With the new year well underway, I have felt a renewed urge to spruce up my dorm room and wardrobe for the spring months ahead. I absolutely love floral fabrics, pastel accessories and bright colors. I also happen to be a junior in college with very little extra funds to spend. As college students, many of you are most likely facing a similar financial hardship, so I figured I would take you along with me to some of the best thrift stores, flea markets, and antique stores in Connecticut. The great part about “treasure hunting” is that you can find really cool things at a great price, which are often not available at retail stores.
1) Bethlehem Flea Market
Don’t be alarmed when you first turn down the road and see what appears to be an oversized garage. Follow the signs that read “Enter here” and you are in for a big surprise. This indoor flea market is located in a sprawling space with an incredible variety of goods. From one dollar books and movies, to pineapple lamps and baskets of every shape and size there is a lot to see. Look up and you will find a massive collection of chairs along the high ceiling. Paintings, wall decor, clothing and records are just a few of the many items found in Bethlehem Flea Market.
2) Fashion Exchange Newtown
This thrift store located in a historic 18th-century pink house in Newtown, Connecticut is truly one of a kind. Featuring vintage clothing, shoes and accessories, this is the perfect place to find unique pieces. The selection features fancy dresses, jewelry, outerwear and purses. They also offer used designer items such as Gucci and Prada. This is a great way to feel luxurious at an affordable price.
3) Plato’s Closet, South Windsor
Plato’s Closet is a great stop to shop for lightly-used modern fashion. Organized by color, type and brand, the racks are easy to navigate. Some of the featured brands I’ve found include Free People, Madewell, Anthropologie and Lululemon. They will also buy your gently worn clothes; what better way is there to go shopping and make money!
4). Elephants Trunk, New Milford
Even though the Elephant Trunk outdoor flea market is closed for the season, I had to include it in the list. Opening again in the spring, every weekend will feature different vendors, so there are always new treasures to be found. This is a great place to look for unique apartment furniture and decor at great prices before move-in day next fall!
5). Farmhouse Antiques, Woodbury
Woodbury, ConnecticutT is known for itstheir vast variety of antique stores and makes for a great day trip destination. One of my favorites is Farmhouse Antiques. I love the cute and original home decor, like their collection of old rolling pins. I also enjoyed looking through the books, decorative storage cratess, and embroidered pillows. It’s like stepping is almost as if you stepped back in time!
5). The Bookbarn, Niantic
If you love to read, or know someone who does,, you should definitely check out the Bookbarn. Home to over 500,000 used books spread across three historic and charming barns, the New Haven Advocate named it the, “Best Used Bookstore to Get Lost In.” They also offer complimentary tea, coffee, and cookies for hungry book hunters. Be sure to stop and say hello to the resident animals: -TtThree cats and goats!
Before you head out on your treasure hunt, remember to keep a budget in mind, and a list of the exact items you are looking for. It can be overwhelming when faced with such a variety of good deals and it helps to stay focused. Also, have fun! You are in for an exciting, unique shopping experience.
Thumbnail photo courtesy of Fashion Exchange Newtown on Facebook.
Kate Luongo is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.