Not all vintage stores are created equal. In fact, a lot are full of junk. We scouted out independent shops in the East Village and West Village to find the best women’s clothing and accessories retailers, bookstores and more. Get your coin purses and money clips ready; you’re about to do some retro damage.
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Rifle through refinished relics you never knew you needed. This dealer creates strikingly modern benches and desks out of reclaimed metal, and also cozinc-topped llects artifacts from around the world. Browse items like a bistro table from Aix en Provence ($4,800), an original 1930s Mickey Mouse–printed Japanese kimono ($1,800, framed) and Egyptian hand-blown glass chandeliers ($5,800). Most purchases will easily top $500, but even if you’re not going to buy, it’s worth stopping in for inspiration alone. 212-414-2684, lizashermanantiques.com
Pick up an early-edition Hemingway novel at Alabaster Bookshop, a rare- and used-book dealer holding the last line of defense against obsolenscence on what used to be known as Book Row. The shop has selections here range from Star Wars novels to Clifford Odets plays, which fill floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. 212-982-3550
Perfectly frayed, high-waisted Levi’s shorts ($35–$50), leather jackets ($100–$300) and button-up patterned dresses ($35–$60) are ideal for accessorizing with combat boots ($90–$120). Browsing here is like going to Goodwill, except everything is the cream of the crop. Metropolis also cosponsors the Soul Clap and Dance-Off party at Brooklyn Bowl, so they know what it means to look fly and strike a Travolta. 212-358-0795, metropolisvintageonline.com
Forget surfing Warby Parker online—check out retro glasses at this vintage-eyewear shop, which specializes in styles dating from the 1700s to the modern day and has a hands-on, try-on policy. Grab eyeglasses, sunglasses in shapes like cat-eye sunglasses, Audrey-evocative rounds and even spectacles usually only seen in daguerreotypes. But please, we beg you: Skip the Wayfarers.
You’ve got glasses, books and boots, and you may have even dragged a piece of furniture all the way from the West Village. Kick back with your purchases at this wood-paneled tavern decorated with vintage bicycle wheels, the perfect comfort after a long thrift walk. If you’re still feeling old-school, opt for fish and chips ($14) and a Penny Lane martini (Hendrick’s gin, limeade, freshly squeezed lemon, simple syrup; $12). Some good vintage conversation topics while you chow down and imbibe: Who plays the best old-time rock & roll? Talk among yourselves.