Friday, January 25, 2013

Economy Shop - Oak Park

In the interest of full disclosure, the Economy Shop in Oak Park, IL is my favorite thrift store. Beyond all the stuff jammed into this place, there are so many things for which they are to be commended including volunteerism, charity, and of course, great prices! 

The Economy Shop

A little background: It all started in 1919 and the shop has been at its current location since 1924. It is volunteer run, all the merchandise is donated, and all the proceeds are divided between six Oak Park charities - The Day Nursery of Oak Park and River Forest, The Children's Clinic, Thrive Counseling Center, Hephzibah Children's Association, The Animal Care League, and OPRF Senior Citizens' Center.

 Now to the stuff!

Hats on display in the accessory's room.

The Economy Shop is housed in a large residence at the corner of South Blvd. and Grove. The stuff is sorted into rooms: women's better clothes, women's leisure clothes, men's clothes, gifts, antiques, housewares, accessories, shoes, books, toys, crafting supplies, and children's clothes, oh my! Each room supports one of the six charities and you pay as you go. Find a cute dress in the women's better clothes room? You pay for it there. Find a birthday card for your mom in the gift's room? Pay for it there.

They really do have a little of everything which means that you could spend several hours looking through stuff. Like most large thrift stores, you'll have to sift through some of the bad to get to the good. On the plus side, they rotate the clothing by season, so you won't be sifting through winter sweaters in the spring.

The first few times I shopped here, I stayed way too long and bought a few things I didn't need and never used. Now, I always go in with a plan. I decide what I need and what rooms I am willing to look through before I even walk through the door. Otherwise, I risk walking out with an 80s-style party dress (black velvet and teal ruffles!) or over-the-top fur coat (whoa!).

The major downside is that the Economy Shop is not open 7 days a week. It's really only open once a week or every other week. They keep an updated schedule posted on their website, so plan accordingly. It is well worth a visit!

What is this? I have no idea, but it costs $25.

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