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The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Won’t Rob You Blind


I have to sympathize with New Yorkers who don’t know how to thrift. If you’re paying $100 for a no-name sundress or $80 for Doc Martens riddled with holes, you’re doing a poor job. As a child born and bred in the Midwest, I learned that 80s beaded silk evening gowns should cost $15 and vintage Fendi bags should only set you back $30. So in a city of extremely overpriced vintage stores, what’s a girl (or guy) to do? Take it from the master and check out my top 10 vintage spots in New York City where you can get the best merchandise for the lowest prices.

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

1. Loveday 31, Astoria
Owner and curator Ivona Bilicic knows her stuff – she used to be a buyer at famous rip-off Manhattan vintage store Screaming Mimi’s. But the merchandise at Loveday 31 is far from overpriced and much more carefully selected. Eccentric metallic shirts from the 80s share a rack with silk Givenchy shirts and Prada dresses. Uniquely shaped vintage bags are shown among locally designed jewelry and antique brooches. I recently bought a black, intricately knit shirt with metallic silver threads and 7-inch long fringe for $40.

 

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

Credit: Free Williamsburg

2. Beacon’s Closet, Williamsburg & Park Slope
Perhaps the most well-known local Brooklyn thrift store chain, Beacon’s Closet has something for everyone. Both locations have their fine points: the more-crowded Williamsburg store has about four times the merchandise ranging from beat-up tees to Pucci pumps while the slightly more refined selection at Park Slope requires less digging and waiting. Some of my best buys include an $18 Marc by Marc Jacobs sweater and $18 brand new Betseyville shoes.

 

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

3. Buffalo Exchange, Williamsburg
You won’t find a ton of vintage merchandise at Buffalo Exchange, but you might come across some cool new digs along the way. Designer denim for men and women usually costs less than $20 and a brand new chunky necklace will set you back about $8. There are great vintage finds too, like a pair of Marc Jacobs sandals I bought for $24 a couple years ago.

 

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

4. Housing Works, Upper East Side
Where do all of the wealthy UES women take their Ferragamos and Pradas when they don’t want them any more? Housing Works, of course. In my opinion, this location is the best of the 10 retail stores around the city. There aren’t a million downtown vintage hunters in your face, and the merchandise comes straight from Park and Madison Avenues. It also has the best vintage jewelry selection -  I have at least a dozen pieces from my summer living in the same neighborhood.

 

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

5. Monk Vintage, Williamsburg
Where can you buy a rainbow striped bow tie, cummerbund and pocket square matching set? Monk Vintage in Brooklyn has about 10 for you to choose from. From the tutus suspended from the ceiling to mounds of vintage jewelry, you will find super fun and unique vintage pieces here. Dresses run from around $25 – $40 while a full suit will cost you about $100. Everything is in pretty good condition and the store is small, so you won’t spend hours looking for an outfit. The peach Polo Ralph Lauren Western shirt I got for $35 is still one of my favorites.

 

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

6. Goodwill, Chelsea
Of all the Goodwills in the city, why this one? Are the workers nicer? Absolutely not, but the selection is all that. This fairly new outlet isn’t too crowded, but it is fairly organized. If you’re familiar with Goodwill, expect all of the same prices and merchandise categories. Last week, I found a leather Coach computer bag in good condition for $20.

 

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

7. Vintage Thrift, Gramercy
From Manolos to mink throw pillows, this store literally has everything. You can get a stack of records with your dining room table and Italian designer ties with a retro KitchenAid mixer. Not only has Vintage Thrift been named Zagat’s #1 NYC thrift store four years in a row, profits go to The United Jewish Council of the East Side.

 

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

8. Viceversa, Williamsburg
Maybe the most overlooked Williamsburg thrift store, Viceversa is definitely worth your time. Stocked with equal parts men’s and women’s apparel, you can find everything from red cowboy boots to sequined muumuus. Prices here are dynamite – you can snag a fur coat for as little as $40. I bought an 80s rainbow sequin dress for $20 last year; I recently saw the same exact dress on Nasty Gal retailing for more than $200.

 

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

9. The Antiques Garage, Chelsea
Lauren from Corvus Noir introduced me to The Antiques Garage last summer when I interviewed her for FashionIndie. This place is insane. From 9 am – 5 pm every Saturday and Sunday, you can walk through this concrete jungle of every antique imaginable. It can be a little overwhelming, so take it slow – one table at a time. I bought a gorgeous leather, color-block bag with a chain strap for $10 the last time I was there.

 

The Top 10 Vintage Haunts In NYC That Wont Rob You Blind

10. No Relation Vintage, East Village
Nestled among the dozens of nail salons and pizzerias on First Avenue, No Relation Vintage is a rare gem. Little nooks throughout the store hold specifics like shoes or sundresses while scarves sit in a basket by the register, waiting to be impulsed purchased. In true East Village fashion, you won’t find a shortage of leather jackets or distressed band tees. Many a silk scarf from this old school thrift store hangs in my apartment.

 

Did I miss anything? What is your favorite NYC thrift store?

Contributed by Amanda Gabriele

I stole my first pair of platforms from the Spice Bus in 1997 when Anglophilia was all the rage. Collector of vintage bags, vinyl and kitchen appliances. My dream of becoming a butcher is momentarily on hiatus so I can teach you how to wear muumuus and apply false eyelashes. Follow me on Twitter @CrystlMeatballs.