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:
Steinway Thrift Shop looks like your run of the mill thrift shop but what makes it stand out is that if you have the patience, you can walk out with some real gems here. I noticed a few designer samples pieces which were pretty cool. Maybe I am just an eternal optimist but I always find something that makes me fall in love with thrifting all over again. I found a Neiman Marcus sweater for $9.99 which I swooped up.
What I do find in this instance is that if you go through the racks of items that interest you, there is more of a shot of finding something that you like. The day I went, I decided I was only going to look through the sweaters because it has been chilly in the office and I ended up finding the ideal sweater. But of course, if you have oodles of time and you can go through all the racks, then have fun :). I briefly checked out the men’s department and it was not bad at all, lots of Dockers, Banana Republic, Gap and all the usual men’s labels.
Steinway Thrift carries some vintage, lots of shoes, pants, suits and dresses for women and I think the store is in a very hipster area and perfect for the people who want to carve out their own style. You can have a blast with the vintage or near vintage and even throw in some preppy pieces.
The window displays show all the antiques and some unique decor that you just might like!
If you are in the neighborhood, I suggest you stop in, you just never know what you might find.
Tucked away on Hudson Street in the West Village is by far, one of the best thrift shops in New York City. I feel exceptionally confident making this statement. This place is PHENOMENAL – the selections are top-notch and high quality. The prices may be higher than some other thrift shops but I can assure you, you are getting exceptional merchandise. They have a section called the “Posh Tree” where they have top designer merchandise for women – the great thing about this section is that they rotate onto the “regular” racks after a certain amount of time so you will see some pretty cool offerings in both sections. The men’s section is well above average and there is definitely a great selection of suits and shirts. The household items and home décor are placed all around the store and are pretty standard for thrift shops with a very good amount of standouts. The jewelry selection is very eclectic and fun to go through. The accessories are extraordinary and not to be missed even if just browsing. Tom Ford. Louis Vuitton, Gucci are just a few names I came across.
On the Saturday when I went, it was half off clothing so I was able to get a Michael Kors poncho top for $12, a bedazzled tunic for $9 and a gorgeous scarf for $9. Now I see on their Facebook page that on Saturday, September 9th they are having their End of Season Bag Sale. Fill a bag with clothing, shoes, handbags, belts, hats….all for $25. PLUS SPECIAL ONE DAY ONLY : ALL JEWELRY HALF PRICE – this is one sale that I promise I will not miss. Filling a bag with this kind of merchandise will be an absolute pleasure and one of the reasons why I love thrift shopping.
Overall, this is definitely in my top five thrift shops of all time.
All proceeds from purchases at St. Luke’s Thrift Shop help to support St. Luke’s community service programs. Please read about St. Luke’s rich history on the website. www.stlukeinthefields.org
My dream blog has become a reality. It has been an amazing year (plus). Thanks to some great publicity from the very popular blog, Struck By Wanderlust (https://struckbywanderlustblog.wordpress.com), my blog has been read in over 26 countries including Australia, Israel, and Greece to name a few. Outside of the U.S., the UK folks seem to be reading my blog the most :). My blogs have been viewed well over 4,000 times and the numbers keep growing. The most popular blog was on the Humane Society of New Rochelle. They posted my blog on their Facebook page and it went through the roof. The most popular day to read my blog is Tuesday and the most popular hour is 9 p.m. (Thank you WordPress for all the great stats.) Please note I am posting on Tuesday but not at 9 p.m. 🙂
Thrift Shopping has been steadily increasing over the past few years for many reasons. People who want to have a unique/individual style start thrifting to create these styles. Vintage clothing is hugely popular right now and trending. People are very cost conscious as well especially when it comes to clothing and they find thrifting a good alternative. Most importantly, by reselling and recycling clothing, you are helping the planet.
Goodwill has been evolving and introduced “boutique shopping” and opened their newest boutique in Union Square last year. Reselling websites like Real Real, Tradesy and Thred Up are thriving. Consignment shops are more popular than ever especially in the high end handbag and accessory category. The luxury handbag category is an exceptionally competitive market. In 2014 alone, revenues for the thrift store industry were close to $9 billion
I know a couple of people that buy used items at thrift stores and resell on eBay. They buy top brand name shirts, blouses and jeans at shops like St. Bart’s for a few bucks and then resell on eBay for anywhere from $10.00 to $20.00 depending on the quality, brand, etc. and what they paid.
I take great joy in finding new thrift shops, visiting my “regulars” and buying new outfits or something for the house. So whatever you desire, whether to shop for yourself or shop to make money, I hope that you enjoy my blogs; they are truly a labor of love.
There are two blocks on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that have three of the most popular thrift shops in that area. “Thrifter’s Row” is one of the most popular names that it goes by. The (Memorial Sloan Kettering) Society Boutique, the Cancer Care Thrift Shop and the Arthritis Thrift Shop are all within three blocks. You would be hard pressed not to find a bargain in one of the three. Even though I find these to be “high end” thrift shops, they do have sales and good ones at that. And if you are into designer duds J, these are the shops that you want to visit. 🙂
Proceeds from the Cancer Care Thrift Shop helps offer free (and extensive) professional services for people with cancer and their loved ones.
What I like most about this store is that they go by the color coded sale system so ultimately there is always a sale. This store definitely has more stock than the others but not too much space to move around in to shop. There are designer treasures buried among the racks, it just takes patience to find them. The shoe section is a definite must look for designer shoe lovers and the jewelry section tends to have some unusual pieces. The women’s section is much more extensive than the men’s. This is definitely worth looking a visit.
Cancer Care Thrift Shop
1480 Third Ave. (between 83rd and 84th St.)
New York, NY 10028
Wed. & Thur. 11am-7pm
Proceeds from the Arthritis Thrift Shop help make a difference in the lives of adults and children living with arthritis. They fund research to find a cure for arthritis, advocate for better access to care and connect families to the treatments and support that they need.
Racks and racks and every single one is worth going through. There are lots of treasures to be found.
The women’s clothes range from very casual to exceptionally dressy. The sales are exceptional; the day I was there it was 50% off jewelry, handbags and shoes. The shelves were getting thin by the time I arrived late afternoon. It can get a little crowded but this is where patience pays off. The shelves high above carry art work and I always enjoy checking it out. I would say this thrift shop is definitely worth a visit.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out the windows and ask about special previews and sales!
Arthritis Thrift Shop
1430 Third Ave. (between 81st and 82nd St.)
New York, NY 10028
The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), founded in 1946, is a volunteer-led organization within MSK dedicated to promoting the well-being of patients, supporting cancer research, and providing public education on the early prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.
The Society Boutique (formerly Memorial Sloan Kettering Thrift Shop) is the most expensive of the three. They carry more designer items than not and this is where you may find the piece you always wanted or even the one you didn’t know J you wanted. They are currently renovating the back room so they are not fully stocked at the moment. The have fine china, crystal and some houseware (a bit overpriced in my opinion). The book selection offers some coffee table books but be prepared to pay but it is still better than full price. They also carry some evening wear. The store is spacious so you can browse leisurely.
This shop has a very loyal following but please don’t listen to the naysayers who think it is a shop for the older crowd, there is something here for both young and not so 🙂 young.
Great window displays, check them out.
PSA: Their Summer Bazaar takes place from Wednesday, June 17 – Saturday, June 20.
The Society Boutique (formerly Memorial Sloan Kettering Thrift Shop)
1440 Third Ave. (between 81st and 82nd St.)
New York, NY 10028
A thrift shop is only as good as the donations it receives. Now that summer is coming and you may be cleaning out that closet again – please, please bag up the clothes that you no longer use and donate them to charity. Donate to your favorite charity or any charity. Goodwill, Salvation Army, any local thrift store by you — just donate – thousands of people are being helped in New York every day by the money thrift shops raise throughout the area. They help so many people with a wide variety of needs. Hopefully as I tell you about each charity, you will understand how your shopping dollars help those in need. Pay it forward.
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