Stop! Before you click on that checkout button and pay way too much for shipping from your favorite store, ask yourself — is this really the best summer fit your money can buy? Because if it’s mass-produced and sold at the mall, we’re going to go ahead and guess no. If you really want to stand out, turn heads, and find a way to express yourself in a way that is uniquely you, and not just whatever the fashion powerhouses of the day want you to be, you should consider cobbling your next fit together from the thrift store.
There are a number of reasons you should look to your local thrift store for great fashion. For one, you’ll find truly one-of-a-kind pieces that nobody on the street will be wearing. You’ll also save some money, which means you’ll end up picking up a bigger and better haul. And perhaps most importantly, it’s way more sustainable. The fashion industry produces a ridiculous amount of waste every year. With the state of our climate, we need to totally overhaul the way we do everything and that includes the way we shop.
But where to start? We hit up vintage fashion influencer Emma Rogue for a guide to her ten favorite thrift shops. Rogue has taken her keen eye for vintage threads and built something bigger out of it, amassing a huge following on TikTok and even opening up her own vintage clothing store of the same name. Rogue has most recently appeared as part of Adidas’ Adidas Originals Thrift & Ride campaign, which puts the brand’s Inline White Royal Blue FORUM 84 front and center and gives the versatile vintage silhouette some love. So she’s about as big an expert as we could hope to find when it comes to all things vintage.
So whether you’re looking for a new summer fit or seeking out some furniture to transform your home, Rogue’s got you covered. Let’s dive in.
If you’re looking for a good mix of hidden designer gems and novelty vintage pieces, Beacon’s is the spot. They have something for everyone, catering to all prices ranges and age brackets. I once found these insane Phat Farm jeans for $13 that fit me like a glove. Also scored these crazy Camper x Gosha Rubchinsky snow boots for $50.
L Train is the spot to hit if you’re in need of vintage basics. They’ve got a great selection of vintage denim, tees, and flannels — not to mention their size range is super inclusive. In the winter, I always pick up a few new jackets for a great price. They’ve got about five locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. So no matter where you are, they’re never too far away.
If you’re into archival designer pieces and ready to drop a stack, Procell is the spot for you. They cater to collectors and carry the rarest pieces you’ll come across. From vintage Gaultier to crazy rap tees, you’ll definitely fall in love with that one special piece. My favorite piece from them is a 1995 Tank Girl tee that had the perfect fade — it was too good to pass up.
My good friend Frank just opened Leisure Centre in the Lower East Side and it is the best hidden gem around. Frank is a master curator and has the coolest vintage sportswear pieces in the City. He also stocks a sick selection of knick-knacks and home decor that’ll level up your living space. He’s got a rotating selection of vendors that sell in his shop, so the stock is always fresh.
FPN is by far the cutest spot in Soho. Go there and create your preppy, Hamptons dream fit. They’ve got a great selection of sizes as well as price ranges. They have the sweetest selection of Y2K purses on their handbag wall as well as jewelry. FPN just opened their second location in Connecticut, so no matter where you are on the East Coast they are super accessible and worth the visit.
Bowery Showroom was opened up by my good friend Matt (we both used to sell at Hester Street Fair back in the day). His shop features a great selection of streetwear and designer finds as well as goods from their CBD company, Potion. The showroom also houses new and upcoming NYC-based brands. No matter what your vibe is, you’ll undoubtedly find something you like.
Elona and Ledi are the great girls behind Tired Thrift. They opened their shop mid-pandemic and have been killing it ever since. They cater to a younger audience, housing super cute collections of Y2K era pieces, minibags, and shoes. They’ve even got a killer sale bin at the front of their shop with loads of gems. Definitely stop by if you’re ever in Greenpoint, they won’t disappoint.
Awoke Vintage is an NYC staple. They have three Brooklyn locations that are jam-packed with the best vintage Levi’s, tops, and accessories. No matter how hard it is for you to find that perfect pair, the Awoke girls will be able to fit you. You’ll also find the perfect vintage tee to go with them!
Housing Works has a few locations throughout the city. They have home decor as well. You can score designer gems on their website. They have a bidding system set up similar to how eBay works. Your money will be going to a great cause as they donate their proceeds to AIDS and homelessness. Next time you’re in, don’t be afraid to spend!
And last but not least, my very own vintage shop in the Lower East Side, Rogue, should be at the top of your NYC destination lists. As soon as you walk in, you’ll be hit with a hefty dose of ’90s and 2000s nostalgia. We’ve got a wild selection of vintage tees, archival grails, and true vintage from the 1960-2000s. On Saturdays, we host pop-ups and launch events with local NYC designers and brands, not to mention free snow cones. Come say hi and jam out to 2000s hits with us while you try on your Y2K dream fit<3