Best Thrift Stores in Brooklyn: From Luxury Vintage to Cheap Thrift

A 2008 Alexander McQueen patent leather shoulder bag with safety pin
A 2008 Alexander McQueen patent leather shoulder bag with safety pin | © picturelibrary / Alamy Stock Photo

Whether you’re searching for contemporary looks, thrifted wares or designer luxury labels, Brooklyn is the New York City borough to shop for vintage. Use this guide to find the best places to pick up one-of-a-kind gems.

Populated by artists, models and rock stars, Brooklyn is a veritable vintage haven. While other New Yorkers may be content to dress in the latest trends, Brooklynites are renegade style innovators, taking sartorial cues from bygone eras and doing what they must to score timeless pieces.

Sifting through the abundance of Brooklyn vintage is less overwhelming if you know what you’re looking for. True vintage apparel and accessories are at least 20 years old, notes Meika Franz, a vintage seller who regularly exhibits at fairs in New York City. “Retro [short for retrospective] looks refer to a specific era. Antique clothing is at least a century old. Everything else falls into the second-hand category.”

From consignment shops to luxe boutiques, from Park Slope to Bushwick, these are the best vintage shopping spots in Brooklyn. You never know what treasure you’ll unearth on your hunt for the perfect vintage find, but that’s part of the fun.

Contemporary Thrift Stores

Contemporary vintage includes looks curated to meet current trends. These stores carry mostly second-hand garments and accessories that have been hand-selected by buyers and deemed de rigueur.

The Break

Inside The Break for contemporary vintage

This ultra-curated, trendy vintage shop founded by Hannah Richtman offers a range of second-hand garments and accessories reinterpreted to be in step with the latest trends. The Break also hosts dance parties, fashion-week events and pop-up events like dog adoptions and temporary tattoo salons.

Beacon’s Closet, Bogart Street

Beacon’s Closet has been a long-standing staple for New Yorkers for its extensive on-trend selection of clothing, shoes and accessories. Embodying the most genuine idea of a thrift-shop emporium, Beacon’s Closet also buys, sells and trades vintage and modern clothing.

Buffalo Exchange, Driggs Avenue

Find a moderately priced selection of contemporary second-hand garments, shoes and accessories at this fashion-resale retailer chain. Buffalo Exchange offers on-the-spot buy, sell and trade options. Shoppers can choose from a large selection of seasonal, on-trend items.

Cheap Thrift Stores

Thrifted wares are found in emporium-like stores and charity shops. You’ll have to sift through tons of old T-shirts and flannel, but the prices can’t be beat. Plus, you never know, you just might find a YSL dress someone had the audacity to throw out.

Cheap Thrift Stores

This hipster thrift store offers a huge selection of cheaply priced second-hand clothing, shoes and accessories. Spend time sifting through racks and racks of clothing for that hidden gem.

The Meat Market Brooklyn

This thrift store has a ton of affordable second-hand clothing, shoes and accessories. New inventory comes in several times a week, making The Meat Market a choice spot for vintage shopping. The Bedford-Stuyvesant location is known for a wide selection of rocker T-shirts and inexpensively priced jeans.

The Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center

You won’t find better deals anywhere than at the Salvation Army. This location is clean and well maintained and has multiple levels for you to peruse. Designer labels can be found if you search the racks thoroughly. You can also find furniture, books and bric-a-brac at this Cobble Hill location.

Luxury Thrift Stores

Designer luxury labels and estate-sale goodies can be found at select vintage boutiques, many of which sell on consignment. Purveyors of vintage luxury tend to be connoisseurs themselves and vet each find for authenticity and condition. Prices tend to be higher than for contemporary vintage, but you’re buying Chanel, so what do you expect? These are investment pieces that you covet.

m.a.e.

High heels by French designer Christian Louboutin, with the shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his signature

This beautifully curated vintage store offers an amazing selection of designer European, Japanese and American labels. Find an impressive assortment of shoes, including Manolo Blahniks and Louboutins. Luxury handbags and jewelry are also offered, all reasonably priced. Select items go on sale at the change of seasons.

Consignment Brooklyn

A 2008 Alexander McQueen patent leather shoulder bag with safety pin

Eva Dayton, the boutique’s founder, was one of the first people to bring international fashion to Atlantic Avenue. Today, Consignment Brooklyn offers a highly curated selection of edgy designers like Comme des Garçons, Alexander McQueen and Alexander Wang. Also find upmarket classics from Chanel, Hermès, Gucci and more. All items are in excellent condition and reflect runway trends.

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