Take the opportunity to explore the vintage stores and reclaimed clothes and accessories in New York. Vintage is all the rage these days. Some may say it’s the impact of recession on our pockets; others say that it’s always been there and is just coming to greater prominence. Whichever way you look at it, though, “old” is the new “new”.
At the centre of the explosion in vintage clothing, accessories and furnishing is New York City, where residents of the city have thrown themselves behind the vintage revolution in full force. With a diverse culture and rich fashion history, New York is exceptionally rich pickings for thrift-store hunters and flea-market fans. Thrifty travellers with an eye for a bargain can get some fantastic finds in New York’s thrift stores.
With stores in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Beacon’s Closet offers not only fantastic vintage clothes for sale but the opportunity to trade your pre-loved clothing while you’re at it. If you still have the price tags on your old clothes, Beacon’s Closet will pay 35% cash or 55% store credit of the full price on the ticket – the highest rates of any store in New York. If you’re looking to donate clothes for charity, Beacon’s Closet also accepts donations with charitable sales receipts going to Medicins Sans Frontiers, UNICEF and a range of animal charities.
Goldwater Thriftique (also known by the chemical notation for Goldwater AuH2O) is operated by Kate Goldwater and Alexandra Sinderbrand. Whilst it doesn’t have the widest range of clothing and accessories in New York, the pieces are well-selected and there are many bargains available for bargain hunters. With permanent sale rails with bargains at $5 and $10, you’re sure to walk away with a pre-owned bargain that you’ll love long after you’ve left the city.
For the ultimate vintage shopping experience during your stay in New York, you absolutely must go to the Brooklyn Flea. Saturdays at Fort Greene or Sundays in Williamsburg, rain or shine, thrifty shoppers and vintage vendors descend on the markets in their hordes with a wide variety of stalls offering vintage clothing, accessories and furniture. Regular vendors bring incredible vintage finds from gold jewellery to band tees and old editions of magazines for retro inspiration.
The Williamsburg Brooklyn Flea, every Sunday from 10-5
In amongst the vintage bargains, you will find plenty of places to sit and examine your purchases with a cup of coffee or lunch from one of the many food vendors at the market. Amongst the vendors you’ll find incredible fish tacos and delectable waffles piled high with whipped cream and fresh berries. Not just a shopper’s paradise, the Flea is a gastronaut’s heaven too.
Back in Manhattan, Vintage Thrift is a fantastic store, rated as the best thrift store in New York by retail analyst Zagat four years in a row. Located in the East Village, this not-for-profit store has a breathtaking array of men’s and women’s clothes, jewellery, accessories and homewares. Famous for its stunning window displays, the store assistants have a fantastic eye for detail and its worth visiting for the displays alone. Once you’re in, though, you’re unlikely to leave empty-handed and you’ll be sure to find a unique bargain amongst the rails and shelves.
There’s only one problem that you might come up against when you’ve had your fill of thrift shopping in New York – how to get your haul home with you! There’s another store that can help here. Little Luna, a vintage boutique on Brooklyn’s Kane Street, has some beautiful vintage luggage you can pick up to get your purchases home in style. Run by former fashion designer Denise Tao, the store is jam-packed full of oddities, curios and gorgeous vintage finds, you’re sure to find something to complete your collection.
Nathan is a prolific travel writer specialising on articles about holiday apartments. Why not take Nathan’s advice and book yourself a New York City apartment and go and check out some vintage shopping for yourself?