Posted by: Lindsay | October 9, 2009

Top Five Brooklyn Vintage/Thrift Shops

#5. Junk — 197 N. 9th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

This little store appeared on the corner of Driggs and N. 9th St unexpectedly. I walked down the staircase and into the well-lit underground basement-type to find a treasure chest of home decor and furniture. There were tons of couches, dining room tables, coffee tables, overstuffed chairs, wooden chairs, bookshelves, end tables, side tables, and love seats all situated in the mini-room style, like IKEA – only much cooler. The sunlight shone through the windows in a very inviting manner that made me want to curl up on one particular couch ($200) and fall asleep. The prices were pretty fantastic at this store for the products they were offering. Unfortunately I didn’t have the energy or manpower to get the couch back to Park Slope, but I did find a few funky hats and records in the back.  Junk was not a store that I would recommend as far as for clothes shopping, but definitely check it out if you’re redecorating or new to the area.

Also, just as an additional tidbit, a girl came in while I was there looking for little animal figurine-style toys and surprisingly found a wide array. I was impressed by the peculiarity of needs that this store could suffice.

#4. The Thing — 1001 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY

I visited The Thing first on my original thrift store outing about three weeks ago. Walking down Manhattan Ave provided an intriguing sight of The Thing as it seemed to spill out both its windows and door into the sidewalk in front. There were hanging jackets and clothes on a rolling rack and an entire set of dining room chairs; there were televisions facing the street out the window and festive lights dangled above the sidewalk chaos. I was obviously the first arrival of the day, but the lone employee was friendly and made small talk with me before turning on the Ramones to dance around to while he worked. I found his happiness infectious, especially as I managed my way through piles of filled heavy-duty black plastic trash bags and into The Thing. There were two racks of clothes – a side for men’s and one for women’s – in the middle of the store, and bookshelves lining every wall. However, The Thing’s most impressive collection was of records, of which there was an entire back room full. Such a random store – I walked away with ten paperback books, a skirt, a blouse, and my new favorite scarf, all for $15!  Check it out if you’re looking for records, books, TVs, lamps, or ANYTHING for that matter.

#3. Re/Dress NYC — 109 Boerum Place, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY

Dude, check it. This place is advertised for size 14+, but I found over $100 worth of clothes that definitely fit me, and I’m more like a size 8. Entering Re/Dress, I walked into a huge room filled with tons of colors and options and styles. The two sales girls were incredibly friendly and helpful, and did not seem dismayed or uncomfortable with me ransacking through the vintage racks. Apparently I visited Re/Dress just after their fall sale, so most of the items I found were either just $10 or 50% off! As a consignment store, Re/Dress had a wide variety of style options – be it vintage clothing, Mod-styles, fur coats, tons of holiday sweaters, and a multitude of skirts ranging from size 6 to size 16. I was hoping for a better selection of shoes, but Re/Dress still had plenty (just none that I wanted…) lining the back wall of the store and atop almost every clothing rack. I found clutches, purses, tote bags, and bags with every possible color of sequin; there was also a variety of jewelry and other accessories to comb through. Also impressive: the fitting rooms! Like giant zebra print tents, I felt like I was backstage at Fashion Week getting ready to strut my shit down the catwalk. The mirror was huge and made me look damn good in all my selections. I ended up choosing a single dress for $20 that I’ve already worn out and gotten compliments for. The prices are great at Re/Dress NYC and now that they’re open seven days a week, what are you waiting for?

#2. Atlantis Attic — 771 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

It was difficult to decide which store deserved second place as opposed to first, so the fact that Atlantis Attic is number two should not deter you in any way, shape, or form from making it a top priority. I literally shop here every Tuesday and Thursday. Receiving three new shipments a week, Atlantis Attic is a warehouse of incredibly cheap vintage and used clothing that never fails to impress. Atlantis Attic is not considered a vintage or consignment store, but definitely emits the vintagey, hipstery vibe. Instead, it’s a thrift store, with prices that even the most broke Brooklynite (cough cough, me) can afford. This place is so big that there are TWO shoe sections (one of which provided me with FIVE new pairs of shoes on my first trip – J. Crew and Doc Martens included) and every style of clothing you could imagine. I have found vintage dresses and sweaters and skirts, high-waisted pants, fur coats and winter jackets, men’s pants and work shirts, sports jerseys, work boots, stylish heels, loafers, and almost every outfit imaginable! On my first trip, I left with five pairs of shoes, three skirts, two sweaters, two dresses, and a velvet purse, all for $90. Despite its place at number one, the next store still doesn’t make me want to go to Williamsburg to go shopping this bad.

#1. Monk Vintage Thrift Shop — 579 5th Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY [also at 496 Driggs Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY]

I first visited the Williamsburg shop on my first day of vintage/thrift exploring. I had rounded the corner with Junk and then Buffalo Exchange, and was feeling rather downtrodden about my findings. It was with reluctance that I even entered Monk, but was truly ecstatic with my experience there. Unlike its neighbor Buffalo Exchange, which was swarming with your typical Williamsburg hipsters, Monk was completely empty with the exception of its employees, two girls dressed more goth than I’ve seen yet or since in New York City. The store was filled to the brim with every possible vintage style for which one could be searching. I ended up filling a rolling rack just to take into the tiny fitting room with me and still milling around for an hour afterward editing my choices and adding more to the pile. Despite the quality in clothes, books, belts, shoes, and accessories, I bought everything I wanted and didn’t even break the bank. I ended up with two belts, four vintage dresses, a sweater, and a skirt. *Pictures coming*

The 5th Ave store was a completely different experience, albeit, still totally pleasurable. Outside the 5th Ave store were piles of books and maybe a few chairs, and an Indian man greeted me as I entered. Much smaller than the Williamsburg store, I didn’t realize they were at all associated except by name. Boots and shoes lined every inch of the shelves on the wall with sizes written largely on the toes so it was easy to discern possible purchases, although the shoes were all far too small to fit my size 9 feet – so beware large-footed shoppers. There were racks packed with vintage skirts, blouses and sweaters for women, and an equally large selection of clothes for men. I found quite a few ties that I liked (although they were all over $10, and I’m just not that kind of shopper) but no pants for me or for my boyfriend. In the back of the store were a few dining room hutches with VCRs, DVD players, purses, wine glasses, dining sets, and silverware displayed. I ended up with a new J. Crew sweater for $6 and a brown overcoat for $20. Had the shoes been bigger, you can bet I would have walked out with a few pairs of those as well.


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