31 July 2008

where to shop for dummies

About 80% of the emails I get are on where to shop in my area, so here's a post on it. Previous posts on THE places to go if you're in the area can be found here, here, and in pretty much any of my recent posts with the label "outfit".

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.

manhattan vintage fair

  • 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.
How to Access NYC Stores: Use Hopstop to plan out your route, calculate your transportation into it before hand (if you're anal like me about money, I'm asian that way). I use Smartlink 1-Day Unlimited for $6 in most cases as I transfer a lot.

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.

    My NYC Haunts:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Monk. Yelp. Tavi can vouch for this, I think. She's been there on a trip to the city. Good prices and good stuff.
    5. 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.
  • Also: Flea Markets and Vintage Fairs are completely worth going to, there's so much to look at and even if you don't buy anything you'll discover new stores and get inspiration.

    My NJ Haunts:
    1. Another Man's Treasure. I did a post on them here.
    2. 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.)
    3. 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.
    4. Hala Vintage. Small but great selection of shoes and hats and lingerie.
    5. 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*
Any more questions? Shoot them my way, and I'll post them. But if you want to know about the real specs of vintage, you should ask Rhiannon and/or Sally Jane, as they run their own (awesome) online vintage stores. These are my own recomendations, I've stopped by every store in this at least once if not purchased something from them. Also, for Helloagain and Another Man's mention the blog and they'll know I sent you! :)

Hope that helped!


Cristina said...

this is exactlyyy what i needed for when i go up there! thanks!

p.s. can you tag my blog on your page?


Jennifer said...

Oh Arabelle, I believe we should go shopping one day. I'm also completely serious in this suggestion, too! I'm about 20 minutes from Jersey City (and I'm hoping that doesn't sound as creepy and stalkerish as I think it sounds). Haha

Arabelle said...

cristina: added, pretty lady. :)

jennifer: absolutely. name the date and time and I AM THERE. it's not stalkerish at all, i don't think you're a 90 year old pedo so it's all goooddddd. plus maybe your DIY genius will rub off on me.. >>

Tavi said...

Yes, the 12 year old elf wears glasses.

I approve of Monk.

Cristina said...

thank youuu (:

gmasthriftshop said...

Great blog, but just to let you know G-Ma is not who you think she is! Everyone thinks my Mom is G-Ma, but actually it's my grandmother, I use to call her G-Ma, so I named my store in honor of her. Thanks for your business. Your bound to find something good if you dig deep in those buckets!! :o)

Arabelle said...

AHHH! How is everyone I write about finding my blog?! *spazzes*

no problem. xD please don't be mad at me for anything.

emily said...

thank you for this post; you're amazing. <3

gmasthriftshop said...

Nope, not mad at all. I think your blog is great, my Mom and I love reading it, and everyone is entitled to opinions. I decided to do a google search with my store name, and your blog came up.

Arabelle said...

Ok, now I feel not as mortified. XD tell her I said hi, then?

Emily: no problem, I hoped it helped! <3

Brooke said...

i hate sydney!! dahh

new york thrift/vintage = <3

naw. gay australia gay!

youre a lucky lucky thing!

I love your blog!

Natasha said...

i wish i lived in america
i swear there are no shops like this in england

well not that i can find

susie_bubble said...

This is quite possibly the most useful thing I've read in a long time...thanks so much!

elizabeth said...

hiiiii arabellleeeeeeeee

i am going to do a jersey city shopping day soon, i will

remind me to send you some other nyc spots for you to check out...

Arabelle said...

Elizabeth: email me and I will be your own personal escort my friend. We can rant about the shitty project runway this season while trying on shiny dresses.

Will remind you, I always want new ones.

Susie: my pleasure!

thatgirl! said...

amazing post. As I will be going to NY this weekend. THANK YOU!

Urban Audrey said...

this makes me miss NYC.....tear tear

Cupcakes and Cashmere said...

if only i lived in the area, such great tips. i enjoyed reading them, regardless of living across the country :)

Hello Again Vintage said...

Thanks for supporting us and other local vintage stores!

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