In the whirlwind of snow and kids going back to school last week, I never blogged about our trip to Plato's Closet.
I was skeptical and so were the girls but I figured it was worth a try. It just sounded so utopian, a thrift store geared toward teens that carried designer labels only and had a clothing buy back program? The closest store to us was in Albany, about an hour and 15 minutes away, and basically on our way to the Adirondacks. The plan was to let the girls shop at Plato's Closet while we explored Albany.
Note to parents of preteen girls - You may not know this yet but once your daughter becomes a teenager, you are the uncoolest thing in your daughter's life. You have no fashion sense and are embarassing to shop with. You obviously want your daughter to be a social pariah because of your desire to have her dress like a little girl (ie. most parts of the torso covered). That having been said, daughters are much easier to deal with clothes-wise when they are paying for their own clothes, with their own money. They suddenly become better shoppers (ie. I'm not paying $5 for that cami, there's nothing to it).
The store was clean, well organized and appealed to my daughters immensely. They had brought a bag of clothes to sell and the salesperson was very helpful. They had been afraid she might be "wierd" about it. They left the clothes with her while they began shopping. Once their "buy" had been calculated their name was put on a chalk board so they new without asking that she had finished going through their clothes and was ready to make them an offer. The transaction itself can be done while checking out when you're done shopping.
Once the bargain hunting was well underway, Jim, the boys and I went exploring and stumbled quite by accident onto the Honest Weight Food Coop. If you ever find yourself in Albany, NY you have to check this place out. The staff is friendly, the selection is amazing, food made on site is delicious and reasonably priced. The vegan BLT is awesome!
Back at Plato's Closet, I ventured in, risking the wrath of the teens but they were too busy loading up with bargains. The girls had spent about an hour and a half there and could easily have spent more. Once at the register, they discovered the clothing they had brought in to sell wasn't what Plato's Closet was looking for (ie. last years style, too worn) to which Leenie responded, "Well duh, that's why I was getting rid of them." The girls were given the option to take the clothes back or to let the store donate them to a local shelter. They opted to donate them.
They each spent about $50. Leenie got three pairs of jeans (some name brand that meant a lot to her but nothing to me!) and several shirts. Tasha got two pairs of pants and 5 shirts. Now that both of them are working, they would like to make this a monthly pilgrimage. This is definitely a more palatable thrift store experience for teens than digging through the clothes at the Salvation Army, although SA is still my favorite place to treasure hunt. Aside from the great clothing selection, the nicest thing from a teen point of view was how teen friendly the store staff was. It's definitely worth a trip.