Skip to main content

Your ultimate guide to thrift shopping in NYC

A woman in sunglasses and a denim jacket exploring NYC thrift shops.

New York – synonymous with fame, money and fashion. 5th avenue and Soho are calling your name, but your travel funds definitely disagree. If only there was a way to upskill your wardrobe in NYC without breaking the bank?

Oh wait, there is…

If Macklemore didn’t convince you to try out thrift shopping, then I’m about to – and there’s no better city to start then in NYC of course. The city is thriving with vintage and unique collective clothing that you could most definitely not pick up anywhere else in the world; now isn’t that brag-worthy? Here’s your ultimate guide to second-hand threads in the worlds fashion capital.

Shop where the locals shop

If you’re wanting an authentic thrift shop experience, you’ll have to stray from the big smoke of Manhattan and make your way into the trend capital of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There’s no truer feeling of being a New Yorker than scouring the streets for hidden shops. It’s also a refreshing feeling moving away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan with barely any other tourists in sight.

Alongside your traditional thrift shops such as Salvation Army in Williamsburg, you can find boutique shops such as Beacon’s Closet and Housing Works. All guaranteed to pick up some fresh threads at a bargain price.


A woman in a leopard coat poses for a photo in a thrift store in NYC.

Experience a different side to the city

Possibly the most rewarding part of thrift shopping in NYC is the experience itself. You wander further and deeper into the city than you typically would when visiting. You develop a better connection with the city and an understanding of the local lifestyle. Anyone can say they’ve shopped in NYC, but if you’re searching for a true city in sight then thrift shopping is the way to go. Don’t be afraid to branch out and let the hunt for thrift shops take you down unknown streets and into new neighbourhoods.


A rack of clothes and shoes in a NYC thrift store.

Remember – thrift shopping is sustainable!

In a world of continuous fast fashion, sometimes it’s easy to get lost in trends. When you thrift shop, you recycle. And when you recycle, our world says thank you. It’s always intrigued me with pieces of second-hand clothing; what’s the story behind it? Who’s the person who once wore this? In a city like NYC, the possible history behind your purchase is endless. The best thing about vintage shopping is that you’re supporting a sustainable practice and giving back to the city you’re visiting. Thrift shopping will expose you to a new way of looking at fashion.

A group of fur coats found while thrift shopping in NYC.

You may find yourself some treasures and some pieces that are undeniably eccentric. After all, what’s fashion without some flare? It turns out shopping in NYC doesn’t have to blow the budget, and you’ll gain some pretty awesome travel experiences at the same time.

Next time you’re in the big city, wander a little further and purchase a little wiser. I guarantee when you represent your new threads at home, someone will ask where it’s from, and you’ll answer: “This one time in New York City…”

Have you got a sustainable guide for your favourite location? Share your stories with us here and you could see your work published on six-two…

Up next

Recommended by us

Stop dreaming and make sh*t happen!