Best vintage clothing
There’s a rotating mix of astoundingly well-preserved designer and nonvintage clothing here, as well as one-of-a-kind housewares, shoes and accessories. We’ve found vintage Yves Saint Laurent blouses for $12, striped skinny ties for $6 and a pair of classic Salvatore Ferragamo pumps with bows on them for $10. Pretty much everything is a find, but you still get that thrill-of-the-hunt feeling.
- 286 Third Ave, (between 22nd and 23rd Sts)
It's cool to donate your old duds and furniture to Housing Works, so the shelter-oriented charity's thrift stores are among the city's best. The prices aren't the lowest, but the stock is quality. If you're lucky, you can score designer pieces (in clothes and furnishings) you'd never be able to afford new. You just have to do a little rummaging.
- 130 Crosby St, (between Prince & W Houston Sts)
Some people pass this store off as too “costumey,” but you just need to know how to buy here. Avoid the fringed suede vests (too ’70s) and poofy prom dresses (too ’80s) and you can land plenty of interesting pieces. Racks of separates that won’t clean you out are just what your wardrobe has been wanting.
- 303 Fifth Ave , (at 31st St)
With a six-foot statue of a black bear in a party hat out front greeting window shoppers, this 1970s Yellowstone National Park-inspired boutique is hard to miss. Co-owners Michelle Ferrara and Julia Duncan-Roitman have packed their shop with affordable, gently worn goods. Choose wise and walk out with a fully accessorized look for $100 or less. While a majority of the merchandise is vintage women’s clothing ($6–$32), there is a nice selection of men’s clothing ($6–$30), kids’ tees ($10–$20), women’s shoes ($8–$29), accessories ($7–$40), and handmade products and housewares ($8–$45). Snag metal lovebird rings and ’70s glass mood rings ($7–$9), snakeskin pumps ($29), striped polos ($16), Op Art shift dresses ($22) and whimsical animal pillows ($35–$40). The store also accepts used clothing for 30 percent cash retail price or 60 percent store credit.
- 469 16th St , (at Prospect Park West)
After a stint as a doorman at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, where he rubbed shoulders with numerous celebs, New York native Rob Rodriguez is now fulfilling one of his dreams: opening a vintage shop. He spent his teen years in the ’90s frequenting hip vintage favorites such as Unique’s and Antique Boutique, which inspired his current venture. The space—previously Southside Guitars and still sporting its sign—is bright and cluttered with never-used and preloved goods for men and women. The rows of sunglasses, scarves and jewelry have a bit of a hodgepodge aesthetic, but they’re worth sifting through, since everything is less than $200. Guys can bring home one-of-a-kind pieces like a vintage Burberry tweed coat ($150) and various flannel button-down tops ($20). Party girls can outfit in Minuet tulle dresses ($49) and French Curve polka-dot tights ($20). Unrestricted animal-print flats ($32) and Very Volatile wrap-around thong sandals ($44) stand out in the footwear department. In the works: Rodriguez plans to open a backyard garden, where he hopes to bring locals together for coffee, free Wi-Fi and music spun by a DJ.
- 742 Driggs Ave, (between South 2nd and 3rd Sts)