Discover How To Thrift Your Way Through The Big Apple, From Queens To The Seaport.
It’s true that you can spend a fortune in New York’s iconic department stores and trendy boutiques, but for most of us, shopping in these stores is not the most cost-effective option. What is the best place to shop? The best thrift stores in New York offer amazing deals and the possibility of making amazing, unexpected discoveries, just like the city's flea markets, vintage stores, and consignment shops. Furthermore, shopping at thrift stores avoids fast fashion and supports charitable causes.
Putting in the time is key to bringing home a variety of unique pieces, but walking into the experience with a specific piece isn't recommended. There are scores of thrift shops spread throughout the five boroughs of New York City, both carefully curated and uncensored. The best thrift shops capture the city's energy, regardless of whether they are located in the upper class or the downtown trendsetters. Visiting a city, you might get lucky and find vintage Alaïa or Chanel donated by a celebrity, fashion editor, or business executive. Furthermore, many thrift stores rely on donations and donate proceeds to important causes such as AIDS research and homelessness assistance.
If you're looking to branch out beyond online consignment shopping but tend to get overwhelmed by the thought of walking into a roomful of clothes, we suggest starting your tour of the best of New York's thrift stores with a few general needs in mind. And what doesn’t spark joy for them may certainly spark joy for the rest of us and our wallets! However, when it comes to thrifting there’s always a chance of running into high ticket items due to the label attached to them and the “vintage” aspect of it. Not to worry!
NYC's best thrift stores:
The James Veloria boutique in New York specializes in pre-owned vintage and contemporary clothing. As lovers of avant-garde and experimental fashion design, Collin James Weber and Brandon Veloria Giordano launched the James Veloria brand. In July 2017, James Veloria opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Chinatown following its launch as an online-only retailer in 2014. Located beneath the Manhattan Bridge, the store has attracted stylists, photographers, and musicians, and has appeared in print editorials and publications such as The New York Times, Vogue, I-D Magazine, and WWD. Clothing is not regarded by the pair as a structured and conventional endeavor, but rather as a form of empowerment, inspiration, and presenting the best version of yourself to the world. It features innovative, exciting, and iconic pieces designed by Japanese and European designers in bold colors and patterns. It is curated with a specific vision and critical eye in order to maintain the James Veloria aesthetic at an accessible price point.
Designed for the glam tomboy, Dana Foley NYC offers both new and vintage clothing. In a rare story, Ms. Foley and Ms. Corinna turned a flea-market friendship into a $20 million retail company. Both of them were uninformed about the mechanics of design and, for that matter, business. No prominent profiles have been published in Vogue or Elle, and they have never walked on the Bryant Park runway. However, Ms. Corinna's eye for vintage fashion and Ms. Foley's intuitive sense of how to adapt those styles to modern women are complementary. Their popularity has been fueled by those reasons, as well as the creation of knockoffs. Companies that specialize in making cheap imitations of designer clothing have aggressively appropriated the designs of Ms. Foley and Ms. Corinna because they have chosen to hide their work from the public eye. Since most designers take ideas from vintage clothes, this business thrives, a fact that does not advance the cause of copyright protection. For example, designers often send memos to vintage dealers describing what they are looking for each season, so Ms. Foley and Ms. Corinna were usually aware of the upcoming trends. Furthermore, they noticed that women gravitated towards certain items in the store but did not buy them because the fits were outdated. Their selection of time-honored pieces is complemented by their own unique designs.
As Fourth-generation New Yorker Liz combined her passion for arts and antiques with a personal quest: to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Since opening its doors in 2008, Cure Thrift has gained a reputation as one of the leading thrift stores in the country. It has quickly become Manhattan's most magical thrift experience thanks to a dream team of artists and designers who share a passion for fashion, antiques, vintage, and the obscure. A number of commercials and films have also been filmed at Cure Thrift. Liz and her creative partner, Nick Guy, packed up Cure Thrift after 13 years at 111 East 12th Street and moved to 91 Third Avenue. As a result of their new location, the corner of 12th and 3rd has been transformed into a treasure hunter's paradise. Taking a stroll through our doors will allow you to lose yourself for hours on end.
As an established Japanese second-hand store with a diverse inventory of "one-of-a-kind" items, 2nd Street has helped style-setters express their individuality in a highly organized, clean environment unusual in traditional second-hand stores. Besides retail, 2nd Street offers a to-buy service for people looking to sell their fashionable, gently-used items. Their first US store opened on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles in 2018. With stores in California, New York, Oregon, and many more on the way, 2nd STREET USA continues to grow. There are over 10,000 items in the nearly 3,000 square foot Chelsea store, including clothing and accessories for men and women, as well as a wide variety of well-known international brands such as Marni, Issey Miyake, Burberry, Comme des Garcons, Supreme, Rick Owens, and Amiri. Among the luxury brands represented are be Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci to name a few. Through its Hand2Hand Project, 2nd Street aims to reduce global landfill waste by buying and selling gently used clothing. It donates any items that cannot be sold to a partner organization that will recycle the clothing for the purpose of cleaning up oil spills, and sends others to third-world countries in order to create jobs for the local population and supply them with clothing.
The Vintage Twin
A vintage styling company that is the world's first of its kind. If you take a quiz, you will be able to receive a curated collection of vintage clothing delivered straight to your door. Try on the clothes at home, buy the ones that you like, and send back the rest. There is a mission behind their organization which aims to get more people to wear vintage clothing and, in the end, to raise awareness about vintage shopping. It is essential for them to make it easy to buy vintage so that instead of you having to spend hours browsing endlessly for the perfect things, they will do all the shopping for you. As of the moment, the only thing you will be able to find online is a try-before-you-buy box that will be hand-picked just for you by a member of your personal stylist.
Specializing in vintage American workwear, and outdoor and military clothing- Wooden Sleepers has taken the crown when it comes to menswear in the thrift world. Founded in 2010, Wooden Sleepers has been serving New Yorkers for a little over 10 years and doesn’t show any signs of stopping anytime soon. The pieces are timeless and will fit the need of any season at any time. As one of the best New York City thrift stores, it’s easy to see that no corners are cut when it comes to deciding what pieces make it to the floor. This well-thought-out New York City thrift store appreciates the beauty of vintage and values customer experience.
Kate Goldwater, a native Milwaukee who graduated from NYU in 2006, opened AuH2O in an effort to bring their customers a curated selection of vintage and thrift clothing ($5-$25) and accessories ($3-$30) that are easy on the eyes and the wallet. AuH2O offers a range of second-hand, vintage, and upcycled items. It features a unique blend of clothing, shoes, accessories, and vintage jewelry, all at an affordable price. There is a reason why they call themselves the "thriftique" because their boutique has the same prices as an open-air thrift store. According to them, the cost of shopping sustainably should not be prohibitive for consumers who wish to do so. They are committed to providing vintage, secondhand, and recycled clothing to the world for everyone to enjoy.
L Train Vintage
Their family-owned business is dedicated to bringing NYC the best thrift. The company has buyers across the country searching for classic vintage items all over the country. Each month, they receive shipments to provide new merchandise to their locations at least three times a week. Despite not finding anything on your first visit, you can always come back for the latest vintage fashions, even if you don't find anything on your first visit. It features clothing, accessories, men's apparel, and a variety of statement pieces. As a whole, the quality and condition of items in this store range from good to great, since these are vintage items after all. This place is likely to have what you're looking for, whether you're looking for a denim jacket or a classic windbreaker. The store can seem overwhelming at times, especially when it's crowded. Weekends are the busiest, so if you're looking for a more relaxed experience, visit during the week.
At the time, Kerstin Block got the idea for a different kind of secondhand shop in 1974, she never imagined it would grow into what it is today - she just followed her love of thrift store shopping and saw what would happen. Introducing a new business model - a resale shop where customers can buy hand-picked secondhand treasures and also trade or sell clothes in person. Current trends, designer styles, everyday styles, vintage, and one-of-a-kind fashion finds are available on-the-spot for 25% in cash or 50% in trade. With over 40 stores, Buffalo Exchange is growing rapidly.
In New York, Housing Works is more than just a thrift store. An ambitious non-profit (by the same name) manages this thrift shop which aims to fight HIV/AIDS and homelessness. Their NYC thrift stores donate 100% of their profits to fight HIV/AIDS and homelessness. All items on the shelves (books, DVDs, housing items, etc.) are donated. Every penny of sales goes directly to the cause because the store is run by volunteers. It's not guaranteed that you'll find the specific item you're looking for since the items are donated. Peruse the shelves and pick up something you would not normally buy if you're feeling adventurous. Several options are available. There are dark floor-to-ceiling bookcases lining the store. The in-house cafe is upstairs on the balcony, where you can spend a good hour lingering.
Procell's vintage shop thrives on nostalgia. Among his collaborations are Alexander Wang, Depop, Opening Ceremony, and more in his New York City store. The aesthetics of Brian Procell's childhood in Elizabeth, N.J. are rooted in his memories. In his earliest memories of fashion, he recalls scouring thrift stores for the latest finds — to make an outfit on a shoestring budget — or passing by Soho boutiques on one of his many trips to the city. It was an entirely different business when Procell opened his first shop on Clinton Street in the Lower East Side in 2006. In his collection, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Carhartt were mostly featured; he also reintroduced pieces from the 1980s and 1990s. It was in 2012 when he opened Procell, a Lower East Side store that sells coveted luxury sportswear, nostalgia-heavy designer pieces, and vintage garments that capture pop culture's biggest moments, such as MTV's 1997 animated series "Daria". The racks are always crowded with musicians, influencers, designers, and the coolest New Yorkers, sometimes accompanied by tourists wandering through Soho, Little Italy, or Chinatown.
A simple booth at trade shows and flea markets was the beginning of their business in 2007. The store is now the largest in Greenwich Village. Their vintage pieces date from the 1940s to the 1990s. Their vintage clothing is hand-picked, ensuring quality and authenticity. They have countless little gems within their collection, carefully chosen by their store owner Hamlet. Be your past self in the present by jumping into the time capsule! Hamlet-type girls are very fun, confident, and most importantly, fully dressed like they just stepped out of a glamorous time machine - not just because of their wardrobe, but also because they have found themselves as queen of the past in the current era.Take a look at their dresses collection and discover how you can become the next Hamlet's Queen. There is always an era or a time period associated with their vintage items. There are some of them that dates back over 80 years, making them unique treasures of historical significance. Find your perfect vintage style through their unique vintage finds. Specializing in clothing from the 50s through the 90s, they keep up with all the latest fashion trends and only source the best one-off items.