I trekked to Queens the other day in search of new and noteworthy neighborhood thrifts (whoa alliteration overload – my bad).
My first stop was Second Best Thrift Shop in Astoria. On the organizational front, it was basically like Green Village Junk Shop, except smaller and with way less clothes. I mean, I guess it could be decent for furniture and/or glassware or whatevs, but if cheap thriftastic clothes are your thang, skip this sucker. Also: demerits for erroneous adjective choice in name. Pfft.
Sunnyside Thrift Shop was my next stop. Used, cheesy dresses at $15 or more? Beotch please. A tip for the idiots running this joint: You want to tag secondhand items that high and get away with it, you better have some semblance of taste. Underwhelming; overpriced; a big fat fail overall. Boo.
One of a Kind Thrift Shop was my last stop, and the only Queens’ indie thrift store that actually delivered what it promised. Tops from $3.00 – $7.00; dresses from $5.00 – $12.00; racks ripe with gently worn gems for the taking. See brandtastic finds below.
As I browsed the racks, I had a sneaking suspicion that something was missing from the thrifting equation. It wasn’t until the conclusion of my hunt that I realized what it was. DAMAGES! No missing buttons; no stains; no visible wear and tear; NADA!
I was impressed enough to compliment the owner, Aladeen, who’s basically the nicest dude ever.
One of a Kind has about five huge bins of $1.00 items outside its storefront on a given day. The dollar bins obvs would have been my first order of biznass, if they hadn’t been covered in plastic on account of the rain. Aladeen was kind enough to lug the bins inside for me so I could dig through them at my leisure. What a DOLL.
I asked Aladeen how he got into the thrifting business, and learned that he used to manage a Goodwill. I subsequently relayed the dismaying tale of the $39.99 make-up stained Calypso dress.
What was Goodwill’s rationale for putting damaged crap on the racks? “‘Let the shopper decide,’ that’s what the corporate retail experts at Goodwill used to tell us. I never thought it was fair.”
Thanks to Aladeen and One of a Kind Thrift, for proving that reasonably priced secondhand goodies aren’t yet extinct in NYC. Loves it!
Secondhand shopping convert Violet popped by my store the other day to dish about her latest resale finds. I begged her to email the requisite photographic evidence, and she happily obliged!
Violet recently hit up Crossroads Trading Co.‘s Brooklyn location. Deets on her uber successful shopping trip below.
I took 2 of my girlfriends out shopping in Williamsburg on Saturday. They’d never been thrifting before so I decided to take them to the resale shops in the area. My goals were mostly sweaters (for fall and winter), jeans, and blouses (esp. the classic white button down which my closet was lacking).
I got a pair of Paige jeans off the half-off rack. The ink’s a bit smudged (I left the tag on when I put them in the dryer to sanitize). But red ink says half off, so the it came to $13.25 for the pair ^_^. They weren’t in immaculate condition though (a little wear/fraying along the bottom and pocket but it’s not noticeable and as someone whose normally OCD about that kinda stuff, it didn’t bother me and I liked the jeans too much).
I also found this Burberry cotton/cashmere blend sweater turtleneck top. It fits my body perfectly and had a really interesting but simple design. It’s more noticeable when worn, but you can kinda see the fold design on the front bottom edge in the pics. It has the same folds on the sleeves. $20 ^_^.
I also got a Marc Jacobs red top. What attracted it to me was its super plush feel. I’m pretty sure it must’ve been a sample because of the sticker that was attached to it in the 3rd photo. Now, the top had a huge 2.5 inch rip along the shoulder seam and at first I was dismayed. But I knew since it was torn at the seam it would be a very simple fix so I showed the hole at the register and asked if they would knock off something for it. So it was reduced from 14 dollars to 7 dollars.
Before buying, I put it on hold (I usually put everything I want on hold when I shop so I have the day while I’m at other stores to think about it before I buy), went around the corner to a tailor, asked how much it would cost to fix that type of rip ($3) and if it could be done in the same day, then went back, bought the top, and had it fixed while I was busy shopping at other stores. So the top’s price came to $10 dollars instead of $14.
Love the story of the MJ top – she asks for a lower price on account of damages (smart, and ALWAYS okay), then has the top fixed while she’s shopping at other stores, and STILL ends up paying less than the top’s original price. Effing Cheap JAPtastic.
Thanks to Violet for the sharesies!
Any time a well-publicized fashion event occurs, I’m often asked by friends, acquaintances and strangers alike if I’m attending. The theory behind these questions is, I suppose, that because I write a shopping blog, it follows that I’m interested in and/or completely obsessed with fashion. This is an error in judgment, an assumption that lumps me in with the kajillions of girls who live and die by the approval of the sartorial world.
I’ve been trying to reconcile my relationship with fashion for quite some time now. By reconcile, I mean trying to give a shit.
I’ve been trying to see the point in trends, in must-haves, in Spring collections, in fashion weeks across the globe. I’ve been trying to care about designers and corporations who – when the economic going gets tough, and the sustainability movement rears its ugly, righteous head – choose to retreat into the self-glorifying bubble of their industry and go about business as usual. I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that money that might be spent developing ways to reduce the enormous carbon footprint attached to the luxury goods industry is reserved instead for PR, advertising, runway shows and general fabulosity.
I’m done trying.
The truth is, I don’t really give a rat’s ass about fashion. Oh sure, I like to look at pretty things; I like to copy certain looks; I occasionally appreciate the art of the industry as seen through the lens of Grace Coddington. But at heart, I’m just a girl who likes to buy stuff, and who likes to not feel guilty about doing so.
I’ve been trying to play the game these past few months, to show that the latest trends can be re-created via clothes, shoes and accessories shopped resale, thrift, vintage and consignment. The truth is, I’m not a stylist. I’m not a fashion editor. I’m not in the business of telling you what to buy and what to wear, because my goal isn’t for you to be In or to look like a style Do or whatevs.
I just want you to look like YOU, to buy what YOU want, and to experience the joy of finding whatever it is you want for a fraction of its retail cost. I want you to be able to pat yourself on the back after you’ve made your purchase. Because even if the green factor of second hand shopping isn’t your motivation (it certainly wasn’t always mine), the fact that you’re recycling every time you shop obliterates whatever guilt you might feel about buying extraneous things.
Lately, I’ve been letting the fact that the world isn’t ready to endorse resale as the greatest form of shopping there is trip me up. That ends here. Because I don’t want you to shop resale because it’s cool, or because it’s acceptable, or Martha Stewart’s on board with consignment.
I want you to shop resale because it’s good for your wallet, your planet and your soul. I want you to shop resale because it isn’t attached to trends or advertising or any form of media that cons you into buying something that ends up sitting in your closet unworn. And yes, I want you to shop resale because it’s a big fat Fuck You to an industry that makes us feel like crap about ourselves so we’ll use our dollars to keep it in business.
On that note, here’s some motivation for your next thrift, vintage, resale or consignment shopping excursion:
Rag & Bone pants usually retail for upwards of $250.00. This pair is a particularly brilliant endeavor by the line: With the simple addition of a button, a zip-fly and some equestrian styling, leggings become snappy casual bottoms.
Buffalo Exchange initially priced these pants at $25.00 – an uber reasonable number in comparison with their heinously marked-up retail cost, as per usual.
The problem? I realized the aforementioned zip-fly had suffered some damage in the dressing room upon trying them on.
It’s rare that I’ll buy a damaged second hand item and spend the extra dough to get it fixed, but brandtastic leggings that masquerade as pants are obvs an exception to my rule.
I pointed out the busted zipper to the manager at the register, she took ten bucks off their resale price, and the excursion ended with me snagging $250 pants for $15.
Can fashion inspire joy of this ilk? Fuck no. It happens only in the gently worn world, dollfaces. Only in the gently worn world.
Go forth, and get yours.
Apparently, Cuffed Shorts are like-so-hot-right-now.
For designer denim under $20, no one holds a candle to Buff Ex.
(And yes, I’m addicted to Picnik‘s ‘Create’ section. Because nothing expresses joy like a heart sticker. NOTHING.)
Summer is a time for elements absent from the majority of my wardrobe: Color and Prints. I don’t seek out colors and prints that scream HOT and SUNNY because they lack versatility, but sometimes I’m charmed beyond practicality. Take Tibi’s Josephine Blazer, for instance:
Is this a killer nod to warm weather? Yes. Do Tibi jackets retail for around $398.00? Also yes. My penchant for neutrals and northeast location makes splurging on something like this almost as ludicrous as the price tag itself. If I could find something like this for a more reasonable number – say, $24.95 – it’d be a different story. One in which I’d BUY IT on the SPOT.