Top 4 Hot Spots for Thrifting in SLO

I consider fashion to be an art, and with every art, one must buy art supplies (or in this case, clothing). It’s a known fact that art supplies can get pretty expensive, so the artist has to be a savvy buyer. In the art of fashion, that’s where the magic of thrift stores comes in.

I have always been known for my offbeat fashion sense. I adore experimenting and trying new things; I love making people think, “Wow, that’s a funky outfit!” People constantly ask me where I get my clothes, and my answer is almost always, “some thrift shop.” I revel in the utter surprise on their faces when they hear that. In all honesty, more than 50% of my closet consists of used clothing from thrift shops and resale vintage clothing stores.

It’s not that I can’t afford new clothes, it’s just that thrifting is SO much more gratifying! It feels so exciting to find a unique piece of clothing you love after going on a long treasure hunt, rather than simply picking something new off a rack of twenty.

As a vintage clothing and thrifting addict, when I moved to SLO it was a MUST for me to scope out all of the local used clothing stores downtown. I hunted down the best shops in town and I’ve been a regular at each shop ever since. Thrifting is an amazing, unique and satisfying hobby, and I’d love to share with you some of my favorite shops:

Fred and Betty’s

Located on 532 Higuera Street, Fred and Betty’s has claimed the title of my favorite thrift shop in SLO. Not a single store in SLO can beat their prices (shown in the photo below). Whenever I visit Fred and Betty’s, I always walk out with some sort of surprising, adorable treasure. Another bonus: the store is very well-organized and the employees are warm and friendly! Rather than the stereotypical crazy, disorganized thrift shop, shopping at Fred and Betty’s feels like exploring a little boutique.


Hospice Partner’s Hope Chest

On 445 Higuera Street, right down the street from Fred and Betty’s, sits Hospice Partner’s Hope Chest. It definitely isn’t the cheapest thrift store in town, but their items are always in amazing condition. The store is very professional, clean and well-organized. Hospice Partner’s Hope Chest makes my list of favorites mainly due to their selection of adorable vintage clothing. They have a much larger emphasis on vintage and antique products. If you stop by the store, DEFINITELY check out their jewelry! The selection of jewelry is HUGE and there are so many unique pieces!


While Retrofit is technically a resale shop and not a thrift store, it just couldn’t be excluded from this list. Shopping at Retrofit is an intense flashback to the 80’s. Chunky earrings, crop tops, high-waisted shorts, spandex, crazy colors- you name it! The décor and vibes in the store are super funky and hip. They play awesome music and the employees are so much fun to talk to! Their prices are also unbeatable; they recently had a 50% off sale that lasted more than two weeks. Whether you dig clothing from the 70’s-90’s or you’re just searching for awesome party/costume supplies, definitely check Retrofit out! It is located right next to Urban Outfitters at 956 Monterey Street.



Last, but definitely not least, GOODWILL! I know that Goodwill has a reputation of being stinky, huge, and disorganized, but I have actually found some of my favorite pieces of clothing at Goodwill! Even though it takes a lot more effort digging up treasures at Goodwill, it’s so satisfying when you find something adorable and dirt cheap. Plus, the search is half of the fun! Next time you’re thrifting, check out the Goodwill at 15 Higuera Street!

Keep an open mind and try going on a spontaneous SLO thrifting adventure with your friends one day! It’s an awesome weekend activity and the perfect way to bond with your girlfriends. Plus, as broke college students, cheap activities are always the best activities. So go out and get your thrifting treasure hunt on!