Without fail, every time I post a photo of a thrift store find I get asked, which thrift store??
Although I sincerely empathize with the excitement over a great piece, I also always think to myself, does it really matter? I found the only one there!
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized maybe it does matter. Perhaps all thrift store’s are not created equal, and some just get better stock of things, but then I thought about it some more, and I went back to thinking that wait no, it’s only partially about the store, but mostly about your ability to pluck out the gems. Besides having an eye for colors and textures though, the truth of the matter is that what I may be going in there searching for, is very likely quite different than the stuff you would be looking for, since we all have a unique idea and capability to see the potential in these discarded items, that’s what makes us love thrift shopping in the first place, isn’t it?
So the other factor I’ve become more aware of the last couple of years, is that each person’s vision and ideas about the potential of a piece and how it can be incorporated into their wardrobe plays a large role in what they might find. With all of that being said, I have compiled a list of my most frequented vintage and thrift stores along the tri-state area. I’ve also made sure to mention what they are particularly good for, and whether they are great for men as well. Hope this is helpful, and maybe I’ll see you there!
Goodwill: Ok this is an obvious one, yet there are ones that I frequent more often than others. I have had particular luck at the one in Chelsea on 25th street between 6th and 7th avenue. The other location is on 135th street and 5th avenue, yep Harlem.
Housing Works: Good prices and a good cause? There’s no way to go wrong with a visit to the multiple locations around the city. Everything from apparel for men and women, jewelry, home goods. Check out this LINK for all the locations around the city.
The Cure Thrift Shop: A newbie to the vintage and thrift store scene, this little gem in the east village is a cute and well curated place for all things from adorable vintage dresses, sweaters and accessories, to amazing records and home decor. Men’s clothes are also available. Check out the website for location and other details. http://www.curethriftshop.com/
Village Style & No Relations: Both part of the L Train vintage crew, these two shops along 1st avenue provide a great selection of affordable vintage for men and women. I’ve found amazing leather jackets (my bomber from THIS recent post) dresses and handbags for great prices. The men’s sweaters are also worth a peek, for you can score some great oversized pieces. www.ltrainvintage.com
Beacon’s Closet: Along with a few locations in Brooklyn, this buy-trade spot is great for guys and girls like myself who love to constantly refresh their wardrobe without spending a billion dollars. Bring a bag of stuff you no longer need (make sure they are in good condition and seasonally relevant) and swap em out for new stuff! Best deal in town. The Manhattan location, a more recent addition is not as large as the Williamsburg one, but still carries plenty of goodies (as a matter of fact, I recently scored an amazing pair of Alexander Wang sandals here for $50!) 13st Street, between 5th and 6th ave.
Buffalo Exchange: There are a few locations strewn both in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I love the one on Driggs in Williamsburg. They always have a ton of shoes and bags, and great dresses too. Trade in your old clothes here as well, but expect to wait a bit longer because you have to be present while they look through your stuff (unlike Beacon’s Closet, where you can just drop it off and shop in the meantime). Click HERE for exact locations.
Vice Versa: Located in the heart of Williamsburg right off the Bedford L train station, this amazing store offers a huge selection of vintage dresses, tops, coats, jackets, vests and leather and fur goods for amazing prices. You have to dig, but it’s worth it. Located at 241 Bedford Avenue between N 3 and 4.
Amarcord: This distinguished and well curated vintage shop sells European vintage gems and plenty of them. With two locations, one in lower Manhattan and one in Williamsburg, you’re sure to find a stand out piece. Be ready to dish out a little bit more but it’s well worth it. http://amarcordvintagefashion.com/
Salvation Army: Yes there are SA’s everywhere, but certain areas are more picked through than others, so I tend to stick to the remote ones in Queens. For locations check out the website.
Goodness Gracious Thrift Shoppe: You really have to dig around here, but it’s hidden enough and not picked through enough that cool finds are bound to happen. 3013 30th Avenue, Astoria.
Goodwill: Located on Steinway St. near Broadway, this is the home of some great finds of mine, for example, a pair of Derek Lamb shoes for $15.
Pin Up Queens: The awesome ladies who opened up this shop in Queens, knew we were missing this kind of place and did they nail it. Giana and Jessica constantly freshen up their stock of amazing vintage picks and the prices are killer. Definitely worth the trip! http://www.pinupqueensnyc.com/
Loveday 31: One of the first vintage shops located in the heart of Astoria, Queens, this staple consistently provides vintage fashion at affordable prices. It’s also where I bought my first vintage Coach bag about 5 years ago! http://loveday31.com/
The Brooklyn Flea: Held every weekend in two different Brooklyn locations, it’s a great place for shopping and eats. http://www.brooklynflea.com/
The Manhattan Vintage Show: Held twice a year, this amazing vintage show explodes with vendors from all over the country, with the best picks. http://manhattanvintage.com/
Artists and Fleas: This great little market provides a place to shop for local designer goods and cool little vintage finds. http://www.artistsandfleas.com/
The Antiques Garage: Great spot for vintage finds located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. http://www.hellskitchenfleamarket.com/home/
Last but not least, if you have a smart phone, get the Thrift Buddy App, it’s a great way to find thrift stores around you.