Thrift. Read her thoughts and peep the steals after the jump.

On the hunt for a thrift junkie’s haven- those cash only, colored tag thrift hubs that we so often get lost in- I went to Valley Thrift in the San Fernando Valley for my first “Got it for Cheap” assignment. Though it may feel like a trek to get to, Valley Thrift is a mini vacation from the picked over thrift stores in the city where it feels almost impossible to find a flannel for under ten dollars.

At first, Valley Thrift appears as a mirage, it is by far the largest and most jam-packed thrift store in all of Los Angeles. Sandwiched between asphalt parking lots and the Verdugo Mountains, it’s a serious diamond in the rough. The store itself is just a dully-painted white building, but upon entrance you are greeted by hundreds of different colors and patterns. It is the department store of thrift stores--two huge rooms filled with every discarded item of clothing, book, cassette tape, and toy, plus knick-knacks, records, shoes, and other miscellaneous items. At first it’s overwhelming, but once properly navigated, Valley Thrift becomes a real paradise. Every aisle is dedicated solely to one genre of clothing, which makes things super effortless.

I found myself getting quite lucky on this particular thrifting venture. One of my best treasures of the day was a knee length burgundy, double-breasted, military wool pea coat with large gold buttons. I immediately snagged the coat off the rack and tossed it into my cart. Already inside were a few off white, open knit crocheted sweaters—perfect for layering. A few aisles over I found a mint condition, 50s, mink evening wrap—talk about some serious class.

As I continued to pile in pieces, I realized that I hadn’t even made it to the shoe section. That’s the thing about Valley Thrift—though organized, it’s easy to spend too much time in one area. The only real sign that you need to move on is when your cart is literally incapable of holding one more baggy sweater. The shoe section is kind of a mess, and not as simple to skim over, but worth digging through because you’ll find some real gems in there. I uprooted a few pairs of leather and suede lace up ankle boots, all in great condition, and an unreal pair of knee high, white leather Doc Martins that were impossible to pass up—maybe not a pair of shoes I would buy brand new but for eight dollars how could I deny myself such a thing of beauty?

Valley Thrift is located at 9007 Lankershim Blvd, Sun Valley, CA.
Closed Sundays, Cash only.

Posted: January 22, 2009
NEW STYLE COLUMN Thrintage: Valley Thrift