We all have that moment of frustration when we are getting dressed for the day and look at our overly stuffed closets yet go onto proclaim that we have absolutely nothing to wear. In reality most of us have enough clothes to fulfill more than our basic hierarchy of needs. Let’s face it, how many different styles of jeans does one person really need? Despite knowing that most of us have enough clothes, there are times when something fits just a little too tight after a night of indulging in cupcakes from SWEETS BY CHLOE. or that we find ourselves in need of a fresh outfit for that big event this weekend to give us an extra pep in our step. For many of us we simply enjoy revamping our wardrobe while flirting with our sense of style. Yet now more than ever we are aware that we must shop sustainably for the sake of our planet.
So what can we do when we want to refresh our wardrobes and treat ourselves to some Pretty Woman like retail therapy, but also want to shop sustainably? Thrifting for secondhand items and vintage pieces is a simple solution that can be surprisingly fabulous. Thankfully New York City has some of the best thrift shops around that are perfect for finding your next outfit for a music festival, business meeting, or night out. Not only are you giving garments a second or third life, but also you are making the conscious decision to not give into your neighborhood fast fashion store and purchase something you might not really love and won’t last longer than one instagram post.
When stepping into a thrift shop, sometimes you can still smell the remnants of dirt on old biker jackets and imagine the stories someone has told while sipping tea in that chunky fisherman sweater; items that big brands strive so hard to reproduce but at low quality levels. Thrifting is an art that lies in experiencing the versatility of clothing styles and the warm satisfaction you get when you find a hidden gem amongst the sea of clothing racks. A jacket that transcends posts and tells a new story each time it’s worn. To make this art easier for you, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite thrift stores in the city that cater to a range of unique styles:
L Train Vintage
Situated in the heart of the East Village, with a few other locations spread out in Brooklyn, L Train Vintage is the ideal spot for you if you are on a budget and have come to scavenge for some staple pieces. They have an endless range of 90’s windbreaker jackets and track pants. You will also find plenty of logo tees, flannel button downs, and denim bombers that never go out of style.
204 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10009
Dusty Rose Vintage
Unlike thrift stores that may require more perseverance to search through, Dusty Rose Vintage is well curated, bringing a sense of ease as you walk through the doors. There are some quirky pieces but also a range of beautiful dresses, short sleeved cotton button downs, and pant suits waiting to find their new owners. You will also discover some great accessories and homeware items on the way out.
67 West St #216, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Located on Delancey Street in the Lower East Side, this vintage shop has gained tremendous popularity in the past few years with visitors like Jeremy Scott, Cara Delevingne, and Frank Ocean. The store has some of the coolest streetwear pieces you can find amongst a variety of epic vintage designer pieces. Although the price point is on the higher end, the store is still definitely worth checking out!
5 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002
Known To Man
Located in East Williamsburg, this is another popular favorite amongst thrift shoppers. The boutique has clothes from a range of decades that cater to your mood. The pieces are organized, clean, and have very reasonable prices. Garments here are in pristine quality. From day time looks to embellished evening cocktail dresses, Known To Man has a killer selection of secondhand and vintage pieces.
320 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, N Y 11211
This is the perfect place to go and find your next outfit for a concert or themed party, where you are ready to make a statement with your look. Located in Chelsea this small but carefully curated thrift store has unique show stopping items. They also have an amazing selection of accessories and sunglasses that transport you to different eras, along with more wearable everyday tops and bottoms.
240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
Photos by Hansel Huang
Illustration by Hansel Huang