Vintage clothing has been making quite a movement in the fashion world. From the runway to the streets, vintage is in. Online companies such as Nasty Gal have been fans of taking vintage clothing and making the seemingly ‘outdated’ fashionable. New York fashion is no stranger to thrift and vintage; in fact, we thrive on fueling our closets with old bomber jackets, distressed denim and oversized flannel. Though thrifting may be the newest ‘trend,’ it does require a lot of time to acquire the perfect piece in an ocean of clothing racks.
Thrifting isn’t for everyone but if you have an affinity for unique fashion and find yourself unsatisfied by mainstream trends and style, then thrifting may just be your new favorite hobby. Thankfully, New York is home to an extensive amount of thrift stores and vintage shops. Here are just a few that are truly special and worth checking out. Get ready to discover some great new shops, re-kindle your love for fashion, and acquire a closet full of timeless treasures.
Whether you’re new to the thrifting game or on the hunt for clothing outside of the mainstream trend, you can’t go wrong checking these five places out.
[+] BEACON’S CLOSET (BROOKLYN)
Beacon’s Closet has a few locations scattered throughout New York City, but the one most worthy of checking out is their Brooklyn location.
The store’s defining factor is the layout: all the clothing is color coded. It’s like stepping into a candy store. The bright colors of their selections mesmerize visitors, and the store itself is certainly aesthetically pleasing if you’re a stickler for order. It’s equipped with a large women’s section, men’s section, accessory and shoes section, as well as a very unique costume piece zone. The selection of vintage clothing is so vast you’ll be sure to find enough pieces that make your wardrobe anything but average.
Another defining factor of this Brooklyn gem is the large selection of vintage bags and shoes. After just one trip, you’ll be sure to leave with a handful of vintage leather goodies, no major hunting necessary. Their bag and shoe collection ranges from well-known brands such as Via Spiga and the occasional Dolce & Gabbana or Louis Vuitton, to ones you’ve never heard of.
Prices vary, but one thing is certain; there’s always more than enough to choose from. In thrift stores such as Beacon’s Closet, there are tons of classic and vintage treasures lying around: you simply have to look.
Whether you’re a professional thrifter or staring out, Beacon’s Closet is a great place to visit (Check out their awesome blog!). Their wide variety of vintage as well as modern pieces will take hours to look through (if you’re up to the challenge) but you’ll leave looking and feeling as fashion forward as your favorite 80’s characters, a la Molly Ringwald in Pretty In Pink.
No Relation is truly the definition of a vintage clothing store. Their prices are more than affordable, and their selections embody the style of decades past. Their location on First Ave is sure to impress any vintage connoisseur: it’s packed with racks upon racks of denim.
Whether it’s an 80’s inspired jean jacket, distressed jeans, or a pair of high-waisted shorts, you’ll be sure to find it here. Along with the impressive display of denim, the store also offers a large range of army jackets. Not satisfied yet? Take a trip down to their basement: you’ll find an entire floor devoted to graphic/band tees and sweaters in every size and color.
Vintage clothing is all about straying from mainstream ideals while taking trends from decades ago, re-vamping them, and making them entirely your own. New York’s fashion scene is all about that as well. Whether you’re simply looking to try something new or are a fan of vintage clothing and thrifting on a budget, No Relation is the perfect place to visit.
Take the trip down to 1st Ave and enjoy a few hours digging through denim, leather, wool and flannel; you’ll find yourself acquiring some timeless pieces of your own along the way.
204 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10009
[+] MONK (BROOKLYN)
This cozy little thrift shop in Williamsburg is sure to impress with its colorful and funky selection of clothing and accessories. Monk is in a league of it’s own: it feels like a time capsule with clothing ranging from 1950’s- 1990’s styles. Just one trip down to Monk will be sure to transform your closet into a wardrobe time machine, and leave you standing out from the crowd.
Even though time travel is impossible (or is it?), taking a trip to Monk isn’t! Let the store overwhelm you with the raw vintage and let it leave you feeling like you belong in the 70’s. Celebrate authentic leather, unadulterated lacy tops, and beautifully crafted vintage denim while being surrounded by bright vinyls, pop posters and kick knacks. This cozy spot is the place to be when it comes to vintage shopping sprees.
Awoke Vintage is another gem that’s filled with used and vintage clothing. Blouses with classic designs (think paisley), cool tees, and brightly patterned dresses create a ‘modern vintage’ hybrid vibe.
Check out Awoke Vintage on Instagram and see all the beautifully crafted vintage styles they post. You’ll appreciate the liveliness their pieces will bring to your closet, as well as the individuality that will sew itself into your wardrobe.
Goodwill has been around since the beginning of this vintage trend, and I don’t doubt it’ll be around for quite a bit longer. I decided to add Goodwill to my list because it’s often an overlooked option, but for souls who are die-hard thrifters and brave enough to endure large crowds of people hungry for a good deal, this is the place to go.
Goodwill is set up with large blue bins filled with mountains of clothing. What many may consider a mess I consider perfect chaos. The process of finding the right item is a bit tedious, but well worth the work. You’ll find yourself digging through those giant bins for hours, through loads and loads of cheap flannels, roughed up denim, and more vinyls then you can dream to count.
If that isn’t enticing enough, the prices of clothing and vinyls will certainly be. The clothes are weighed on a scale and the cost for a round of clothing is under $2.00! Don’t get fooled by companies that make you pay top dollar for their ‘vintage’ and ‘thrifted’ clothing. Take a trip down to your local Goodwill and start your journey of unearthing cool and authentic vintage pieces.
GOODWILL (LONG ISLAND CITY)
47-47 Van Dam St.
Long Island City, NY 11101