Photo by Irving Penn
What’s more fun than vintage shopping? It’s like a modern day treasure hunt for that perfect, one-of-a-kind piece, that just calls out “buy me”. But of course, you need to know where to look. Lucky for you, we’ve done our legwork at Untapped Cities and compiled a list of what we consider to be the best vintage spots in the city.
And when I say vintage, I don’t mean thrift shopping. Thrift shopping implies old Ann Taylor Loft jackets found at the bottom of a bargain bin. Vintage implies both age and quality, I don’t consider anything made after 1985 to really be “vintage”, no matter how much people tell me that “the 90s are back!” I have, however, chosen to include several consignment and resale shops that do often carry vintage pieces.
So read, enjoy, and most importantly, shop!
Amarcord/252 Lafayette Street/ The Soho branch of this vintage fashion house focuses on European designers such as Missoni, YSL, Mugler (you know, all the good ones). With super helpful staff and a nice open layout, it’s easy to spend hours browsing in this downtown spot. (Women and Menswear)
Edith Machinist/104 Rivington Street/ Walk down a couple steps and find yourself in vintage shoe heaven. Shoes, boots, and bags cover nearly every surface with their perfectly worn leather. The focus is definitely on the accessories, but be sure to check out the clothes too, I’ve bought some great pieces here. (Womenswear)
Narnia Vintage/161 Rivington Street/ I always find something I love in this tiny store on Rivington. Their look tends toward the urban nomadic feel with lots of supple leathers, fringe, and chevron patterns. Featuring a killer mix of consignment and vintage pieces, it’s hard to leave this place empty handed. (Womenswear)
Ritual Vintage/ 377 Broome St/ If you’re looking for truly vintage pieces, from the 1910s-1940s, this is the place to come. Best of all, the pieces are all still wearable and in good condition. There’s also a selection of newer designer pieces, but the strength really lies in the older stuff. (Womenswear)
What goes Around Comes Around/ 351 West Broadway/ One of the pricier vintage stores you will find, but expect that extra cash to buy unforgettable pieces and excellent service. It’s like the buyers know how to buy the perfect example of every vintage piece- the perfect denim jacket, the perfect sweater, the perfect gauzy dress. Definitely ask the shopgirls about lower priced pieces, because they are still pretty awesome even if they don’t carry a designer tag. (Women and Menswear)
Amarcord/ 223 Bedford Avenue/ The Williamsburg branch of Amarcord is like the Soho store’s little sister; the clothes tend to be less mature, a little funkier, and definitely cheaper. (Women and Menswear)
Beacons Closet/88 N. 11th street/ If patience isn’t one of your virtues, don’t go here (To add fuel to the fire, whoever controls the music is obviously a sadist because they play the absolute worst bands I’ve ever heard). BUT if you can make it through that, this massive warehouse of used clothing is an absolute treasure trove of vintage and designer finds on the cheap. (Women and Menswear)
Beacon’s massive warehouse in Williamsburg/ Photo by Scott Irvine
Narnia Vintage/ 672 Driggs Ave/ This branch of the Manhattan vintage house rivals the original store in selection and quality, just be sure to be on the lookout for the shop, the sign is a little too subtle. (Womenswear)
Le Grand Strip/ 197 Grand Street/ What I truly appreciate about the owner’s taste is that she embraces all that is fun, feminine, and sexy. The clothes that she selects really work on a woman’s body, especially for those trying to impress a gentleman. (Womenswear)
10ft Single by Stella Dallas/285 N. 6th St./ This store is an excellent combination of thrift and vintage. The front end is devoted to clothes from the 1980s on, at prices that are every hipster’s dream. But be sure to wander into the back room that holds the real vintage pieces. The only bummer about this shop is the total lack of customer service. (Women and Menswear)
1 of a Find/ 633 Vanderbilt Avenue/ Whether it is 1940s Hawaiian shirts or 1930s art deco gowns this store has got what you are looking for. The best part is the excellently merchandized jewelry and accessories that will make you feel like you’re in a candy store. (Women and Menswear)
A fraction of 1 of a Find’s collection/ Photo by Donna Alberico for the NY Times
Odd Twin/ 164 5th Avenue/ My favorite thing about Odd Twin is the owner, Francesca’s, adorable little baby girl. But my second favorite thing is the excellent selection of clothing from the 1940s-1980s. This store focuses much more on periods than designers, which translates into high quality at reasonable prices. (Women and Menswear)
Eva Gentry Consignment/ 371 Atlantic Avenue/ This shop brags that it has designer and vintage consignment from Alaia to Zero Maria Cornejo. Best of all, this claim is true. Using a combination of consignment and hand-me downs from its sister store, the high end shop, Eva Gentry, this shop has a great selection of designer goods at a reasonable prices. (Womenswear)
Guvnor’s Vintage/178 Fifth Avenue/ Just half a block from Odd Twin is another Park Slope vintage stop. I recommend wandering into the back where the party dresses are, they tend to be higher quality than the more casual wear in front. (Women and Menswear)
For more vintage, shopping, and fashion tips, visit the author’s blog at www.NeonMamacita.com