With Black Friday safely in the past (I thought I wouldn’t make it out alive), I reflected on shops that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. New York City is home to arguably the best shops in the world. Despite the masses of people cruising through the racks, somehow these owners and friendly employees manage to remember my name every time I pop in, guide me to pieces I most likely will die over, and also know when to let me be and get into my Zen shopping mode.
Whoever said New Yorkers are unfriendly clearly didn’t step foot into these different establishments. Having lived in NYC for a chunk of time and having sunk more than a solid wad of change into different boutiques and stores around town, I decided to share with you some of the best nooks around the city. Some you may be familiar with, but for others, go now!
Address: 771 Metropolitan Ave., East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Why: A warehouse of furs, shoes, and clothing for boys and girls galore. You might need to be in the mood to dig in the store, but I’ve found some of my best pieces here, all for under $10.
Address: 304 Hudson Street, West Village, Manhattan
Why: A beautifully curated selection of lux-goth pieces, this upscale boutique offers some of the most innovative pieces from my favorite Belgians and drape-tastic designers (think Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, Damir Doma).
No Relations Vintage
Address: 204 1st Avenue, East Village, Manhattan
Why: I highly suggest this spot for discovering awesome sweaters. I’ve found amazing deals on outerwear here as well (it doesn’t get much better than a fringed leather jacket for $25).
Trash and Vaudeville
Address: 4 St. Mark’s Place, East Village, Manhattan
Why: Not only is the staff here super friendly, I’ll let you in on a secret, they have some of the best reasonably priced denim around. I have black jeans from here that still are as supremely black and have yet to fade or stretch out.
Address: 21 Prince Street, SoHo, Manhattan (additional stores located across Manhattan)
Why: Not only does each different store location offer different merchandise, each selection is immaculate. These vintage pieces are wonderfully in-tact. Although some pieces can be rather pricey, it’s understandably considering the one-of-kind garments you’ll find.
Address: 156 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Why: I love a shop with a good ethos. Reformation is a prime example of this. Constructing pieces from green materials and left over material, the designs are awesome and environmentally friendly. Needless to say, I leave here with a clear conscious.
Address: 281 N 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Why: I love a hidden gem. Located just off the beaten track of the Bedford Avenue craziness, this shop has a sick collection of vintage t-shirts, which just so happens to be my ultimate weakness. They also offer a great hat collection (my second weakness).
Address: 292 Lafayette Street, SoHo, Manhattan
Why: Two words. Concept. Store. This shop is so kitsch it would make John Waters jealous. Its bread and butter are definitely the distressed band tees (cue salivation) but quirky little gifts are for sale, perfect for dysfunctional stocking stuffers.
Address: 143 West 17th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan (other locations around Manhattan and other boroughs).
Why: Not only can you find awesome vintage pieces here, you can also score some major furniture. The best part? This organization serves a major cause: preventing and fighting AIDS through advocacy, provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain their efforts. The shops contribute to 25% of the foundation’s efforts every year. If you ever wanted to support an important cause, this is definitely it.
Address: 104 Rivington Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Why: Shoes, shoes, shoes. This spot not only carries a sick amount of vintage pieces circa 1960s and 70s but their shoe selection is amazing. And their affordable. You should probably just go now and see for yourself.
What Goes Around Comes Around
Address: 351 West Broadway, SoHo, Manhattan
Why: Alright, this may be the end all be all of vintage. Not only do they have their amazing namesake line that is vintage inspired, their collection of vintage pieces is unbelievable. I’m just dying for a tour of their infamous warehouse (ahem ahem). Plus, if it’s good enough for the Olsens, it’s good enough for us.
Photo: Ashley Olsen leaving What Goes Around Comes Around, courtesy of Sipa