This post has been written by a guest writer – Isabel Clift.
With New York City rocketing up the World’s Most Expensive Cities list; it’s heartening to think there are still some bargains to be had in the Big Apple. If you want your dollars to go further on the ultimate NY shopping trip, book yourself into a cheap New York hotel (yep, they still exist too) and hit the city’s best affordable vintage stores – your wardrobe will thank you, as well as your wallet.
1. Buffalo Exchange, 504 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn
Right in the heart of hipster paradise Williamsburg, Buffalo Exchange works like a swap-shop for ‘modern’ vintage – eager fashionistas line up down the street to sell bags of their best cast-offs to the store, which has a strict quality control policy: if it’s not in great condition, they ain’t buying it. This leads to bang on-trend stock at bargainous prices – I picked up a pair of floral shorts for $4 and a white pure wool jumper for $1 that I’ve worn time and time again: money well spent, I’d say!
2. Everything Goes Clothing, 140 Bay St, Staten Island
This is what I call A Find. Properly cheap prices starting around $10 a dress, pile-‘em-high racks of amazing garments and a genuinely friendly vibe, all waiting to be discovered if you just make the (free) ferry trip to NYC’s often-overlooked Staten Island. A short walk from the ferry terminal, this clothes store is part of a collective of second-hand emporiums under the Everything Goes banner – after stocking up on wardrobe bargains, go for a browse and a brownie at the Everything Goes Book Cafe or kit out your home at the Everything Goes Furniture & Gallery.
3. Black Bear Vintage & Handmade, 469 16th St (at Prospect Park West) Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn
A kitschy design re-imagines Yellowstone National Park’s giftshop circa 1975, but the prices at this store near Prospect Park are for serious: pick up a top or skirt for as little as $6 and, if you rummage the racks for long enough, a whole outfit for under $50. Their speciality? ‘70s moodrings (for filling that nostalgia-shaped hole in your accessories collection). Now, that’s the ‘vintage’ in the shop name taken care of – but what of the ‘handmade’? This is where owner Julia’s homespun creations come in – choose from a selection appliqué pillows with dogs on them, or browse local sellers’ wares, which include soaps modelled on guinea pigs). Very cute indeed!
4. Amarcord, 223 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
Bargains are relative when it comes to vintage – so if you want to buy just one special garment, splash your cash on a single designer piece in Williamsburg’s Amarcord rather than piling your purchases high at the cheaper equivalents. This clean-lined, beautifully turned-out store stocks old-season and vintage bits from Italian designers Versace, Cavalli, Valentino and Prada as well as judiciously-chosen non-designer labels. The Italian owners know their stuff – chances of finding that knock-out party or interview outfit are high with this one.
About the author: Isabel Clift is a London-based travel blogger for Hostel Bookers, which specialises in budget New York travel. She went to New York purely to shop, and shop she did. With gusto.