Best Of 2021

Readers Poll Winner Highlight — Best Vintage or Used Clothing Store: Out of the Closet
Photo by Matthew Moyer

Although it's new to Orlando, Out of the Closet is a well-established thrift store chain, founded 30 years ago in Los Angeles. But you all showed big love to the store, even though the Orlando outpost has only been open since February — barely enough time to make it into the first round of write-in voting. Maybe that's because Out of the Closet offers much, much more than simply used clothing and housewares. Part of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Out of the Closet stores offer free rapid HIV testing as well as an AHF pharmacy, providing a convenient place for clients to pick up their medications. Even better, 96 cents of every dollar taken in at OTC goes toward providing HIV/AIDS care to those in need. Orlando has one of the highest infection rates in the country, and although the LGBT+ Center and the Hope & Help Center both also offer free testing, more options can only mean more opportunities to save lives. But in addition to the mission, it's clear shoppers have taken to OTC's assortment of men's and women's clothes, furniture, dishes, decor, books and albums. It would be easy to attribute the above-average selection to some stereotype of gay tastefulness, but the truth is that the store has been overwhelmed with donations, what with Goodwill and the Salvation Army both taking PR knocks in recent years. Whatever the reason, they've arrived with a bang. Welcome! (

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