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  • Writer's pictureKAT KOHTALA

The Garment District: A Unique Thrift Experience

Graphic by Kat Kohtala

Just a short walk away from the Kendall/MIT Red Line station sits the Garment District, a multi-story thrift store experience. I went to visit the store and upon entering, I was greeted immediately with vibrant colors and retro décor. Going upstairs, I found a massive expanse of curated new and used clothing. With over 12,000 square feet of retail space, the Garment District is almost too large to comprehend. 


The upper level is meticulously organized by size, color, and style, making it easy to find items despite the store’s massive size. The upper level of the Garment District is perfect for those interested in a more curated thrift experience and are willing to pay extra for the convenience of specific items being accessible. While I found this pricing beyond my budget, I still really enjoyed exploring this part of and looking through these sought-after pieces, from varsity jackets to vintage Levi’s or collectible shoes.


While the upstairs of Garment District is carefully curated, with prices to match, the downstairs features a unique by-the-pound section. In this area, a variety of clothes and shoes are splayed across the floor. I received a clear plastic trash bag and began my venture into the piles. While the large amount of clothing was initially intimidating, once I began digging, I found several desirable pieces easily. There was also a communal feeling established with other shoppers going through the clothing. As the name implies, this section is charged by-the-pound, costing a mere two dollars per pound as weighed at checkout. Ultimately, I left with six items, spending less than ten dollars on high-quality items from known brands. I left feeling more rewarded for discovering these pieces from the piles and spending very little on them.  


I would highly recommend any avid thrifters or vintage-lovers to visit the Garment District. Thrift stores can often be hit-or-miss, largely depending on luck, timing, and where donations come from. In contrast, vintage boutiques reliably carry sought-after items but tend to be more expensive. The Garment District offers curated vintage options on the upper floor but with a much larger inventory and generally lower pricing than boutiques. It also offers the incredibly affordable by-the-pound experience, which makes numerous high-quality pieces available with a little extra effort. The Garment District is an alternative shopping experience that should be explored by anyone interested in expanding their wardrobe with unique and fashionable pieces.

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