Macklemore said it best, thrift shops are the way to go!
Shopping in New York City isn’t as easy as it seems, nor is it cheap for your wallet. Whether it is walking down Fifth Ave or stumbling across a quaint little thrift store in Brooklyn, it’s all about instinct, quality, and style.
New Yorkers are finding a way to pay their rent, while still looking fabulous and basking in their daily Starbucks fix. In order to do so, you have to live on a budget - that includes your clothing expenses. But do not let that jeopardize your style!
When people think of thrift shops, they immediately associate them with go-go boots or sweaters worn by their grandmas during Woodstock; let’s not be too quick to judge.
Who knew chokers, mom jeans, mixed prints, and denim jumpers were making a comeback? Don’t let the variety of vintage pieces fool you. Items found in these stores vary from rare items to scoring high-end designer pieces at discounted prices.
When it comes to searching for the right thrift stores, results tend to be hit-or-miss. Finding stores that are affordable, yet still, fashionable can be challenging but worry not stylish New Yorkers.
Here are a few of our favorite New York City vintage and thrift shops that won’t put a bust in your wallet. “Out with the old and in with the new”... more like IN WITH THE OLD.
So bring on the nostalgia, along with grandma’s trendy hand me downs:
Crossroads Trading Company (135 N. 7th St, Brooklyn)
With thrift store shopping, a common misconception is getting old fashion clothes, but not with Crossroads Trading Company.
They focus seasonally on the most recent trends and known brands. The company even provides an online blog as a guide for those in search for specific styles. For instance, the most recent blog focuses on a summer style guide of matching sets.
AuH2O Thriftique (E 7th St, East Village)
AuH2O is a funky vintage and thrift clothing store founded by Kate Goldwater. AuH20, (Au=Gold, H2=Water), Goldwater, get it?
Aside from the handpicked stock, each item is edited and screened for damages daily. Affordability is key when searching for a reliable thrift shop, which is something AuH2O prides themselves on. Majority of the store is priced under $30, including permanent racks of $5 and $10 racks.
Buffalo Exchange (504 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn)The Buffalo Exchange chain is across the United States along with the NYC stores scattered within different neighborhoods add boroughs like in Astoria, Queens, Brooklyn, Chelsea, and East Village. They focus on marking prices most appealing to customers, depending on its quality and brand. Higher price-tags are placed more towards recent trending styles. The best part about this specific location is the areas around it. You are in Williamsburg, walking distance from McCarren Park, where there are weekly farmer’s markets, or walk a little further to Bushwick Inlet Park, where you can check out food and music festivals, Brooklyn Flea, and let's not forget about Smorgasburg on a summertime weekend.
Sunnyside Thrift Shop (Greenpoint Ave, Sunnyside, Queens)
Take the 7 Train and join us in Queens at Sunnyside Thrift Shop, where everything shines on. Being an extremely low key consignment shop, you may have to rummage through many different assortments of old books, vinyl, and VHS tapes, but fear not, underneath all that you will find brand name clothing in mint condition. Unlike most vintage stores, you can’t expect to find everything for cheap.
Not at Sunnyside. Here you are expected to spend $20 or less.
Shareen Vintage (W 17th St, Fifth Ave, Manhattan)
California dreamer and stylist, Shareen Mitchell, considers herself to be a vintage enthusiast. The store can be difficult to find at first but worry not. Just look out for a red tulle dress displayed at the second-floor window. This store bodies three key elements: fun, free, and fashion. It is filled with restored gems and affordable pricing.
The store is compiled of three rather large rooms: one for formal wear, including evening gowns, cocktail dress, and accessories. The next is for edgy Bohemian style pieces, and the last room holds bathing suits, lingerie, and rompers. The best part about this shop is the playful atmosphere that can captivate any customer. The saleswomen are constantly engaging and serving wine and popping champagne, along with other snacks like candy and popcorn.
Sorry boys, this store has a strict NO BOYS ALLOWED policy.
So girls, feel free to try on clothes as you please. Who says you can’t shop while still giving back to the community?
Cure Thrift Shop (E 12th St, East Village)
The cure is a non-profit thrift store in Manhattan’s East Village, donating all its proceeds to the Diabetes Research Institute.
Founder, Liz Wolffer was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a young age. Combining her passion for the arts, fashion and all things vintage, she created a thrift shop dedicated to benefiting research and advocacy for type 1 diabetes.
Housing Works Thrift Store (7th Ave, South Slope, Brooklyn )
Along with this Brooklyn location, 12 other Housing Works’ have supplied designer-name items at discounted prices to trendy NYC neighborhoods such as SoHo, West Village, and Chelsea.