10 Vintage Shops to Visit in New York City

May 11th, 2011


vintage new york city postcard

Hello and happy Wednesday, everyone!!!

First, congratulations to Leni for winning last week’s Gratefulness Giveaway with Victory Vintage! It was a HUGELY successful giveaway and I have great feelings that the next one is going to be even bigger … because gratefulness is infinite!

One of the things I am ALWAYS grateful for is receiving emails from you all in my inbox. I don’t always reply personally, but I make it a priority to reply on this site. I’ve recently been asked by quite a few vintage lovers what my favorite vintage stores are in NYC.

What I love most about this question is that it comes from a few ladies who have future plans to visit the Big Apple — so I love knowing that by answering their question, I am directing them to some of the best vintage spots in this city that never sleeps (and loves vintage!)

Two vintage lovers from the United Kingdom emailed me last week, sharing their plans to visit and need to know what’s good in NEW YORK VINTAGE! Here’s what Kat, a Twitter friend, had to say:

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Thank you so much for the thrifty advice! I’m really excited to see the bright lights of the big city when I head over at the end of this month – first trip to the US and I’m sure it will be a good one!  Can’t wait to see your EPIC list!!!!

Thank you again, in advance, Kat x

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So dear Kat, and to anyone else who has plans to visit New York City in the near future … here is that EPIC list!

Keep reading after the jump for my current TOP FIVE favorite vintage spots, and FIVE MORE I’m lusting to visit … including the who, what, where and how the prices of each store compare to contemporary shops for your shopping convenience!

I used to fret and worry that I didn’t “know each and every” vintage boutique in New York. I’ve learned that life is not for having checklists, and I’ve been able to let go of my “laundry list” responsibilities, including that anxiety to visit all vintage shops within my surroundings.

What I prefer? Recommendations from some of you! Word of mouth is still the best form of positive promotion. Be a megaphone for your favorite vintage boutiques by leaving me a comment below!

Don’t live in New York City? Still share your fav! Cause here’s the thing .. you never know when a summer road trip might just manifest itself! And I want to be prepared to visit Vintage Across the US of A!

Enjoy your lovely Wednesdays, everyone … and happy vintage shop lusting as you read today’s post!

xx, SD

5 NYC VINTAGE SHOPS I LOVE

vintage stores new york

THE SHOP: 1 of a Find

WHERE? Prospect Heights, Brooklyn Neighborhood // 633 Vanderbilt Avenue

WHY? The beautifully curated shop has both women’s AND men’s — so you can bring your SO here, too. It’s a stress free shopping environment with great tunes, natural lighting and plenty of assistance from shop girls if you want it.

The store is curated mostly from the collection of the owner Honey Moon’s (yes, that is her REAL name!) California-based mother. You get the advantages of shopping west coast vintage (think lots of ’60s-’70s feminine, flowy, flattering pieces) without actually having to book a flight 3,000 miles away!

CONTEMPORARY $$$ INVESTMENT: About the same price as a Zara, Ann Taylor or Urban Outfitters. There is always a “sales chest” that is fun to rummage through for great end-of-season deeply discounted vintage finds and accessories.

BONUS: Not many tourists get to see the “real” Brooklyn of New York — the kind that the Cosby Show so beautifully portrayed, complete with wide, tree-lined streets and the stoops of gorgeous brownstones.

Even being the New Yorker that I am (my three-year-anniversary is June 15!), I hardly make the time to explore new neighborhoods.

Finding this “1 of a Find” took me out of my comfort zone of Manhattan and showed me appreciation of experiencing the unknown.

vintage stores new york

THE SHOP: Zachary’s Smile

WHERE? Shop vintage with a smile at two locations (previously three, but unfortunately one was recently shut down!).

Greenwich Village Neighborhood // 9 Greenwich Avenue & North of Soho (NoHo) Neighborhood // 317 Lafayette Street

WHY? Zachary may be a boy, but man can this guy merchandise a store! (LOL) The windows are always lust-worthy, one upping displays of surrounding contemporary stores. You’ll find that the store’s organized, appealing layout makes it OH so much easier to covet and desire to buy vintage.

$$$ INVESTMENT: Within the price range of Anthropologie — which means yes, these are expensive pieces. However, like Anthro, the sales racks are KILLER, and if you get lucky you can catch the store on one of it’s “$5-$25″ sale days when they are making room for new merchandise!

BONUS: Zachary’s Smile doesn’t only sell straight vintage — it sells new dresses & altered vintage, too. That means you can mix & match vintage with new to create the perfect outfit from one store. Or, you can find a killer vintage dress that’s been modernized to fit with the trends of 2011. It’s one stop vintage shopping for all style tastes!

vintage stores new york

THE SHOP: AUH20

WHERE? East Village Neighborhood // 84 East 7th Street

WHY? The vintage & secondhand store (read: not everything is technically vintage, but a mix) only sells trends and sells them at price points comfortable for any shopper, no matter how deep your wallet is. That means about 90 percent of what you see in the store is priced under $50, with a huge array of jewelry, shoes and accessories, too.

$$$ INVESTMENT: Forever 21 to H&M prices … with a 24-hours-7-days-a-week $10 price rack (that I’ve seen dip to $5!)

BONUS: The owners, Kate & Alexandra (check out her site, Cheap Jap for more secondhand sense) are undoubtedly my East Village girl crushes. Kate founded the store as an extension of what she was passionate about: green living & sustainability. The store’s philosophy to sell secondhand goods at contemporary store prices is not only admirable, but business-savvy in such a high-end neighborhood.

HUGE BONUS: I recently consigned some of my vintage & secondhand collection to AUH20. The pieces are probably hanging on the racks RIGHT NOW!

I will be continuing to sell to AUH20 and other shops and hope to keep you updated so that you can grab a piece of Sammy D Style Finds for yourselves!

vintage stores new york

THE SHOP: What Goes Around Comes Around

ONLINE: Buy online here!

WHERE? SoHo Neighborhood // 351 West Broadway

LOCATION BONUS: Also in Hollywood, California as of THIS MONTH! // 159 S. La Brea Avenue

WHY? The picture above doesn’t do this store’s design and aesthetic true justice. It’s probably one of the most creatively organized vintage stores I’ve ever been in. The building itself is gorgeous, and unlike other vintage shops you feel that you’re in a department store here.

Highlights of What Goes Around Comes Around include a women’s & men’s department. Key differentiators include a huge selection of bonafide military pieces, leather goods, rock n’ roll concert/band tees and SO MUCH denim that stylists/designers visit the store regularly for purchases & to pull for editorial photoshoots.

$$$ INVESTMENT: Comparable to Nordstrom to Neiman Marcus prices … before the sales. These high prices are appropriate, considering the location of the store and the quality & curated care of everything merchandised in the store.

BONUS: If you can’t afford anything at the store, you can at least oogle. It’s such a large space that there’s no “boutique pressure” to buy that you might feel at other stores.

Plus, you’re in SoHo, so the shop associates know that you’re probably just “checking in” as a casual shopper. This store really isn’t one to be missed, though — visiting What Goes Around Comes Around is definitely a “vintage store bucket list” item. Just check out how much press they’ve received!

vintage stores new york

THE SHOP: Amarcord

ONLINE: Buy online here!

WHERE? Two unique locations!

Williamsburg, Brooklyn Neighborhood // 223 Bedford Avenue & SoHo Neighborhood // 252 Lafayette Street

WHY? Do you die over designer fashion? Then Amarcord is YOUR vintage store! Here’s where your wallet will be teased with the touch of vintage YSL, Hermes & Halston. The shop has completely modernized its merchandising with a minimalist white infrastructure designed for easy viewing, shopping and yes … salivating.

$$$ INVESTMENT: Similar in price to What Goes Around Comes Around, but with a better mix. You won’t be forced to lay down hundreds here — you’ll find dresses from $45 up, and shoes/belts/bags/jewelry under $75, too. But if you want that Yves Saint Laurent label, you will be paying appropriately, from about $200 and up.

Still, keep this in mind: The YSL flagship store is practically inaccessible to anyone without an inheritance behind them. There, you’d pay not $300 for a dress … but $3,000. So purchasing designer VINTAGE is always a savings!

BONUS: Amarcord has been a staple in New York City vintage for 10 years. While not as notable as New York Vintage (where Michelle Obama purchased her vintage holiday dress last year), I predict that we’ll be hearing a lot more about Amarcord in the years to come as it rises to the top of the vintage fashion industry.

5 NYC VINTAGE SHOPS I WANT TO VISIT

vintage stores new york

THE SHOP: A Little Wicked

WHERE? Lower East Side Neighborhood // 279 East Houston Street

WHY? I first came across A Little Wicked because I learned about one of its owners, Robyn Moreno, the author of “Be Practically Posh.” When I learned that this fashion author (something I aspire to be!) ALSO owned a vintage store … well, can you say GIRL CRUSH of the Lower East Side?!

We began communicating on Facebook and I’m happy to share that I will be visiting the shop and meeting Robyn next week! ;-) There may be future plans in store to feature A Little Wicked in a future Sammy Davis Vintage video!

$$$ INVESTMENT: Comparable to the high-end side of H&M, or the low end prices of Zara. A dress will usually sell for $75 — and it will be THE dress of your life!

What I love most about my pre-visit-research to Little Wicked is knowing that as soon as I walk into this store, I’m going to want every.single.thing.there. And best of all, the shop owners have personalized messages onto the tags of each piece and restored each piece with vintage loving care — always priceless!

BONUS: When in the Lower East Side, SHOP the Lower East Side! Unlike SoHo, the LES is not as busy and (sorry to say it!) tourist-ridden. You can sneak into a cafe and actually find a seat, and you’re close enough to neighborhood parks and the East River for outdoors relaxation, too.

I recommend checking out all and any LES store — here’s where you’ll find never before seen designers and handcrafted wares. The boutique owners put such pride & joy (plus blood, sweat & tears!) into managing these shops and I believe that supporting independent entrepreneurs is ALWAYS good style karma!

vintage stores new york

THE SHOP: Re/Dress Vintage

WHERE? Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Neighborhood // 109 Boreum Place

WHY? To my knowledge, this is the ONLY positive-size (contemporary size 14 & up) vintage store in all of New York. I’ve never even noticed a vintage store curate a positive-size only rack before.

And according to the web site, Re/Dress has the largest selection of vintage fashion size 14 & up ON THE EAST COAST. Wowzers!

Vintage fashion, as I explored in an article on dressing in vintage for your size, is all about figure flattery. You are shopping high quality pieces built to accentuate a woman’s greatest assets … not to make her feel as if she must hide them from the world!

$$$ INVESTMENT: Comparable to anything outta H&M!

The benefit to traveling so deep into Brooklyn is that you also know you’re getting farther & farther away from Manhattan prices. Part of the deep discount is the fact that this store buys/sells at cash-up-front consignment. That means you can bring your pre-existing positive size vintage duds and trade ‘em in for cash or credit to the store!

BONUS: Like 1 of a Find, Re/Dress Vintage is going to take you to a neighborhood the “average” tourist wouldn’t make time to visit.

Since you’ll already be away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, your saved energy (and funds!) means you can sit down to enjoy dinner at one of the neighborhood’s hot dining spots … stress free!

vintage stores new york

THE SHOP: The Family Jewels Vintage

WHERE? Chelsea Neighborhood // 130 West 23rd Street

WHY? The no-frills-needed vintage lover in me means I can find the vintage GEMS among the vintage JEWELS — which is exactly what I’d do when visiting Chelsea’s first class vintage store!

I’ve walked by this store numerous times, admiring the store window and literally pulling myself away from entering. But, I’ve recently become friendly with the social media forces behind The Family Jewels Vintage on Twitter. I’ve told them oh, about three times! that I was “hoping to visit that day.” I’ve failed to fulfill my promise!

I owe The Jewels a visit not only to cure my curiosity, but to meet the lovely vintage lovers I’ve been communicating with on Twitter!

$$$ INVESTMENT: Comparable to department store prices, before the sales. The Chelsea location (read: expensive real estate!) partly contributes to this, plus the store’s active participation in fashion-forward editorial photo shoots thanks to interest from Manhattan-based stylists.

BONUS: From the looks of online photos, The Family Jewels is a MASSIVE sized store worth spending a few hours in.

It’s one of those stores where you dig and you hunt for the one piece that “calls your name.” And trust me, that vintage that wants a happy home with you is CALLING! You just have to hang out for a while, listen closely and once you hear it, succumb to the call of the vintage wild!

dresscue me shareen vintage planet green

vintage stores new york

THE SHOP: Shareen’s Vintage

WHERE? Chelsea Neighborhood // 13 West 17th Street

WHY? Shareen is a LEGEND in the vintage fashion industry. Not because she is a vintage guru (which she is) but because she is a vintage lover who has made vintage fashion 110% accessible to the contemporary woman. Sound familiar? That’s my platform, too!

Shareen first opened shop in LA with a “no boys allowed” policy. The store floor has an open-dressing-policy (read: no dressing rooms) because shop girls are there not to sell, but to style you. In other words, when you walk into Shareen’s with a mission, that mission is FULFULLED!

The New York City store is similar in philosophy: no woman will leave without giving a piece of vintage a happy home!

$$$ INVESTMENT: Instead of comparing Shareen’s to a store, I’d prefer comparing the price range to an investment. Buying from Shareen’s is like getting the perfect dress for a wedding, the perfect dress for a first date, the perfect dress for … well, just about any occasion!

Not that Shareen’s ONLY stocks dresses, but you get the point: when you want that bit of perfection, price matters less. What matters most is that you look and feel great — because you are!

BONUS: Shareen’s cult status gave her even more claim-to-fame as the star and inspiration behind Planet Green’s new show, “Dresscue Me.” Check out a great clip of Shareen styling a customer here. The show airs on Planet Green at 10:30PM every Thursday night!

 

vintage stores new york

THE SHOP: Marmalade Vintage

WHERE? Little Italy/SoHo Neighborhood // 174 Mott Street

WHY? Marmalade is an example of how some vintage boutiques in New York don’t just STOCK to stock vintage. They feature a different collection each season that features the pieces their loyal customers know, love and want season after season.

Marmalade prides itself on stocking vintage in ethnic prints, style icon Audrey Hepurn inspired pieces, luxurious beachwear pieces and street-stopping outrageous coordinates you can pair with what’s hanging in your closet now.

$$$ INVESTMENT: Comparable to the Barney’s of vintage fashion. You’ll spend more than or close to $100 on a lower-priced dress. Accessories are mind blowing and one-of-a-kind in the price range of $100+. Shoes, leathers and other lust-worthy items will run $200 and up.

BONUS: I recently caught up with Marmalade at the Manhattan Vintage Show, featuring ’70s platform from the store in one of my videos as I shopped my maxi dress outfit!

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3 Comments

  1. Chandra @ShiftC says:

    I’m bookmarking this page! I’ll need it for my next NYC trip!

    Chandra @ShiftC

    [Reply]

  2. creighbaby says:

    I like your list, but I’m so glad you didn’t mention my favorite thrift shop!

    [Reply]

  3. Great post! Thank you! Looking forward to visiting some of the mentioned shops.

    [Reply]

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