Finds of the Week 7.12.15

July 11, 2015

Black and Brown Store, San Jose

Photo credits: Black and Brown San Jose

Photo credits: Black and Brown San Jose

This week’s finds include two shops, one of which is a popular shopping destination that’s been around for awhile.

The two shops that I’m going to mention this week are Black and Brown and Crossroads Trading Company. Both of the stores are in San Jose and I’m mentioning them because I’ve had recent success at both stores.

I’m not going to comment on the snarky online reviews of these establishments. I’ve said before, YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY. With the evolutionary nature of resale, I do my best to give the benefit of the doubt to possibly uninformed buyers of used clothing.

Black and Brown is located at 850 the Alameda Ste 20, San Jose, CA 95126. I appreciate the layout, cleanliness of the store, and relative friendliness of their buyers. There’s an overall lack of pretension that I appreciate. We’re all in this together and it’s much better to be nice than a big fat meanie.

They’ve got a clean overall presentation and you can find them on Pinterest and Instagram. I’ve gotten a kick from seeing how they’ve presented items that I’ve sold to them on IG.

I DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY when my items don’t sell and I try, try again. I’ve had wonderful experiences in Los Angeles with stores like Crossroads and Buffalo, hit or miss luck at Buffalo Exchange in Seattle, and varying degrees with all three in SF.

Lack of parking and the ensuing hassles are such a disheartening reality in SF, so much that I rarely bother going. My most recent excursions have included shooting a music video or meeting John Waters at a book signing.

I’ve also said it before, I don’t exactly consider myself a fashion blogger. Who am I to tell you what you should wear? We’re all going to the same place in the end, and no one is any better or worse.

What irks me is when people act as if seemingly effortless style is just that, effortless. I wish that I could naturally wake up all put together in some neat package. I’m older and with littles, and reality is different. I wish more people would be forthcoming about that.

One thing I do know is labels, brands, and quality. All three can be mutually exclusive, which is THE a-ha moment that I had a few years ago. Just because something is “designer” doesn’t denote quality and just because something is a no-name brand doesn’t make it poor fitting and inferior.

Persistence is my middle name, but last week I grew annoyed with a bin of things that I hadn’t sold. Some of these items included a vintage Jordache sweater and many fall items. There were various pairs of shoes that I had relisted on eBay with minimal success.

I’m not a summer girl as I tend to wear various shades of black all year. I’m trying to branch out to lighter, textured dresses with mixed results. I’ll never understand nor be the proper demographic for boho, festival fashion, and other trendy things, but to each his own. My proportions are a little odd as I’m still nursing, too.

Crossroads Trading Company has two locations in San Jose and the one that I’ve been going to is the one at 1959 W. San Carlos Ave., San Jose, CA 95128.

It’s notable that they have an impressive men’s section, a decent selection of all manner of shoes, and a wonderful variety of designer and couture items. Just look up and you never know what you might find! It seems that they have a very fast turnover as well and I think that it’s due to their fair prices and that the items are in very good to like new shape.

(Goodwill could learn a thing or two from this Crossroads store about pricing Coach, Kate Spade, Bebe, and those kind of brands. In my humble opinion, Goodwill is getting too big for their britches with what they’re charging lately. It’s hard to make a decent buck from flipping items purchased at Goodwill! The employees of Goodwill can’t even afford to shop there!)

So I’ve loved most of All Saints clothing for many years. It just satisfies my timeless requirements of black, gray, textured, and interesting draping. Check, check, and check. However, my budget with two littles doesn’t permit buying anything new anymore. I also abstain from brand new because why not get a better deal used and also re/up cycle? I have to be creative.

Imagine my shock and delight when I looked up and saw THIS DRESS. I forget the name of the style, but it’s one that I was coveting some time ago. How on earth was it in my size and was marked at ONLY $37.50? I feel bad for the person that had to trade in this dress, but you never know their reasons. I promise that I will give it new life and love it as long as possible!

I knew that I would be going home with it once I put it on! I had a very large bag of goodies waiting to sorted through at the selling counter and was crossing my fingers. I was on a roll that day as they took 20 things from me, which made me very happy! I left with this dress and a decent amount of cash. SCORE!

  If you’re ever in the Northern California area, I highly recommend checking out Black and Brown and Crossroads Trading Company in San Jose.

It’s taken a few months since moving to the East Bay to figure things out. Being away from friends and family is tough, but you know what? You make some new ones, right? I’ve been forging a decent support network and it’s too bad that I didn’t know about either of these stores when I actually lived in Silicon Valley.

Have a great week!




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