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The Garment District is My New Favorite Boston Store and You Need to Go

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling particularly spicy (aka anxious) and had a case of the ole winter blues (aka seasonal depression). It was a tricky time trying to balance that fun and flirty mix of feeling all jazzed up while also feeling pretty glum, but life be like that sometimes. In addition to all that business, I had just gotten over a week of having what I’m assuming was the plague and was dealing with the academic aftermath of that. I was frantically trying to catch up on the work I had missed while I was on the brink of death, you know DYING from the plague, which made me feel particularly stressed and all over the place. So I dealt with these feelings the way any well adjusted young adult (no longer a tween or teen, BUMMER!) would: I went to a store and bought things. 

Now the title obviously gave away where I went to fill the void, but if your spidey senses are temporarily out of order or if you just don’t remember then I will remind you: The Garment District in Cambridge, MA. Boy oh boy was this the best choice I have made all semester! I had heard rumblings and whispers about this mystical place, an “alternative department store” that has a huge vintage and contemporary thrift store section, a costume shop, and a whole section of clothes in a huge pile that you can buy BY THE POUND, but alas, I had never been before. But that time of living in the shadows is over because I finally went.  Hand to Celine Dion, I am literally a changed woman after my time there. It was, and I think this is what the technical term is, OFF THE DAMN CHAIN. I’ll admit, I was tempted to keep how great this place is to myself because I’m selfish and want all the deals to be mine, but that would be wrong and mean and blah blah blah. So fine, I’ll share. You are welcome.

Let’s get into the general rundown of the place, shall we? I think we shall. The Garment District lives within an old building, once used for soap manufacturing, dating all the way back to 1893. She’s got some age and she is beautiful! When you walk in you are greeted with a sight so beautiful that it brings tears to the eyes: clothes on clothes on clothes. If you go to the right you’ll find the costume shop part and to the left will be the By The Pound section. But it doesn’t stop there because just up the stairs is the contemporary/vintage thrift store area filled with lots of fashionable finds! It sounds overwhelming and it is (in the most amazing way) so I suggest doing what I did and bring a friend. It’s critical, though, to make sure that the friend you choose to accompany you on this trek has the same shopping style as you do. It is important Y’all are on the same page because there is nothing worse than going shopping with someone who is rushing you, or if you are more of a quick shopper, someone who is taking too long. I lucked out and was able to go with a friend who shares my exact shopping style of taking as much time as we need to look through EVERYTHING. This, in combination with the amazing variety of clothing, shoes, and accessories, made for such a nice and calming shopping experience.

My friend and I began our journey in The Garment District with the By The Pound Section. We literally dove into the massive pile of clothes on the floor (we were excited) and began digging. We spent some SERIOUS TIME (like HOURS) looking through and trying things on. Here is another tasty tip: make sure you wear something that you can try things on over because for the By The Pound section there are no fitting rooms. Don’t be discouraged by the no fitting room thing because it was actually lovely getting to try on a bunch of stuff while exerting minimal effort. This is ideal for me because I am lazy and I hate taking my whole outfit off to just put it back on again.

Alright, back to the matter at hand: the huge pile of clothing. Mama Mia, it’s a real treat. Every morning they put out a fresh 850 lb pile of that good good (clothing and accessories, duh)! This is a great plus because it means that there is always buried treasure, not just leftover items that have been picked through. It also rocks because you can go there every single day and always have a new pile to dig through! It’s truly a dream for those of us that have a shopping addiction (help me)! As I mentioned before (pay attention, I have the talking stick), By The Pound is a magical wonderland where you pay by the pound of clothing/accessories/shoes! We’re talking $2 per pound of clothes Saturday-Thursday and $1 per pound of clothes on Fridays!!! My heart, steady as she beats to the sound of these savings.

After we got very lost in the sauce (and by sauce I mean the By The Pound section), we migrated upstairs to the contemporary/vintage thrift store. We only spent a little bit of time in this part because we were still riding the high from the deals we had gotten downstairs and it was getting late (we have a problem). I did end up getting a few items from this section because I have no self-control and the finds/deals were just too good to pass up! I scored a great pair of vintage red Salvatore Ferragamo ballet flats, a few different scarfs, and a funny family reunion T-shirt from the year before I was born. It was quite the success. We could have spent hours in this part of the store because there is so much to look at! They have a whole section of clothes from the ’50s, ’60s, ’80s, and 90’s that I just wanted to set up shop in.

When we decided it was time that we wrap it up, we went downstairs and paid for our By The Pound items. We each got about 12 pounds of some really great clothing and accessories! My friend walked away with a bunch of clothes, among which were a long winter coat (trend alert), 2 pairs of Lululemon pants (I know, I screamed too), and some very professional Tahari business blazers. Honestly, such great finds. I too had some luck. The following photos are what I got:


Family Reunion Shirt

Here is the front:

Here is the back:

Salvatore Ferragamo Shoes

Scarfs and Scarf Shirt

Black Furry Coat and Vintage Wrangler High-Waisted Mom Jeans

White Long-Sleeve Patterned Shirt and Vintage Arizona High-Waisted Mom Jeans

Vintage High-Waisted Wrangler Mom Jeans (that I made into shorts) and Purple and Pink Patterned Scarf Belt

Velvet Quarter-Sleeve Black Crop-Top and Vintage Blck Denim Pants (that I cut into shorts)

Men’s Patagonia Khaki Shorts (that’s me and my dad matching, nbd)

Captain Adorable Crop-Top (I took a baby onesie and cut the patch off of it and then sewed that onto a crop top, so crafty I know)

So there you have it, folks. The Garment District is absolutely amazing. It’s the cat’s pajamas. It’s the bee’s knees. It’s even the cat’s knees and bees pajamas!! It is just that good!


So do yourself a favor and treat yourself to an affordable and rejuvenating shopping spree at The Garment District. I promise you won’t regret it.


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Bailey is a new transfer student at BU studying Psychology. She is a part-time dancer, full-time waffle connoisseur who dreams of having a pet weenie dog named Ceween Dion. Some of her favorite activities include making a cozy nest out of all available blankets, taking improv classes, and Face Timing her foster kittens. Liked or even tolerated what you saw here? Well then come on down to her social media and we guarantee you will be overwhelmed with how aggressively average she is, but in a fun and loving way!!
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.