Shopping for new and used clothing in Costa Rica
TICONUEVO | JUNE 26, 2014
In this blog, I will cover shopping for new and used clothing as well as leather. Some of those are inexpensive by comparison between Costa Rica and North America. Pretty much every inexpensive good or service mentioned in this blog is a result of Costa Rica having such a low cost of labor.
There are many more solutions that involve a high percentage of labor compared with a smaller percentage of raw materials; putting the resulting cost below that of getting it made or repaired farther up North.
While I believe that there are few, if any, leather tanning facilities Costa Rica, factory made and handmade leather goods can be very affordable when compared to comparable leather items in the States. I had custom-fitted western-style leather boots handmade, which included decorative stitching plus clones of my prescription orthopedics. My wife had custom-fitted leather boots handmade with decorative leather lacing and decorative stitching. Each pair cost us $175.00. Similar custom boots, if you could even find handmade boots, would easily double or triple in cost in North America.
Getting custom made boots is very affordable in Costa Rica
Off-the-shelf clothes are often not found in the “inexpensive” column here in Costa Rica. However, virtually every town we’ve visited here has one or more used clothing stores featuring “Ropa Americana.” These clothing stores feature “as is” garments imported from the U.S. and Canada , but if you are not opposed to buying and wearing previously owned clothing, there are some good deals to be found. (We know folks who have purchased some stylish, first-quality designer labels for five or ten dollars.)
Ropa Americana store
Every town also has several seamstresses. They don’t always have a storefront so you may have to ask around, but having garments handmade is a common practice here and also very affordable. You find the fabric, go to the seamstress, get measured and show them a sample or a photo of the design you want and “voilá” you’ll usually get back a well made piece of new clothing you’ll be delighted to wear. You can also get that Ropa Americana garment you just bought or a favorite piece of clothing you already own altered or repaired, very, very inexpensively.
Shoe repair also falls into the inexpensive category and it probably pays to get your favorite zapatos repaired rather than to toss them out.
The author of this blog, Ticonuevo, is a US expat who moved to Costa Rica and used the services of GoDutch Realty to purchase a property in Costa Rica. In his blogs, Ticonuevo describes his own experiences of taking the step of moving to Costa Rica and getting a new life started.