Thrifting in Wellesley

We’ve been all too profligate lately, so we decided it was time to buckle down and get thrifty again, sartorially speaking.  There are a few places in town where, if you play your cards right, you can find some fabulous new-to-you threads that come with a price tag that not even a Wal-Mart clearance rack can beat. And besides, thrifting is currently very cool, with celebrities getting in the game just so they can rub elbows with those who are looking for the same things they are — wardrobe items with a bit of flair that not everybody else has.

The first celebrity that comes to mind is Macklemore, of course, who sings the thrifter’s anthem with his chart-topping single, “Thrift Shop,” plus the man thrifts for real, and has been ever since he was a kid. Jada Pinkett Smith has also been known to seek out a stylish bargain.  And a source no less reliable than The National Enquirer reports that Julia Roberts loves to go thrifting with her kids.

I set out on this adventure to find what I could find on a budget that, true enough, exceeded Macklemore’s, who does it all with only $20 in his pocket.  But this is Wellesley, and allowances must be made.  Purists will tell you that our stores don’t cut it as true thrift stores because they’re just not gritty enough.  Nonsense, it’s all in the attitude, and one simply must make do, so purists be damned, it’s thrifting because I  say it is. So please, no lectures in the comments section about Swellesley-ites not truly understanding the concept, or accusations of appropriation.

Here’s a handy list of the places I checked out:

Newton-Wellesley HospitalI started out at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital campus to check out The Thrift Shop in the Alan-Riddle building at 574 Washington St. that, while technically not in Wellesley, seemed close enough.  The shop, which sells clothing for the whole family and household odds and ends, depends entirely on tax-deductible donations and is run by the Newton-Wellesley Auxillary. Proceeds are used for the development of Hospital services and facilities. Which is all very well and good, but my quibble with The Thrift Shop is their lack of parking.  They offer only a few spaces and if they’re taken, as they always are, then it’s off to the parking garage where you must pay for parking and then face a healthy walk to the shop.  I’m on this 10,000 steps per day kick right now anyway, so the walk was all to the good.  But I seriously resent having to pay to park at a thrift shop.  It’s incongruous.  It rankles.  I can’t bear it.  In case you’re not quite such a drama queen about it all, regular hours during the fall are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Elan consignmentElan Fine Consignments  402 Washington St.  Open since last winter, Elan carries women’s apparel, shoes, and accessories.  Similar in feel and merchandise to Second Time Around, the shop takes consignments of high-end items.  In other words, they’re not here to sell last year’s Gap t-shirts. An Elizabeth & James t-shirt is ok though, and you know the difference, right?

If you’re buying, expect to pay about half of what the item sold for new, so a strong background in The Price is Right is helpful, but not essential.  If you’re selling on consignment, you get 45% of what the store ultimately sells the item for.

I brought some companions along to Elan, and all five of us came away with something.  I found a casual skirt for $29, and since skirts are what got me into this crazy thrifting lifestyle in the first place, I can’t see myself leaving the life any time soon.  The thing is, pants are a challenge for the short-legged fashionista, and skirts are fun and forgiving. But it’s hard to find the right skirt in a department store, or anywhere, really.  Go into a second-hand store, however, and bam. There are at least 20 skirts right there in my size.  That finding the right size thing is another miracle, but we’ll save the challenges of navigating the fashion industry’s ideas about geometry of women’s bodies for another post.

One of my shopping pals found a beautiful classic tailored Escada blazer perfect for work.  It took the rest of us some time and a cost-benefit analysis to convince her that the $89.10 price was worth it given the dress-code demands of her job, but what are friends for?  In the end, the great fit won her over and the blazer found its new home. A good thing, too, since a later web search revealed that similar blazers on the Escada site were going for $1,200.

Second Time Around, located at 574 Washington St.  Similar to Elan, only a bit bigger.   Open Monday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sundays noon – 6:00 p.m.  Always a good selection of designer bags and a solid showing of all things preppy, including lots of Lily Pulitzer and Tory Burch.

Schofield shoppers cornerThe Schofield Elementary School PTO-run thrift store, Shoppers’ Corner, is the closest thing we have to true thrifting here in town. I once found a fabulous pair of Tory Burch white jeans in pristine condition for $3.00, which I wore until dinginess set in.  Located in the basement of the school at 27 Cedar St, they get their inventory of clothing for the whole family through either straight-out donations, which are tax-deductible, or by consignment. Shoppers’ Corner is open during the school year Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month, 10:00 a.m. – noon. 

The Turnabout Shoppe, located at 30 Grove St., in no way counts as thrifting, not even for Paris Hilton.  But it’s second-hand goods, and it’s here in Wellesley, so I paid a visit.  Not shopped, mind you.  Paid a visit.  Sort of like to a museum, where you know full well you won’t be buying anything.  While browsing, I tried to imagine what would lead me to actually purchase the $1,000 Chanel dress or the Prada boots for $550.  All I could concoct was a fantasy in which I was an intensely driven young attorney who needed designer threads to be taken seriously in court.  Sort of me as a (brunette), less bubbly version of Legally Blonde. For those of you actually living that dream, the clothes you need to carry (Bradshaw) through on it are here.  Store hours are 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 pm. Monday – Saturday. Closed Sunday.

rdf chairsWellesley Recycling and Disposal Facility  This isn’t the place for clothing, but it’s the go-to place in town for household odds and ends.  Best of all, it’s all free, as long as you’re a Wellesley resident.  That’s right, just buy a house in town for the median price of about a million, and you can have all the salt-and-pepper shakers, holiday decorations, and stuffed animals you want, absolutely free.

It’s not at all unusual to find something that’s a cut above tchotchke, however.  Best find by far this fall at the Give and Take was the pair of Brown Jordan outdoor chairs I loaded into my station wagon a couple of weeks ago.  A quick look at this luxury outdoor furniture’s website listed the price of chairs similar to those I scored at around $400 each.  And to think, I’m just keeping them outside by the fire pit, dripping toasted marshmallow goop all over them.  Hours are Monday – Wednesday, 7:00 a.m. – noon; Thursday and Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.; Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.  Closed Sunday (see here for why).

Before you set out on your own, you might want to expand your research with this outside reading:  Thrifting, the Master Class

Feeling ready to take it beyond the border?  Here are some thrifting spots beyond Wellesley:

The Salvation Army, 215 Worcester Rd., Framingham

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s, 44 Franklin St., Framingham

Boston Consignment, 238 Highland Ave, Needham

The Closet Exchange, 906, 935, and 931 Great Plain Ave., Needham

Lemon Tree Goods, 325 North Main St., Natick



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Morses Pond monster spied in Wellesley

As reader CH puts it: “We are strange people down on the pond.”


MORE: Halloween activities in Wellesley 

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Wellesley High Coach Magpiong explains crossover from boys to girls hoop

Wellesley High boys' basketball team at TD Garden last year (Coach Magpiong in dark shirt toward front left)

Wellesley High boys’ basketball team at TD Garden last year (Coach Magpiong in dark shirt toward front left)

Earlier this week, Wellesley High School announced that Glen Magpiong, the boys’ varsity basketball coach since 2010, would be switching over to coach the girls’ team instead. We caught up with the coach — who is no stranger to coaching girls in basketball — via email to find out why he’s making the move now:

Why the switch from boys to girls?

Because it is the area I think I can make the biggest contribution. Research shows that boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 9 are equally interested in sports. Unfortunately, by the age of 14, girls drop out at a rate that is six times greater than boys.  Having a daughter who played four years at Wellesley High School, attracting girls to the program and building on the existing foundation is a compelling opportunity.

Is part of the thinking here to give the girls team some instant stability, from a known entity (in you) in light of the previous coach not being rehired? 

A known entity in the community at the youth and high school level is definitely one of the reasons why I chose to make the change.

Given your experience with the boys team, will there be any joint things that the teams do?

I hope the new boys coach will want to do things together. I think it could a very powerful environment. We have done things with the two programs in the past and I hope we can build on it.

Anything in particular you learned from coaching the boys that might be applied to the girls?

Not really. Basically, basketball is played on 94 feet of hardwood. The game is the same. I think I read somewhere where Mia Hamm said something like, “Coach us like boys, but treat us like ladies”. Pretty good way of looking at it.

I read that you treated the boys basketball coaching job as a full-time gig given that you had retired from State Farm before moving to the East Coast. Will that be the same case with the girls’ team or have you taken on any day job since then?

I am still a stay-at-home dad (only difference now is that my kids are in college). This is what I do, along with my Pride Basketball Clinics.

P.S.  I mentioned to the coach that I recently broke my right pinky blocking a shot during a basketball game in Wellesley. His advice: “Dont block shots, stay down.”

RELATED: Magpiong rides cross country for ALS awareness

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Filming on Rice Street

Rice Street film shoot IMG_2835Here’s a peek at the film shoot set-up on Rice Street Friday near Wellesley High School. The Wellesley Police were on hand, along with lots of orange cones as well. As we reported earlier this week, neighbors were given a heads up that an all-day film shoot would be taking place for a local company’s Christmas campaign (so an advertising effort of some sort?).

Thanks to a swell reader for passing along the photos and discouraging some of you from nosing around there…

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It’s a dough-over for Wellesley Dunkin’ Donuts on Rte. 9 West

Rte 9 west dunkin donuts wellesley demolished oct 23 2014

Rte. 9 Dunkin’ Donuts in Wellesley is razed

UPDATE (10/24/14 9pm):  Here’s the latest word on the Dunkin’ Donuts on Rte. 9 West in Wellesley:

The Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant at 951 Worcester Rd in Wellesley is currently under construction and if weather permits, construction will be completed within 10-12 weeks. The parking lot will be expanded and separated from the drive thru lane for a more efficient use of space. Donovan Services, the Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee group of the 951 Worcester Rd location, would like to thank our loyal customers for their continued business and their patience during this construction period, and we look forward to serving the community again soon at this location once it re-opens.

Joe Murray, Director of Development for Donovan Services

Dunkin’ Donuts at 951 Worcester St. (Rte. 9 West) in Wellesley has been demolished and now looks kind of like one of those glazed Munchkins at the bottom of a box.

Fences went up around the building late last week, construction crews hit the scene, and then the building was leveled over the past couple of days. A big pile of rubble had formed by Friday morning.

Rte. 9 West Dunkin Donuts, Wellesley MA

Land behind the Rte. 9 Dunkin’ Donuts near Cochituate Aqueduct in Wellesley

At first we thought the shop was just expanding its parking lot, which as anyone who attempts to hit the drive-thru in the morning or tries to drive by on Rte. 9 knows is way too small for the demand. Cars are often hanging into the road, slowing traffic and creating unsafe conditions.

The Wellesley Natural Resources Commission and the town over the past year were involved in acquiring Cochituate Aqueduct land from the state and I believe either sold or leased some of it to Dunkin’ Donuts’ owner (I have an inquiry in to the NRC to clarify that).

A Dunkin’ Donuts rep is also trying to get us details on exactly what’s going on at this location and when it will be re-opened. We’ll update the post when we get that info.

Meanwhile, we just have no idea where you could possibly find another Dunkin’ Donuts in the area…

Rte. 9 West Dunkin Donuts, Wellesley MA

The Rte. 9 West Dunkin’ Donuts was still standing on Wednesday, Oct. 22.




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Wellesley United Soccer sign-ups open

Registration is now open for

Wellesley United Soccer Club Winter Academy Programs

The Winter Academy Training Programs provide opportunities for dedicated and driven players within WUSC to experience high level coaching in a challenging and positive development environment.

Now in our 2nd year, we will be using a Futsal curriculum to further enhance the skill level of our WUSC players. The game is a variant of Soccer which is played on smaller fields with less players and smaller balls. Yet, this condensed version of Soccer facilitates more touches on the ball for each player and encourages teams to pass and dribble their way to success. Usually played indoors, Futsal offers a great opportunity for players to hone their skills regardless of the weather. In addition, the techniques learned from Futsal are directly transferable to the game of Soccer.

When:  January 2015- see individual schedules online for start dates and to register.

Where:  Boston Sports Club (grades K-8), Hunnewell School (Pre-K), Upham School (Goalkeeping)

**Important…the first 18 players registered for each grade will be accepted.

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White Mountain Creamery melts down in Wellesley Square

White mountain creamery closedWe’ve been worried about White Mountain Creamery in recent weeks, with good reason as it turns out.  First came rumblings of financial troubles, with kids looking to get paid for their work. Then a sign on the locked door said a family emergency was keeping the shop closed.  The next sign claimed renovations were to blame.  Finally, the sign we dreaded came: “White Mountain Out of Business.”

So what happened to this much-loved local institution that’s been a part of Wellesley’s ice cream scene since 1985? Could be that it was a case of good old-fashioned market saturation. We remember the days when residents used to face off over which of the three ice cream shops in town was better: Truly Yogurt, Brigham’s or White Mountain. Likely, the owners of White Mountain remember those days of limited competition fondly as well, given that Wellesley now has multiple frozen treat offerings to choose from, all within a not unreasonable walk of each other — Truly Yogurt, JP Licks, Baskin-Robbins, Pinkberry, and Whole Foods staff all await, scoopers in hand.

White Mountain Creamery WellesleyWe’ll miss the ease of finishing up at Old School Pizza and hopping right over to White Mountain on warm summer evenings.  Thanks for participating in the Cone Crawl, White Mountain.  Thanks for the White Mountain sundae, a mountain of ice cream and toppings if ever there was one. For those who can abide only White Mountain ice cream, there is still a location in Chestnut Hill, if you don’t mind the drive.

Thanks to readers Alicia and her sharp-eyed brother for helping us get the scoop on this one.


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Wellesley Council on Aging & Friends of Wellesley Council on Aging present “Reinvest in You”

The Wellesley Council on Aging and the Friends of Wellesley Council on Aging present “Reinvest in You,” a conference and expo bringing together experts who will provide helpful direction and options for healthy, vibrant and successful aging for people approaching new chapters in their life. It will be held at Wellesley High School from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, October 25th

The conference features a research expert from the MIT Age Lab, lifestyle and social media experts from AARP Massachusetts, and retirement planning experts from the Dover Group, along with a health and wellness panel. Many vendors will showcase a variety of resources and options for improving the lives of today’s aging population. The event offers free admission and entertainment.

Keynote Speaker Angelina Gennis, Research Scientist at MIT’s AgeLab, will discuss current findings that how the future of retirement looks Read More »

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Fuller Brook project progressing

Fuller Brook Park restoration underway

Fuller Brook Park restoration underway

The town of Wellesley warns that a section of the Brook Path between Forest St. and Paine St. will be closed starting Thursday, Oct. 23 and continuing until March 2015 as part of the Fuller Brook Park restoration project.  There will be signs up to indicate the pedestrian detour in the field, and the information is also noted on the project’s web page.

Check out the 37-page presentation of the final design recommendations here.

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Peter Pan flies into Wellesley this week

Wellesley Upstage presents: Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up

A Play by J.M. Barrie

Directed by Carrington OBrion ’15

October 23- 26
Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre, Wellesley College
Evening: Thursday, Friday, Saturday @7pm
Matinee: Saturday, Sunday @2pm

Free for Wellesley, MIT, Babson and Olin students with ID;
$5 general admission
Email [email protected] for reservations and for more information

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  • Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers

    Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers