5 Best Vintage Stores In New York

June 14, 2012 6:00 AM

Everything old is not new again. Anyone can grab a bunch of hand-me-downs, open up a pop-up shop and call it antique. It takes true curators, people who love fashion and understand trend, to intuit the difference between vintage fashion and warn-out discard. Whether you wish your look to classically transcend time or simply be slightly left-of-center and totally now, these local NYC shops are your go-to locations for one-of-a-kind, signature items with stand-out style.

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Stella Dallas
218 Thompson St.
New York, NY  10012
(212) 674-0447Hours: Daily – 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The buyers at Stella sure know throw-back fashion. From 1970s sequins to Snoopy lunchboxes, you can find just about anything your heart desires at either the Soho or Williamsburgh locations. The price tags are another happy surprise. You”ll have to dig deeper to find anything over $35 than you will to retrieve that long-missing Sex Pistols tee shirt.

Photo Credit: Corey Whelan

Hooti Couture
321 Flatbush Ave.
Brooklyn, NY  11217
(718) 857-1977
hooticouture.comHours: Daily – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you could stealthily gain access to an attic at the Kennedy compound, it might feel a little bit like Hooti’s. Established by former model and current stylist Alison Houtte, Hooti’s is a Brooklyn treasure. Perfectly-preserved vintage furs, sharp-edged 1940s to-die-for dresses, and all-out wow accessories create a colorful atmosphere of shopping abandon. If you worship at the shrine of affordable vintage, Hooti’s is your mecca.

Photo Credit: Corey Whelan

Guvnor’s Vintage Thrift
178 Fifth Ave.
Brooklyn, NY  11217
(718) 230-4887
guvnorsnyc.comHours: Mon to Wed – 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Thur to Fri – 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

At Guvnor’s you can find delicate and astonishingly well-preserved Victorian-era dresses, iconic 1960s accessories, and row after row of multi-colored shoes. The stars of the shop however, are the men’s bomber jackets. WW II Air Force beauties and greaser’s dream 1950s leather numbers compete for space with cool-dude bowling shirts and Davey Crockett fringe jackets sure to make you long for the days of black and white TV.

Photo Credit: Corey Whelan

Almost New Vintage Clothing
68 Saint Marks Ave.
Brooklyn, NY  11217
(718) 398-8048
almostnewvintage.comHours: Daily – 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

We get it. You don’t want your friends to know that you secretly covet fur. Does it make you feel a teensy bit better to know that your stole is, well, vintage? Almost New has a collection of luscious lovelies that will have you channeling your inner Marilyn in no time. You can always pretend you came here for the jewelry or fabulous 1950s brocades. Prices are reminiscent of the fifties too. And remember, a little bit of guilty pleasure never hurt anybody.

Related: New York City’s Top 6 Vinyl Record Stores

Photo Credit: Corey Whelan

Cheap Jack’s
303 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY  10016
(212) 777-9564
cheapjacks.comHours: Mon to Sat – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun – 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Some say Cheap Jack’s is an iconic New York institution. Others say it’s a rite of passage for up-and-coming trend setters. Jack himself is a little modest, but does admit this is the place to shop if celeb watching is your favorite pastime. From Roaring Twenties paste to Like a Virgin lace, one thing’s for sure: Jack’s is a happening as well as a vintage emporium.

Related: The Best NYC Flea Markets

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.