The Recycled Closet

By Alexandra Schaefers

cosmicchamelonIn theory, I love thrift stores; I can buy all the clothes I want without supporting sweat shops or the overconsumption of natural resources, my tiny clothing budget goes further, and all the while I am keeping clothes out of the landfill while providing funds to a worthy charity. In reality, one needs a certain amount of fashion savvy or at least patience to come out of a thrift store without looking like a low-budget clown. I have neither savvy nor patience when it comes to clothes, but I’ve learned that I can rely on the good judgment of consignment shops to help me out. I’m also lucky enough to live in Corvallis where there are several worthy places to shop my recycling heart out.

Revolve is a personal favorite because I fancy myself artistic yet sensible. They feature unique clothes and accessories for women that run from cute to classy and are in excellent condition. The shop itself is beautiful—I hardly know it’s resale. As a price guide, their jeans range from $12 to $96. They are located downtown at 103 SW 2nd Street (

If you are on your way to Burning Man (or just lucky enough not to fancy yourself as sensible), Cosmic Chameleon is the place to go. They carry “eclectic gypsy” wear for men, women, and children. “Eclectic gypsy” meaning gypsy-pirate-woodland-sprite-Jedi-Village People wear. You know…fun clothes! Since self-expression trumps quality in the world of festivals and other uninhibited events, the clothes aren’t necessarily defect-free. But they do have the power to free one of your long-lost and much-missed personalities. Their jeans range in price from $14 to $55 and they have a play place for children. You’ll find them at 138 SW 2nd Street (

The Alley is all men’s clothes. They have a great selection of business and casual, and more importantly for their clientele, they have beer. That’s right, fellows; you can get your dreaded shopping done while having your afternoon beer. If you have no reason to shop for men’s clothes you will still enjoy stopping by to see the all-out vintage décor. It is a charming shop that will take you to quainter times. Their jeans range in price from $16 to $100. They’re located at 312 SW Jefferson Avenue (

The Annex is the best bet for young women, tweens to college-age. The shop has an exotic boutique feel that makes it as exciting as shopping for new clothes and definitely more exciting than Nordstrom’s. Their clothes range from trendy to daring, all in great condition. Just a block away from the Alley at 214 SW Jefferson Avenue (

The Alley and the Annex are both part of the Second Glance empire. The main store is a reliable staple for women’s resale; they have everything from work clothes to funky dresses and even work-out wear in a cozy boutique. Their jeans range in price from $16 to $100. Conveniently around the corner from their other shops at 312 SW 3rd Street (

If you are a regular thrift store shopper the prices at consignment shops may seem high. I find the extra money is worth it for the aesthetic experience of being in a creative boutique and the service of having someone else weeding out the duds. Round About fills an important niche for being a little more thrifty. They have a $5 rack outside and a wide range of style and sizes (up to 5x) for men, women, and children. They also carry new clothing. Their used jeans range in price from $8 to $25. They are at 264 SW Madison Avenue (