August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day. We all know that I think it should be a national holiday. 🙂 I love my thrift shopping – both shopping and writing about it. I take great enjoyment out of the “hunt” and I have met some remarkable people along the way. Please remember when you shop My Sister’s Place, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat For Humanity, Angel Street, Cauz For Pawz, Housing Works, Humane Society of New Rochelle and countless others, you are supporting PHENOMENAL causes and helping change countless lives. So on National Thrift Shop Day, please go out and shop, you will be supporting someone in need and helping the environment!! Every piece of clothing purchased second-hand means one less new one produced.
So in honor of National Thrift Shop Day, here are my top reasons why I love thrift shopping:
You are more than likely supporting a charity that helps people in need.
You are helping to save the environment.
Thrift shopping allows you to create your own style, be unique and try different things.
You are saving money.
Vintage pieces can make an outfit look spectacular.
You can decorate your home inexpensively.
You can housewares at a fraction off the cost.
You meet some amazing people along the way.
Thrift stores have sales too.
The enjoyment I get from thrift shopping especially when I find a really special piece.
Happy National Thrift Shop Day!!
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One thing that you can count on with Housing Works is that they always carry above average merchandise. But what makes this Housing Works on Crosby Street in SoHo even better than most (if not the best) is the Housing Works Bookstore Café next door. If you have never been to the Housing Works Bookstore Café, I strongly suggest that you check it out. It is an absolutely wonderful bookstore with a great vibe. It is such a popular spot in SoHo but for all the right reasons – atmosphere – the books – the beauty of the mahogany walls – and of course, the café. They serve coffee, snacks and some light alcohol. The café won me over with the vegetarian options. Well done! If you are lucky enough to get a table (more often than not, you will)), you can sit back and flip through one of the thousands of mostly pristine condition books that they carry. They have a book special the first weekend of the month where books are 30% off which is a steal considering the books are already reasonably priced. And if you are a Housing Works member, you can add on another 10% off – who could ask for anything more. Did I mention that the staff is phenomenal – welcoming, helpful and overflowing with graciousness and professionalism! I can’t say enough about this bookstore including the fact that all proceeds benefit the homeless and those affected by HIV/AIDS in NYC.
Now for the Housing Works Thrift Store, I think they carry an above average variety of merchandise. The store is well organized and the displays are always nicely done. The staff is amazingly friendly and helpful. Also, the staff is honest when you ask opinions which I appreciate. I enjoyed looking through the selections and they do carry an array of sizes. My only wish is that they had more selections the day I was in but I figure they just sell out merchandise as soon as they stock it because of the popularity and location of this store.
When it comes to accessories, in my humble opinion, I find that Housing Works carries the best jewelry. I have found some amazing pieces on my visits to various Housing Works. Not too long ago I found a pair of Elsa Perretti Tiffany sterling silver teardrop earrings that were an ABSOLUTE steal at $75 and a gorgeous choker for $10.00 at the Ninth Ave Housing Works. On this visit to SoHo, I found fun sparkly earrings 🙂 in a $2 basket that have become one of my favorites. I believe all merchandise in the windows is sold through online auctions.
The bottom line is that Housing Works may be a bit more expensive but it is worth it if you find something you love of good quality.
In case you are interested, here is the information on a membership with Housing Works:
The Giant Fall Sale has started at select Housing Works. Locations are in NYC and Brooklyn.
Park Slope (266 5th Avenue): Saturday, September 12, noon–8pm
Hell’s Kitchen (730-732 9th Avenue): Tuesday, September 15, 5pm–8pm
Yorkville (1730 Second Avenue): Saturday, September 19, noon–8pm
Tribeca (119 Chambers Street): Tuesday, September 22, 5pm–8pm
Chelsea (143 W. 17th Street): Thursday, September 24, 5pm–8pm
The Society Boutique (Memorial Sloan Kettering)
NYC – Upper East Side
The Annual Fall Opening Sales Event
Thursday, September 10-Monday, September 14
1440 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028
(between 81st and 82nd Streets)
Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
ALL LOCATIONS – New York and New Jersey
Customer Appreciation Day
Get 25% off storewide during Goodwill’s Customer Appreciation Day sale held Tuesdays in September by region:
* 9/1 – New York City (except Van Dam outlet) & Long Island
* 9/15 – Hudson Valley
* 9/22 – Capital District & Broome County
* 9/29 – Northern New Jersey
ATTIC SALE at the Irvington Presbyterian Church, Irvington, New York
(Address on bottom)
(Run, don’t walk to this sale- I absolutely love love this sale) 🙂 🙂 🙂
Annual Attic Sale should not be missed – This is a massive sale that I swear by, I can’t wait. This sale takes over the whole church (and it is one big church) and here is just a sampling of what you will see:
Children’s Clothing & Shoes
Men’s Clothing & Shoes
Women’s Clothing & Shoes
and much much more!
Friday, Sept. 12th – 10am – 5 pm
Saturday, Sept. 13th – 10am – 3 pm
Irvington Presbyterian Church
25 North Broadway
Irvington, NY 10533
PARKING IS ACROSS THE STREET AT THE HIGH SCHOOL
Thrifting refers to the act of shopping at a thrift store, flea market, garage sale, or a shop of a charitable organization, usually with the intent of finding interesting items at a low price. A larger philosophy permeates the act of thrifting which celebrates the recycling of formerly-owned items, finding new use and new love for vintage material goods which had been thrown out, and the thrill of imagining what the former life of the item was like. A zine called “Thrift Score”, published in the 1990s by Ms. Al Hoff, celebrated this lifestyle. Many “resale” shops pull their more interesting items from thrift stores and sell them at higher prices – the premium is because the “digging for gold” has already been done.
This is from Definitions.net – I just thought you would enjoy! 🙂
I always find thrifting much more fun when I am not on the hunt for a particular item. It is because I am going through most racks and I stumble upon pieces that I may have otherwise missed if on a specific hunt. I have also noticed that my wardrobe is becoming much more eclectic and fun because I am mixing traditional with funky or vintage when appropriate. I have received compliments on some of my outfits so it must be working :).
There is a “Unique Boutique” on the Upper East Side that is pleasantly nice. There is a good selection of men and women’s clothes, a decent book selection and the inventory seems to constantly change. They have some housewares and the good news is that they do use the color coded tag system so there are always sales. 🙂
I enjoy this small shop because it is reasonably priced and if you are lucky enough to find items that you like and they are on sale, all the better. They have a great tee shirt section and if you are job hunting and need a suit, the suits are sensibly priced. The shoe selection is not bad and quite often, there are some new shoes on the rack for sale. (I think what happens with shoes is that us lovely ladies buy shoes and then have buyers regret or they are too tight, heel not right, etc. and it is not in the window of returning so we donate 🙂 which works out well for thrifters. 🙂
1674 Third Ave
New York, NY 10028
(between 93rd & 94th)
Mon-Fri: 11 AM- 7 PM
Sat: 10 AM-6 PM
Sun: 11 AM-5 PM
There are two Housing Works that are in the area that are worth a visit;
202 East 77th Street
New York, NY 10021
Mon-Fri: 11 AM- 7 PM
Sat: 10 AM-6 PM
Sun: 11 AM-5 PM
Closing at 5 pm on July 4th.
Housing Works (Yorkville)
1730 2nd Ave. (at 90th Street)
New York, NY 10128
Mon-Fri: 11 AM- 7 PM,
Sat: 10 AM-6 PM
Sun: 11AM – 5 PM
Closing at 5 pm on July 4th.
I must say that I favor the 90th Street location as they always seem to have a great inventory (both men’s and women’s) and the prices are reasonable. They seem to jam pack some great finds in this smaller space. I think that this is most definitely worth a visit. The 77th Street is also worth a visit.
I tried to capture the 77th Street windows above – Housing Works does a great job on their windows.
Have a safe and wonderful July 4th holiday and until next time, HAPPY SHOPPING!!
If you are into repurposing furniture or like DIY projects, no better place to start than the flea market.
You can turn a $25 coffee table into a repurposed center piece. Find items to create one-of-a-kind wall décor and repurpose furniture to give your home an inexpensive makeover. Just watch “Flea Market Flip” on HGTV. I have gotten so many decorating ideas from that show and they demonstrate great ways to repurpose many different types of items. It is a great show and I highly recommend especially if you are handy and like DIY projects.
With that in mind, let me tell you about a GREAT flea market I visited last weekend;
GreenFlea Market on Columbus Ave between 76th and 77th Street
The market is made possible through the support of the NYC Department of Education. The proceeds from the GreenFlea Market benefits four public schools: PS 87, The Computer School, PS 334 (Anderson Program) and PS 452.
Money generated by the market is used by the Parents Association to provide enrichment opportunities for the schools. Since 1985 GreenFlea has provided the schools with more than $7,000,000.
I really enjoy going to GreenFlea. There is just so much to see and browse through. Absolutely anything and everything that you can imagine and then some. Jewelry, clothing – new and vintage, accessories, antiques, lighting, vinyl records, soaps, candles, too much to list. And as an added bonus, they have awesome noshes while you are there. You must go to the right when you go in and have a piece of spinach pie, baklava, mini mushroom pastry or any of the delicious treats they are selling – the prices are more than reasonable and the food is absolutely scrumptious. The mini spinach pastry ($1.50 each) was almost sold out by 12:30pm and the flea market opened at 10am. And they have a whole space indoors that you should also check out.
One in particular vendor that I loved the merchandise was Latifs Designs. He has the most beautiful lighting fixtures and chandeliers, both traditional and a bit funky. I fell in love with them all.
The jewelry is unique and there are many different types from ethnic to funky and so many unique designs so you are sure to get noticed. You will never find your run of the mill items at GreenFlea. The antiques are extraordinary (or they were when I was there) and they also carry a few modern pieces.
The merchandise for the most part is above average. What I like most about GreenFlea is that they actually have an approval process for a vendor which includes submitting a bill of sale for designer merchandise. All counterfeits and knockoffs are prohibited. They even have a moratorium on items so the market is not repetitive. I have been going for years and I loved it back then and I still love it now.
While we are on the subject of flea markets, here are a few others that you must visit:
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues
Sunday: 9am – 5pm (weather permitting)
It is on the uptown Side of West 25th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue,
(Near The Flatiron Building, Eataly, and Madison Square Park).
Every Saturday & Sunday, year-round (weather permitting)
Chelsea Market and the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is most definitely worth a visit –you can spend hours just looking at some of the items on sale here. Even if you don’t buy anything, I can guarantee that you will have a blast just browsing. Again, lots of unique and interesting items just like GreenFlea. I particularly love checking out the vintage jewelry especially brooches. I just love brooches; they dress up everything, a denim jacket, that little black dress, so many different ways to dress up any outfit.
$1 admissionat both
I would have loved to recommend the Antiques Garage as my most favorite flea market in the city, but unfortunately, it closed last June after twenty years. I found so many unique items there; I will treasure them more now that it is closed. I am sure some of you remember it.
Now let me get back on track;
While I was at GreenFlea, my next stop was Housing Works on Columbus Avenue. We all know how much I love Housing Works but this one was insane on the day I was there and it was early in the day. It was jam-packed and there was quite a selection of furniture. I thought that the furniture was reasonably priced but the housewares were a bit overpriced. You could barely get by the racks of clothes so many people were browsing. I am not sure if it always that crowded or if the gorgeous weather had something to do with it. J But I am sure that the furniture I saw is sold and long gone.
Just a FYI – Housing Works has membership packages – here are just two —– (please check the website for exact information and other membership packages).
$60 Friend membership gets you 10% off books at the Bookstore Café, a Housing Works tote bag and other special perks.
$120 Advocate gets you all the above plus special member discounts and 25% off on Sundays (exclusions apply). (That could explain the large crowd on Sunday.)
306 Columbus Ave. (At 74th Street)
New York, NY 10023
Right nearby are not one, but two Goodwill stores;
The West 79th Street store is small and I think clothes are the specialty here. Nice variety and setup well for a small space. Being this is spring cleaning season, now may be the time to go. I have seen some beautiful suits, dresses, jeans on the rack and the pricing for the most part was reasonable. The housewares get an honorable mention here.
Goodwill West 79th Street
217 West 79th Street
New York, NY 10024
The West 72nd Street store has only two dressing rooms which can be a pain when there is line of people waiting BUT I do like the clothes selection here and I thought the dress section was above average although the pricing a bit steep for certain brands. I thought it had an excellent men’s section. This shop is definitely worth a trip.
Goodwill West 72nd Street
157 W 72nd St
New York, NY 10069
When you find a thrift store that you like, make sure that you sign up for their email notifications and like their Facebook page when available, it is a great way to find out about sales and promotions and even see a preview of merchandise . And if you are very lucky, an occasional coupon!!
I thought I would cut right to the chase today and let you know about an abundance of thrift shops on 23rd Street and the surrounding area. Sort of like a pub crawl but for thrift shops. 🙂
There is such a great array – City Opera, Cauz for Pawz, Housing Works, Vintage Thrift (off 23rd St.), Unique Boutique (3rd Ave and 29th), Goodwill and Salvation Army.
So here we go;
City Opera Thrift Shop
222 E 23rd St
New York, NY 10010
Mon-Wed-Fri – 10am-7pm
You have to love City Opera; it is a great thrift shop with lots of character. It has high quality clothing and not at exorbitant prices. They have a wonderful women’s selection with lots of dressy styles (fun to browse through) and I have seen some top brand men’s shirts/suits at reasonable prices. Upstairs is the artwork, books and assorted items. The costume jewelry is always fun to look at in the front of the store and you can find great buys in the shoe department if you are lucky. As far as furniture, I have seen some extraordinary furniture but it is gone as fast as it comes in. Join their Facebook page so you can see when they are having special events which are worth going to. City Opera is one not to miss!!!
Cauz for Pawz
212 E 23rd St
New York, NY 10010
Mon-Fri – 10am–8pm
Sun – 11am-7pm
Cauz for Pawz provides animal welfare organizations, rescue and no kill shelters with financial funds and supplies – they host animal adoption events and even run a community pet food pantry for animals in need. What is their not to love about this – I definitely want to help this cause!
They have two floors with the better quality clothing upstairs and the big markdowns downstairs. The housewares are downstairs as well as well as the majority of shoes. They have a fine selection of costume jewelry in the front of the shop and they are having a 20% off sale on it from May 8 – 10th just in time for Mother’s Day. PSA – the elevator is a bit rickety but don’t worry J.
I like this Housing Works (I like all Housing Works). The clothes are great – both a men and women’s section with a good variety and a nice sized shoe department with bags and accessories. They have a decent book section and I have never seen housewares jump off the shelves like this Housing Works so there always seems to be a limited supply. They have a sale rack which is worth going through and as in most thrift stores on 23rd Street; furniture has a short “shelf life”. The window displays are always fun to look at but the items are only available through auction. Another not to miss!
286 3rd Ave. (between 2nd and 3rd)
New York, NY
Mon – Thur – 10:30am-8pm
Friday – 10:30am until dusk
Sun – 11am-7pm
Saturday – Closed
Purchases from the Vintage Shop benefit the United Jewish Council of the East Side which operates three senior centers. They have also developed and now manage 170 units of low income, elderly and special needs amongst many other programs. I salute UJC for helping the senior citizen population.
The sales here are great when they have them and it is just so much fun to browse through this shop. The displays are charming and have been set up quite nicely. There is just so much to see. I think that there are some great finds to be had here. Vintage Thrift – Another definitely not to miss!!!
402 Third Ave. (between 28 & 29)
New York, NY 10128
Mon – Sat – 10am–9pm
Sunday – 11am-8pm
This is a great shop just have a little patience. Sweet book selection – the hardcovers are $2 and the paperbacks $1 with some new releases (obviously they don’t last long). The clothes selection is good but not extensive. They carry some good name brands but look over the clothes closely before purchasing. I think this is one of those places where you may find that “buy” but it will take a little work. The prices are reasonable and it is definitely worth a trip especially if you are in the neighborhood.
220 E 23rd St
New York, NY 10010
Mon – Sat – 9am-9pm
Sunday – 10am – 6pm
206 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
Mon, Tues, Thur and Friday – 10am-6pm
Wed and Sat – 10am-7pm
The Salvation Army operates over 7,475 centers in communities across the United States. These include food distribution, disaster relief, rehabilitation centers, anti-human trafficking efforts, and a wealth of children’s programs. Their work is funded through kettle donations, corporate contributions, and the sale of goods donated to our Salvation Army Family Stores. Eighty-two cents of every dollar we spend supports various missions across the country.
I will touch upon this Goodwill and Salvation Army briefly.
I like this Goodwill and Salvation Army, I do — but you really have to go through the racks to find something. I just don’t seem to have much luck clothing-wise in this Goodwill although I have found a few nice things in the housewares section and very reasonably priced. I will say both have decent tee-shirt sections and both have vintage tees at times which are fun. FYI – This Salvation Army does not have a dressing room. I will say this about both stores – they both have heavy foot traffic and always have long lines at checkout so there is some good merchandise to be had and they are cheaper than the others on the block but the quality is not always as good.
PLEASE NOTE – all constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated and let me know if there is a specific shop in mind you would like to know about!!
While doing my spring cleaning I looked at my “finds” and I realized that I have a few top quality pieces that I otherwise would not have had but for my “eagle eye” in thrift stores.
I have been to some thrift stores where I gasp at the prices and I walk into some thrift stores and do a little victory dance 🙂 it all depends on how you look at it. Me personally, I do not need a Dolce and Gabbana tee-shirt that is normally $275 for $39 – but for some, that is their spectacular buy and I get it and totally respect it. 🙂
At the Goodwill in New Rochelle I talked about in my last post, I bought a Tory Burch summer dress for $29.99 (not on sale) – it wasn’t because it was Tory Burch but rather black which is my favorite clothing color (I know, I know) and it fit perfectly. But I think it had more to do with luck — they had just restocked the racks a couple of hours earlier. Please don’t be discouraged by this, you will find some great buys just not every trip. I tend to stick with familiar brands that are a good fit rather than “label” shopping. And you never know, you might find that extraordinary piece or label you always wanted while looking.
You can spend days and days in the city going to all the “major” thrift shops let alone some smaller ones that aren’t even on the radar yet. I have always found the city thrift shops although pricier have a much wider variety of style and fashion trends. If vintage is your niche, the city is the place to find the best selection of vintage whether through thrift, consignment or vintage stores. Vintage stores like Screaming Mimi’s, No Relation Vintage and Vice Versa are all absolutely amazing and I think three of the TOP RATED vintage stores in the city. I promise any one of these stores will be a shopping experience you will thoroughly enjoy.
No Relation Vintage http://www.ltrainvintage.com
204 First Ave.
New York, NY 10009
Please note that Vice Versa and No Relation have multiple locations.
I digressed but I do hope that you enjoy this information.
I thought about how I will handle all the thrift shops in the city and I thought that geographically would be best. After all, if I tell you about Angel Street (which I will today) I should also focus on the thrift stores in the near vicinity.
About Angel Street, the proceeds benefit the innovative programs of the Lower East Side Service Center. The LESC is dedicated to improving the lives individuals and families affected by substance abuse, HIV/Aids and mental illness. Kudos to Angel Street. I enjoy telling you who benefits from the proceeds of thrift stores so you know who are ultimately helping. 🙂
Angel Street is one of my favorite thrift shops in the city. I find the BEST accessories in Angel Street. They have such a great selection and all reasonably priced. They have headbands (I use them to cover the greys 🙂 in between salon appts), earrings, necklaces, brooches, hair pins, you name it. They have great furniture and home décor but it never ever lasts very long. The clothes are little pricey but all great brands and good quality and a respectable selection. They have shoes and handbags but again, the items in Angel Street have a generally short “shelf life” so if you fall in love with something, buy it. It is just so much fun to browse around Angel Street; it is definitely worth a visit and the selections will be different each time.
Housing Works is another great thrift shop. There are numerous Housing Works scattered throughout the city. They have a Bookstore Café downtown that is such a fun place to go alone or meet friends. It is a NYC institution. In Brooklyn, the have a $25 “BUY THE BAG” shop (we all know how much I love this type of sale) and it is known as “thrifters paradise”. I will treat each Housing Works separately as each has its own “personality”. This is another organization supporting those in need.
The mission statement — Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.
This particular Housing Works that I am addressing is right down the block from Angel Street and another not to be missed. It has a lot in common with Angel Street in that most items have a very short shelf life. I absolutely love their jewelry selection. I bought a pretty crystal necklace for $19.99 last year and I always get compliments when I wear it. I am sure that it is worth triple what I paid. Because both these shops are popular and there is a lot of foot traffic so the shelves/racks are constantly being replenished. I can guarantee that every visit will have all new selections. The furniture barely gets there before a “sold” sticker is slapped on. The clothes fly off the shelves and the housewares/books disappear as fast. It is worth going just to experience. FYI – The window items are only available through auction.