I would never call myself an expert on the best stores (thrift or otherwise) in New York City, despite the fact that I’ve lived here my entire life. I only recently became interested in expanding my horizons beyond Urban Outfitters and the occasional family trip to Kohl’s. But thank God I did, am I right? A few days ago, my friend Olive took me to some of her favorite shops in Brooklyn. She has incredible style, so I trusted her to take me to the best places. Keep in mind that we only had one afternoon, so we didn’t go everywhere good that exists in that borough, but based on my general knowledge of the area and that day spent with her, I have compiled a list of the five of the grooviest/most swaggin’/coolest (please select your adjective of choice) stores in Brooklyn.
Olive’s is an adorable little vintage shop in Carroll Gardens. Olive and I (no, she doesn’t own the store or anything. The name is probably part of the appeal to her, though) entered it and were immediately engulfed by the overwhelming amount of beautiful old clothing and the soothing sound of Fleet Foxes playing in the background. It was a great experience. Olive’s has a magnificent selection of dresses, jackets, accessories and shoes; all vintage, o’ course! The woman who was working there when I went was extremely nice, asking us if we needed help finding anything and bidding us a good day as we left. However, this petite store is most likely not for you if you’re on a super tight budget (as I am). I’m sure you can find something wonderful at around $70, but even that’s out of my price range. The point at which something becomes expensive is $16. Hashtag teenage life. It’s not a thrift store, so the prices are that of normal clothing in a department store, but better because these clothes are one-of-a-kind.
Loom is not a thrift store or even a clothing store, but it’s one of the cutest little shops I’ve ever seen. It’s more of a place where you go to get little trinkets and doodads, but a lot of them are quite remarkable. They also sell awesome backpacks and totes. I’ve never actually gotten anything in there due to my aforementioned lack of funds, but my friend Elly who took me there, goes in and buys things all the time. Her and the shop owner are tight. Located in Park Slope, Loom is the perfect place to go if you want to get a mega-cute journal, or one of those little devices that’s a circular calendar. I didn’t know what those were either. Go to Loom and find out!
VICE VERSA VINTAGE
Vice Versa Vintage is the Williamsburg branch of the L Train Vintage thrift stores. I’ve been to another one in the East Village, called No Relation Vintage. Let’s just say I got a vintage BCBG velvet sheath dress for $15 at No Relation, so I was enthralled that Olive took me to Vice Versa. It’s like a magical world of wacky and therefore utterly perfect clothing that you would never find anywhere else; definitely not at prices as cheap. I got a fifties-esque gingham maxi dress and prairie-style maxi skirt that made me look like I belonged in a Western film all for $17. That’s a steal, I’d say. The atmosphere is great and the employees are super nice. They have a seemingly never-ending selection of t-shirts, shorts, skirts, dresses, leather jackets, pants and shoes. I guarantee that if you go there, you won’t leave empty-handed. It’s nearly impossible.
Olaf’s is like the guy’s version of Olive’s (according to my friend). It’s smaller and quieter, but it’s equally as beautiful as its female counterpart. They have racks and racks of incredible vintage men’s jackets and pants, as well as extremely original ties and gorgeous brogues and other shoes. Another great thing about Olaf’s is that they have a delicate but breathtaking collection of old photographs of random people and beat-up copies of Shakespeare plays and other plays. It’s the perfect place for a man (or a woman, I don’t judge) to go shopping if he’s a spiffy dresser and a vintage lover. Don’t expect cool t-shirts or items of that ilk, though—this shop is straight up classy.
WILLIAMSBURG MINI MALL
This place is not so much a single store as a collection of awesome little niche shops. When someone says “mall,” I immediately and inevitably think of a few things: annoying Suburban girls giggling and texting on their bedazzled Blackberries while entering Hollister and the movie “Clueless” among them. This mall does not fit that description in any way at all. I think the only reason it’s given that name is because people didn’t know what else to call this building that houses several different unrelated stores. We went into a really cool (swaggin’, if you will) store with record players and notebooks and backpacks. We also stopped into a presumably Tibetan shop with beautiful handmade clothes and otherworldly (literally) jewelry. Another notable stop on our mall trip was a place that sold sunglasses and really awesome rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings; I’m sure they had other stuff as well, but I was slightly entranced by the ring selection.
These are just a few of the many excellent stores you can find in Brooklyn. I’ve heard Beacon’s Closet is totally rad, though I’ve never been, as well as the Brooklyn Flea. I’d love to know if you’ve ever been to any of these places, or if you’ve got any other suggestions of where I should check out. Really, I want to know. Give me the deets in the comments section—you know what to do!
Images via google.com
by Odelia Kaly