Great Thrift Shops – L’Express

TESTED FOR YOU. Dramatic rise in inflation, the cost of groceries, petrol… we can’t figure it out: the year 2022 threatens to flatten the wallets of families. Looking for ways to save money and be greener, members of the editorial staff of The Express Magazine “tested for you” a shopping experience little known among the over-35s: thrift stores.

Knowing that all countries in the world will celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and that the clothing industry is responsible for its share of pollution, the team has enthusiastically selected three thrift stores: second-hand (boulevard Foucault), Village des Valeurs (boulevard Saint-Joseph) and Ex&co (rue Jogues).

Aiming to find a complete outfit for the office, quiet days at the weekend or for a “5 to 7” style outing, the testers were pleasantly surprised that they could find everything without any problems. †

Lise Tremblay, 46 years old – Second hand thrift store

Navy jumpsuit ($12), Louis Vuitton coat ($40) and white sandals ($15). Billing Fee for Office or Restaurant Clothing: $67. Photo was taken at the Comptoir lunch restaurant. (Photo Ghyslain Bergeron)

Price: $$$$

Quality : ****

Choice : ****

Experience : ****

“From the very beginning I have to say that I have never set foot in a thrift store. Stimulated by the beautiful youth of the editorial staff, I took up the challenge and went to poke around this new store near me. As soon as I walked in I was very surprised to find a brand of summer jacket (Louis Vuitton) for sale for forty dollars. No folding. No stain. I took it spontaneously! The owner, Alexandra Tremblay, welcomed me with open arms and offered me different outfits with great enthusiasm. Although other customers did a bit of shopping, she took the time to show me the size of her “collection” of pairs of shoes. Most, however, had heels that were clearly too ambitious for my comfy little feet in sneakers.

Much to my surprise, I found the perfect outfit for the office or a night out in less than thirty minutes, a a piece open on the side, which will undoubtedly be very popular when the mercury rises above 30 degrees Celsius, as well as flat sandals.

Overall, I was very surprised by the pieces found on the spot; most were clean, well sorted by size and color. The second-hand thrift store is considered a little more “luxurious” than the others. Ms. Tremblay even sold a colorful jacket to the Star Académie team a few weeks ago. She also sells various objects, such as frames, books, jewelery boxes, watches, etc.

Cynthia Giguère-Martel, 36 years old – Ex&co thrift shop

Price: $

Quality : ****

Choice : ****

Experience : *****

Dress ($1) and leggings ($1). Office wear bill fees and 5 to 7: $2. The photo was taken in the Looba resto bar. (Photo Ghyslain Bergeron)

“Rare are the times in my life when I went shopping in a thrift store; I can count them on one hand. During my visit to Ex&co I was pleasantly surprised by the choice. The offer is interesting without being too overwhelming. That’s perfect for me, because I admit, I’m not the “digger” type. Barely ten minutes after I entered, to my surprise, five pieces of laundry were hanging from my basket. I saw a lot of clothes from my favorite stores, such as Dynamite, Le Château and Colori, but also some brands, such as Zara and Mexx. However, keep in mind that stock is limited for men.

Everything related to sweaters, blouses, jackets, shirts, etc. is classified by size, which makes the investigation easier. However, for pants, shorts, skirts and dresses, you’ll have to dig a little deeper, as you’ll find them all on the same wall.

I have only good words for the reception. As soon as I arrived they explained to me how it worked and offered me help if needed. I also got some tips.

And what about the prices at the time of my visit: everything was on sale for $1 each!

Only downside, I ran into a few stained and perforated pieces. If for some it turns out to be details that, at the limit, can be corrected, it is enough for me not to buy the garment, even if it is not expensive.

My mission was to find a set for myself that could be worn both during the day in the office and in the evening on a 5 to 7, which I failed to do during my visit. Let me explain: all my finds came down to peaks; I couldn’t find any pants, skirts, or dresses that fit my needs. The consultant on site then suggested that I come back in a few days when tons of new songs are offered daily. Ten days later, I walked out with eight more clothes, including leggings and two dresses. The consultant had even been so kind as to arrange some for me.

In short, I am so satisfied with my purchases that I am now going to include thrift stores in my consumption pattern.”

Louis-Philippe Samson, 26 – Waardedorp

Price: $$$

Quality : ***

Choice : *****

Experience : ***

“For my part, I went shopping for a set in the Village des Valeurs. Not being a regular at thrift stores, it was one of the few times in my life that I went to this store. I was pleasantly surprised by the choice for customers. I should point out that I only searched the men’s section, but the women’s displays were much more numerous in the Drummondville facility. Each row is dedicated to a type of garment and each row is separated according to the size of the items. I even found items from brands like Hugo Boss, Mexx, Jack & Jones and Tommy Hilfiger. The overall quality of the clothing seemed good to me, but some items clearly looked more worn.

Shirt ($12), t-shirt ($8.50) and jeans ($14). Casual Wear Bill Fee: $34.50. The photo was taken in the Bistro de la Gare. (Photo Ghyslain Bergeron)

Not knowing exactly what kind of set I wanted, I flipped through each shelf one at a time to see what was available. After sifting through jackets, shirts and sweaters, I decided to go for a casual ensemble. After about 40 minutes, I had dug up a Rue Saint-Patrick short-sleeved shirt, a gray American Eagle t-shirt, and jeans. With the exception of a few tears in the shirt collar, the clothes I have chosen appear to be in good condition. I’m quite happy with my choices.

However, I encountered a small problem with my jeans choice. The first pair I bought turned out to be too small for me. Because no fitting rooms were available due to company policy around COVID-19, I couldn’t make sure the size was right before buying. Fortunately, Value Village offers the option to exchange the items within 14 days of purchase, which I did. I don’t know if I’ll be going to thrift stores often, but it’s nice to know that sometimes you can find little treasures there.”

Tips and benefits

In addition to saving on clothes, shopping at thrift stores has certain benefits.

“People would benefit from using more thrift stores for the planet, with the goal of recycling. There are tons of clothes that end up in the landfill. So you can shop in an eco-responsible way and save at the same time. We kill two birds with one stone”, says the owner of Friperie Ex&co, Nathaly Roy.

One of the best tips for finding clothes at thrift stores, this one tells you to be wary of newbies, either by going there once in a while or checking the Facebook pages of these companies.

“And that doesn’t mean we won’t find anything once that we won’t make a great discovery the next time,” she underlines, pointing out that there are two types of consumers: those who look at each of the pieces and those who go there. according to their wishes and needs.

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