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Thrifting in the Liberties

“Thrift shops” (better known in Ireland as “Charity shops”) have become the one-stop shop for bargain fashion.

Preference 1 Thrifting in the liberties

Thrifting in the liberties

A relatively new shopping fad for the Irish, it has all types of people taking these clothing stores seriously when it comes to bagging something fashionable and valuable reduced prices.
Ever since Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ hit song “Thrift Shop” in 2012 the trend has soared in popularity. However, the whole idea of thrifting has always been around, especially in the U.S, but has only been considered as a means of acceptable fashion here in Ireland for the past couple of years.
Each thrift shop is individual and different. Shopping on the high street means at some point you’re bound to have the same item of clothing as someone else. The chances are you’ll pass each other on the street and glance awkwardly, acknowledging that you’re both wearing the same outfit.
This rarely happens with thrifting. Rummaging thoroughly through a charity shop, one can find designer pieces or even 100% pure wool/silk/cashmere garments, which would leave a giant hole in your pocket if it were bought straight from a boutique. Some things in these stores have never been worn either, but you pay a fraction of the price.

Top left clockwise: Kitten Doll & B jewellery making stand, Enable Ireland Books, St Vincent de Paul €2 rail, Oxfam Furniture Shop

Top left clockwise: Kitten Doll & B jewellery making stand, Enable Ireland Books, St Vincent de Paul €2 rail, Oxfam Furniture Shop

Thomas Street is mostly known for being the home of the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and the Vicar Street music venue. However, upon closer examination of the right hand side of the street beyond Vicar Street, towards the city center, one discovers a great choice of thrift shops.
As far as the NCBI charity shop on Thomas Street is concerned, the best day to go thrifting is on a Thursday where everything in the whole store is €2. This shop stocks home-ware, clothes, shoes, books and toys so there’s a little something for everyone. It is currently undergoing renovation but will be back open in a couple of weeks.
The Enable Ireland store is a little further up the street, and is much smaller than the NCBI shop but nevertheless packed with great merchandise and a wide range of books too. Surprisingly, in spite of it being a charity shop, they offer a 20% student discount. It may prove difficult for any scrupulous student to avail of the offer, but it’s there for the taking nonetheless.
Further up from Enable Ireland, one falls upon “Kitten Doll & B”. Although considered a thrift shop, it isn’t a charity shop per se. It is, however, packed with affordable vintage pieces. They also have a corner in the shop dedicated to jewelry making, with all the ingredients to make your own necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings.
If you’ve sieved through them all on Thomas Street, there are more hidden gems on smaller adjacent streets and alleys. Take a detour down Meath Street and you’ll find yourself at a St Vincent de Paul thrift shop on the corner opposite Grainger’s pub.  This charity shop has a great selection of shoes and has three large circular rails assigned to €1, €2 and €3 prices, guaranteeing a bargain.
Turn down onto Francis Street and you’ll arrive at the Oxfam furniture shop that sells an array of home-ware and furniture, most of which is in very good nick too.
Further down from the Oxfam shop lays another vintage store, similar to Kitten Doll & B, named “The Cats Meow”. This shop is a vintage lovers haven. It’s jam-packed with vintage costume pieces, accessories, shoes and coats. It’s slightly more expensive than previous shops mentioned but if you’re passionate about vintage wares then a trip to this place is essential.

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