Best Places to Thrift in NYC
As a college student, it’s always hard to shop and not spend a ton of money while also blocking out all you hear about fast fashion and its detrimental effects on the environment. It’s not like anyone shops with the intention of hurting the planet…I hope. There is always the option to shop sustainably at stores like Reformation and Everlane, but no one realistically wants to spend more than $50 on a blouse. Shopping smart and sustainably shouldn’t be expensive and impossible…and it isn’t! If you have ever wanted to go thrifting but didn’t know where to go or how to start I’m here to help. It is a more sustainable option and way less expensive. You can even find brands like Reformation and Everlane in thrift stores which is like a DOUBLE-saving-the-planet purchase.
Here is the list you need to start shopping smart and saving money:
Now for Beacon’s Closet you must be patient. It is big. There are a ton of racks. It is hardly organized by size— BUT THAT’S OK. The racks are color coordinated so it’s best to pick the colors you know you wear and fit your style. If you give up after going through two racks you’re doing it wrong. You have to take your time. Go through every piece on the rack. Try it all on so you KNOW it fits (no returns accepted) and invest. I won’t lie and say Beacon’s Closet is cheap, because some things can go from $15 to $50 and then even up to $200. However, the price always accurately reflects the quality and value of the piece, whether its vintage, luxury, or unworn with tags. Beacon’s Closet typically carries more designer than other thrift stores so don’t be shocked if you pick up a Fendi jacket, Acne jeans or Prada boots.
Manhattan, Union Square— 10 W 13th St New York, NY 10011
Brooklyn, Greenpoint — 74 Guernsey St Brooklyn, NY 11222
Brooklyn, Bushwick— 23 Bogart St Brooklyn, NY 11237
Brooklyn, Park Slope— 92 5th Ave Brooklyn, NY 11217
Next up we have Buffalo Exchange. I know a lot of people who say they go here and only see clothing resold, like Zara and Forever 21. I beg to differ. Yes, Buffalo Exchange doesn’t carry as many name brand pieces like Beacon’s Closet, but they still have a good selection. I have found staple pieces here that I wear often—I buy something from Reformation almost every time I visit. They organize by size, which is super helpful, and the store is generally never chaotic like Beacon’s Closet can be. They even accept returns/exchanges which is awesome since it’s a secondhand store. There are a few locations in New York City and even more across the country. My favorite are the East Village, Boerum Hill, and Williamsburg.
Manhattan, East Village— 332 E. 11th St New York, NY 10003
Manhattan, Chelsea— 114 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
Brooklyn, Williamsburg— 504 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Brooklyn, Boreum Hill— 109 Boerum Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Queens, Astoria— 29-16 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105
L Train Vintage
L Train Vintage is one you have probably heard of before. There are quite a few L Train Vintage Locations in New York City, but some of them have different names like No Relation Vintage and Urban Jungle. This is where you can find the lowest prices. Sweaters and jeans start at as low as $8! Why buy brand new Levi’s when you can buy them second hand for $8? It is more rare to find designer goods here than the other places I mentioned, but it isn’t impossible. I walked into L Train in Williamsburg one day and a pair of Dolce & Gabbana shoes in my size were there, patiently waiting for me to buy them. I buy a ton of no-name brands or items without tags here too and it’s worth every dollar. It’s almost impossible to leave here empty handed or at least not see something for an exceptional price.
No Relation Vintage — 204 1st Avenue New York, NY 10009
Urban Jungle— 118 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
L Train Vintage— 106 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Here are some of my favorite pieces that I’ve gotten for amazing prices and where I got them: