Thrift Tour: Palm Springs Edition



A couple of years ago I tried thrifting in Palm Springs but was unsuccessful. Still, it left me even more intent on finding the hidden gems of secondhand clothing shops in this desert paradise. When I visited the Ace in the summer, I went to The Living Desert and lo and behold, a copious amount of thrift stores were spotted on the drive down. JACKPOT! When I went back to the Ace a couple of months ago, it was obviously not tanning weather so we decided to do the next best thing…THRIFT! And because I love chu all, I made a thrifting treasure map so you can embark on your own Palm Springs Thrift Tour!

Start at the Ace and drive for about 20 minutes or so down Highway 111 and you will see TONS of thrift shops. Scattered throughout Coachella Valley are two major resale chains: Revivals and Angel View Thrift. We also found a few scary hole in the wall places (where you could buy bags filled with used panties… Anyone?) but our best luck was at the aforementioned spots.


This weird cobalt blue half sweatshirt/half knit sweater caught my eye right away. I think I’ll add a cluster of brooches à la Karlito and wear it with leggings and my gold pizza earring for a casual weekday, Claudia Kishi-type of vibe.

thrift tour

My childhood fantasies of being an In Living Color flygirl finally became reality as soon as I put on this multi-colored jacket! I swear my hair suddenly turned into a spiral perm and I immediately started talking in a Rosie Perez accent. Little did I know this was only the beginning of many more outrageous jackets to come.


thrift tour

Leyla scored a set of Time-Life books from the 70′s filled with pictures a Tumblr can only dream about. My favorite photos included these of ladies smuggling booze in their boots and dresses during the Prohibition. GALS AFTER MY OWN HEART.

thrift tour

I told you the jackets were only going to get more majestic during this thrift tour.

thrift tour

Crazy studded purple suede thang. If only I had a matching church hat and a motorcycle to go with it…PURPLE REIGN.

thrift tour

Which one of my lucky friends is receiving this horse vest?

thrift tour

At Angel View there was a great selection of vintage slips. I settled on these two hot pink ones. Love! All in all, we had a pretty good thrift tour and we didn’t even get to all of the shops! Highway 111 really is a paradise for us thrift lovers.

Now as many of you seasoned thrifters know, thrifting is 50% luck and 50% “how can I work this mutha?” so here are a few tips to check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.

  • Be in a relaxed frame of mind because you will definitely need some patience rummaging through these racks of clothes and shelves of tchotchkes.  It can get pretty dangerous out there. The crowds, the smells, the overwhelming sensation of strange hands OMG. You don’t want to have THRIFT RAGE (similar to Road Rage.)
  • Remember to thoroughly check for holes and stains and decide if they could easily be fixed and removed before purchasing. Yes, that cute pastel schoolgirl blouse looks good from here but make sure it doesn’t have YELLOW PITS. I remember when I was in high school during the thrifting prime of the mid 90′s, one of my friends found TOENAIL CLIPPINGS inside one of her thrifted shirt pockets. VOMITROCIA INDEED! So be careful you guys.
  • Wear comfy clothing like leggings and t-shirts you can easily slip skirts and sweaters over to try on since 90% of the time thrift stores don’t have dressing rooms.
  • Be practical about pricing. Thrifting is not as cheap as it used to be so have a budget and know what is worth your wallet. On that note, too bad this work of art was a whopping $95! I would have gladly added it to my collection.

thrift tour


1 Leyla { 03.09.11 at 8:33 pm }

BAHAHHAHA. “May I join you ladies?”

Love it.

2 Tammy Faye { 03.09.11 at 8:45 pm }

Ouh good lawd gurl! That picture with the fly girls hahaha surprised you didn’t see any feathered tophat/abominations to match with all those jackets…bring that shit back and sell em along with your cake hats maybe?
That sexy lady artwork is truly amazing, but who the hell they think they is charging that much! I woulda smuggled it out under my dress.

3 mels { 03.09.11 at 8:47 pm }

“TOENAIL CLIPPINGS inside one of her thrifted shirt pockets. VOMITROCIA INDEED! So be careful you guys.”
BWHAHAHAHAHAghhjhjghkvj!!!!! Your so funny! :D love u!

4 melina bee { 03.10.11 at 12:40 am }

ew, how/why would toenail clippings even get into a shirt pocket?!
that’s super generous of you to make a thrift map and name all your favorite stores. the jackets are awesome, especially the multicolored one

5 jesika { 03.10.11 at 1:50 am }

Omg, that in living color jacket is so fucking fabulous I could die!! It looks hawt on you, damn gurl! I love the sleeves with the stars, ugh, *die*.

6 Leah { 03.10.11 at 10:41 am }

I am in Palm Springs right now (well, La Quinta)! It is my last day, and sadly I was with my family and boyfriend, none of whom have the patience for thrift shopping. And I don’t drive. So I had to stare mournfully at Angel View etc. from the window of a moving car. So I am jealous! Next time I am here I am gonna go nuts with all the thrift stores and consignment shops.

7 The Pussy Blues { 03.10.11 at 2:29 pm }

You did NAWT just say ‘Claudia Kishi’

Gurl, yo just made my day.

8 Jolene Frances { 03.11.11 at 12:02 am }

Yesss! You should be a flygirl <3

9 Eli { 03.11.11 at 11:47 pm }

Tell me you bought that hot air balloon jacket?!

If you like Palm Springs thrifting, you’d probably die over Vegas thrifting. It’s probably worth the 3 hour drive, you should really check it out soon.

10 Rikki { 03.14.11 at 3:03 pm }

Waaaaaaa!!! All of those jackets are brilliant!

11 Afef { 03.14.11 at 4:01 pm }

Hahahhaa that prohibition fashion is pretty useful for today too :p – perfect for smuggling a bottle at a club hehehe!

12 WendyB { 03.15.11 at 3:23 pm }

I love the multicolored jacket! And your photoshop work!

13 Karlito { 03.16.11 at 1:32 am }

I seriously need your Jesus-like guidance next time I go thrifting! (I found a love letter in my coat pocket once. So TRAGIC!) And I wish I had known that Palm Spring’s had majestic thrift stores! It seriously would have beat running away from the casino cops. (long stury I’ll save for l8rz) And you mentioned me! *ughcreys4eva*

14 Karlito { 03.16.11 at 1:33 am }

And that ‘In Living Colors’ picture you shopped has me bawling with laughter! Luv choo!

15 Mallory { 03.18.11 at 11:40 am }

That Fly Girls style jacket with the stars is AMAZING! LOVING it – this post is making wish I hadn’t gotten rid of certain crazy thrift store finds. (Like my leopard shirt and leopard dress – what is it about leopards and thrifting???)

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