Friday, 14 March 2014

Vintage Shopping in New York City

So, we're nothing if not punctual. We went to New York for my 30th birthday last April, and only now am I getting around to writing my blog post about it! We did a bit of vintage shopping in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and bought some nice pieces for ourselves and for you, which are now available to buy in our ASOS boutique.

As always, this isn't meant to be a definitive guide to vintage shopping in this amazing city, it's just a little look at some places we visited and enjoyed, which you might want to check out if you are heading to the Big Apple. We found that the prices for vintage were very variable, in fact quite a few of the shops were really rather expensive. As always we were on the hunt for maximum bargains, and those don't seem to be as easy to come by as you might expect. It's not hard to find vintage in New York, but it is a little harder to find those affordable gems, so we were glad that before we went we studied a few great guides that we found online: Broke In The City, Business Insider's 12 Best Flea Markets and Time Out's Best Vintage Stores.

In Manhattan we found that a lot of the vintage and consignment shops tend to be quite upscale and pricey, ideal if you are hunting down a designer handbag or something but less good for cheap vintage bargains. We were impressed with the East Village Thrift Shop though (186 2nd Ave, between 11th and 12th St), where we managed to pick up some good kitsch t shirts, and a few designer dresses for reasonable prices.  I'm sure there are a lot of other great vintage treasure troves on Manhattan that we just didn't get a chance to track down, please comment with any tips you can share!

Something that you really should check out but unfortunately we ran out of time to see is the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, which is on every Saturday and Sunday all year at West 39th Street between 9th & 10th Avenues. We have spoken to several friends who highly recommended it.

Brooklyn is definitely the honeypot of vintage in NYC. Every other shop seems to be a vintage shop, and it's lots of fun to explore as each one has its own unique vibe, though the prices and quality are variable. Beacon's Closet (88 North 11th St) is one of the big names in vintage, a place that all of our friends recommended to us before we went to New York. Was is good? We have no idea, we were, ahem, slightly distracted by the sweet smell of Brooklyn Brewery just a stone's throw away. Sorry. We'd recommend the brewery though, they do a great free tour! By the time we finished there we were running late to meet friends for dinner and had to skip Beacon's Closet, which was a shame. A good reason to go back though, right?

A couple of shops in Brooklyn that we particularly enjoyed (and they are right next to each other, bonus!) were Junk (500 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn) and Buffalo Exchange (504 Driggs Avenue). Junk pretty much does what it says on the tin, it's a living example of that old adage, one man's junk is another man's treasure! There is a good mix of furniture, homewares, books, some clothes and all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff, none of which was expensive. It's the kind of place that makes you wish you had an apartment in Brooklyn just so you could fill it with all kinds of odd stuff.

Buffalo Exchange is actually a US chain of shops which sell vintage and used clothing, people can bring in their old clothes and sell them for cash or store credit. We found the prices were the best here of all the places we visited, and the staff were ultra friendly, recommending other shops we should check out and nearby spots for lunch. All the stock was presented really nicely and we picked up some lovely pieces for ourselves, including a wicker handbag for $11.

Finally, we checked out the Brooklyn Flea.We actually found it a bit disappointing, as we found that while there was lots of lovely stuff, the majority of it was sooo expensive! Still nice for a look around though,

So, what treasures did we pick up in NYC? Apart from a few pieces we have sold at vintage fairs, the New York haul is now available to buy on ASOS Marketplace, and we have an amazing David Bowie T Shirt on eBay. So even if you can't get over there yourself and get shopping you can have a little vintage slice of the big apple from us.

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