Though I rarely make it out to the Family Thrift Center, in Wheat Ridge, at 3777 Kipling Street, I always find amazing deals when I do, so I keep it on my radar. Family Thrift happens to be across the street from my favorite diner, the Apple Ridge Café, which I like to call Apple Bottom, because it’s so much more fun. In my opinion, any visit to Family Thrift Center necessitates stopping by Apple Ridge for a taste of their amazing pancakes and other assorted tasty breakfast treats. While I recommend breaking your fast at Apple Ridge before going to Family Thrift Center, I also recommend pacing yourself. I tell you this because after stuffing myself on said pancakes and breakfast treats, I found that I was moving a bit sluggishly when I got to Family Thrift.
Family Thrift Centers benefit the SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) Foundation, which provides outreach and educational services for children and families dealing with the disorder as well as therapists who are interested in learning more about helping children dealing with sensory processing issues. “Sensory processing” is a term that refers to the way that the body handles the signals that it receives. In children with SPD, the signals are received improperly, causing their systems to under or overreact to stimuli. Depression, anxiety, social problems and various other issues can result. The money that you spend at Family Thrift Center goes towards helping the Foundation to create a better life for the children it serves.
On Saturdays, everything but “current color” tags (items that have only been out for a week) is 50% off at Family Thrift but, according to Vice President Myra Childs, any day is a good day to stop by the store. Hundreds of new articles of clothing hit the floor every day, including items from designers like Chloe and Louis Vuitton. While designer items sometimes have considerably higher prices, the rest of their goods retail for less than a lot of area thrift stores, with men’s and women’s clothing selling for anywhere from $2.89 to $10.89 and shoes from $2.89 to $8.89. Because the selection at Family Thrift Center stays so fresh, and the prices are so affordable, the store is quite popular with ebay dealers who, according to Childs, sometimes stop by the store as often as two to three times a day!
When I stopped by yesterday and had a nice look around I certainly was not disappointed. From a beautiful beaded vintage purse in the jewelry case to an exquisite (and impossible for me to photograph) beaded dress on the floor, the selection (for those willing to dig) did not disappoint.
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According to the August issue of Elle magazine, fashion this fall harkens back to dance clubs circa 1981 with studded leather and low-crotched, tight ankled pants amongst the retro looks making frequent appearances on the runways and in designer showrooms. I thought I’d have a look around and see what I’d come up with at Family Thrift that could suit Fall 2008’s specific retro aesthetic. Amongst the women’s clothing, I found several jumpsuits that, with their low crotches and tapered legs, were a good match for what I was seeking. By pushing up the tapered legs to about mid-calf, slipping on a pair of ankle boots, and leaving a few buttons undone at the chest, one could look effortlessly thrown together in a piece that cost a mere $4.95.
In the coat section, amongst real furs priced at just $20 to $25 and a Saks Fifth Avenue leather coat with a faux fur collar, I happened upon a fake leather jacket that was covered in all kinds of metallic details. Perhaps a little too much, but at just $5.95, one could afford to take that risk. With a white tank, fitted jeans and black high heeled shoes, it had the potential to look devastatingly sexy.
So, next time you find yourself with a hankering to thrift, and hungry for assorted delicious breakfast treats, make your way over to Wheat Ridge Family Thrift Center and Apple Ridge Café. The selection is ever changing, the prices are right, and the pancakes are divine.
-- TaRosa Jacobs