The Best Thrifting Districts in NYC (Plus, Where to Shop in Each of Them)

For New York Fashion Week, we’re swerving the big-name boutiques and picking up our outfits on the city’s vintage circuit instead. From zero-waste hotspots to pay-by-the-pound emporiums, this is our A-Z of thrift stores in the Big Apple.

As explorers and adventure-seekers, we're big believers in the joy of the unknown here at SUITCASE. That same quest for excitement informs our shopping expeditions, too, which is why we're dodging the designer price tags and opting for a more sustainable, wallet-friendly option when indulging in some stateside retail therapy. Stocking everything from glamorous pre-loved pieces to one-off vintage gems, these are the NYC thrift stores offering the most bang for your buck.

Shop till you drop: the best secondhand stores in New York City


New York, United States

As the stomping ground for New York's creative cool kids, leafy Williamsburg is packed with thrilling thrift stores. If you're a newbie looking to launch yourself into the world of vintage, head straight to Buffalo Exchange, an OG on New York's pre-loved circuit that's been retailing in killer clothes, shoes and decor for over 47 years. If it's a smaller, more intimate shopping experience you're after, there's Unearth Vintage, specialising in fashion from the 1940s through to the 1990s, and Awoke Vintage. Originally an Australian market pop-up, Awoke's first bricks-and-mortar store has become a go-to for NYC's high-flying fashion stylists on the hunt for off-radar finds. Finally, no trip to Williamsburg would be complete without a visit to Artists and Fleas, a busy indoor marketplace touting everything from vintage vinyl and handmade goodies to wacky top hats from the Twenties.


New York, United States

Dive a little deeper into Brooklyn, past its eponymous bridge and beyond Williamsburg's tree-lined boulevards, and you'll eventually end up in Bushwick, a zippy neighbourhood celebrated for its growing community art scene and soulful Latin roots. Plus, if you know where to look, it also has some of the best thrifting to be found anywhere in the city. Start off at L Train Vintage, a two-storey outpost of a popular vintage chain that carries everything from Nineties band shirts to statement designer pieces. Next up is the Bushwick branch of Beacon's Closet, another much-loved vintage chain, and the place where in-the-know New Yorkers score their winter coats, and local institution GG's Social Trade & Treasure Club, a three-in-one vintage shop, event space and art gallery.


New York, United States

Home to a staggering 250 galleries, museums and exhibition spaces, artsy Chelsea delivers a punch on the thrift store front, too. At the more upmarket end of the scale, there's Housing Works, a serious treasure trove for unique vintage finds, with proceeds going towards providing resources for those affected by AIDS and homelessness in the city. Then, there's trend-setting Crossroads, where you can rifle through racks organised by theme (think "fringe", "leather" and "00s"), and even trendier The Buis New York, a sartorial design studio you'll need an appointment to visit. Ever on the hunt for knockout eyewear, the headliner act here for us is Eye Candy, a small vintage nirvana selling deadstock frames and cute-as-they-come handbags, as well as an array of gorgeous gloves, hats and jewellery.

East Village

New York, United States

Best known for its cultural diversity and thriving food scene, East Village is also peppered with eclectic thrift and vintage stores. Start off on 7th Street, where you'll find funky upcycled Nineties numbers at AuH2O, then whizz over to 8th Street for kitschy 1940s couture at Cobblestones, before hitting the pay-by-the-pound market at St Mark's Place - bring a large tote. Still got room to spare? Stop by Cure Thrift, a much-talked-about non-profit known for its standout one-off pieces (light-up cowboy boots, anyone?), Rogue, from Depop thrifting super-queen Emma Rogue, and kooky designer den Cloak & Dagger. But our favourite of all? Fabulous Fanny's - a genuinely fabulous vintage eyewear store that flaunts the most comprehensive stock of specs we've ever laid eyes on.


New York, United States

Short for North of Houston, this well-heeled pocket of Manhattan is especially popular among vintage sneaker-seekers. If you count yourself as part of that club, skip straight to Laced Up, a streetwear-inspired store stocking killer kicks by the likes of Yeezy, Supreme and Bape. Not a sneakerhead? The store also offers cool graphic tees and skater hoodies, as well as vintage pins and caps. Next on our list is 2nd Street, a mecca for secondhand designer threads, where - whisper it - premium brands like Christian Dior can be snapped up for as little as £7. And the best bit? This Japanese joint believes in a circular economy and strives for sustainability across the board, with any clothes that can't be sold being donated to those in need.

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