Let me just give you a runthrough on what vintage/thrift/consignment is all about in my area. Pretty long post, but it's helpful.
- Location, location, location.
In NY it's all a matter of location. East Village tends to have the best thrift stores to me, I also hang out near St. Marks but never on St. Mark's itself; it's a tourist trap and you can find better prices around it rather than on it. Prices here are inflated, naturally, a deal would be a $10 skirt and a $20-40 dress.
When in NJ, location doesn't factor in so much, you're just paying for the clothes and sometimes the prices are suspiciously cheap you wonder if it's even that. Stores usually aren't within walking distance of each other but you can get to all of them using the Lightrail and/or PATH. Prices vary, from half a buck to new york prices depending on the store.
- Know the difference between Consignment, Thrift, and Vintage. This is a good article on it. I find the best high end labels in the consignment stores in the city (Tokio 7 holla at cho grrlll), the best deals at the thrift stores in Jersey.
NJ Stores: I don't think people realize how easy it is to get from NYC to Jersey City. It is literally one subway ride away. The 33rd St train can take you into Jersey City in various locations, and from those locations you can transfer to lightrail or just walk to any of the shops I frequent. If you want the specifics, you can shoot me an email or comment here.
- No Relation Vintage. Here's the Yelp Page. $10 skirts, $20 dresses, very good. The dresses tend to need a lot of alteration (the best ones are in the plus sizes) but it's worth it if you can alter. They also have awesome jackets and a rack of petticoats / tutu's from $20-45.
- Love Saves the Day. Here's the Yelp Page. I absolutely adore this place. If you're a kid at heart that enjoys Nancy Drew metal lunchboxes and tiered, sheer floral dresses and batman sunglasses you will love it.
- Cadillac's Castle. Yelp. The $10 rack is pretty good, it's a minimalist store and the guy is pretty cool too. It's a hit or miss store and prices can range from $ to the $$$'s.
- Monk. Yelp. Tavi can vouch for this, I think. She's been there on a trip to the city. Good prices and good stuff.
- Tokio 7. If you have money to spend and love avant garde and heavy hitting labels you'll find what you need here. The owners are very cool and the prices are decent for nearly near and superbly kept designer pieces. I can never afford it, but it's nice to drool over and the owners don't kick me out for doing so, = wicked pro and generally love it.
My NJ Haunts:
- Another Man's Treasure. I did a post on them here.
- Hello Again Vintage. If you're going to be in NJ for any reason, stop by here with $30 and you can pretty much buy a whole new wardrobe. I'm not kidding. They are so sweet! *wave to them* I just got your email guys, hellooooo againnnnn. (I had to do it, the pun was so bad.)
- G-ma's Thrift Store. 118 Mallory Avenue, Jersey City. What can I say about G-ma's.. other than it's epicly rad? Pepto bismol pink walls, shifting through 10 piles of velour tracksuits and chinos to find your dream vest/capelet/summer dresses while listening to G-ma talk to her daughters in her heavy Jersey Accent underneath her heavy 80's mascara and mullet.. the true New Jersey experience.
- Hala Vintage. Small but great selection of shoes and hats and lingerie.
- World of Style Vintage. Ebay pricing. I. adore. these. people. Loveable, extremely awesome, outrageously cool people that will parade by in moonboots and lingerie like it ain't no big thang. You can also get your hair cut here, and they're quite famous for it. *twirls hair*
Hope that helped!