Vintage Shopping for Beginners & What's Left of What Goes Around Comes Around
To be a successful vintage shopper in New York City, one must be patient, savvy and monetarily wise. It can be easy to spend a week’s paycheck in a single trip alone to a downtown vintage boutique, given their lustful and conveniently available selection of second-hand designer goods and edgy tattered clothing offered within their rustic motif. If your familiar with downtown, you are aware that you simply can’t walk a block in the East Village or Lower East Side without passing a vintage store. It’s their bread and butter, so much so that it would be too tedious for me to sit here and list each and every store individually, as it would take up the next three pages and then some!
If you are anything like me, you live for vintage goodies. The mere site of a perfectly worn in vintage tee shirt paired with a long antique necklace gives you goosebumps. The vintage look isn’t for everyone, some balk at wearing second-hand clothing and cringe and toting around a used purse. To each their own, I suppose, but at least that leaves more for us vintage-philes to sift through!
Downtown vintage stores are generally split right down the middle. There are vintage and antique boutiques that are museum like in their décor, making it nearly impossible to not want to splurge on their carefully handpicked vintage. Within these boutiques, such as the East Village’s Stock Vintage — which features a magazine worthy Americana motif — a Harley Davidson tee shirt can cost you up to $225 and a pair Laredo boots, around $300. And then there are the larger second-hand shops, which resembles a well arranged Salvation Army, that contain racks of used blouses, tees, button ups, jeans, etc., for superbly low prices. These stores, such as No Relation Vintage on 1st Avenue between 12th St and 13th St, are more time consuming than boutiques. These shops require you to sort through racks and bins in order to discover the diamond in the rough. However, if you are a dedicated and patient vintage shopper, this is by far the way to go, and will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Funny enough, What Goes Around Comes Around, one of the city’s priciest vintage boutiques, situated in SoHo, is celebrating the final days of a long and successful run of their pop-up outlet on Lafayette at Astor Place today. Since last year, this outlet has featured bundles of merchandise, leftovers, samples, and unwanted vintage from their New Jersey warehouse for incredibly low prices, compared to their over-priced SoHo boutique anyway. Until tomorrow evening, when the pop-up closes for good, every item storewide is 70% off tag prices and already discounted items. The majority of goods will only cost you between $5-$30, apart from jackets and specialty items.
When I visited the What Goes Around Comes Around’s Ultimate Vintage Sale this morning, there was plenty of merchandise still available, although the gems of the store have already been cleared out. However, don’t let this deter you! Utilizing the required vintage-shopping-patience can lead to a successful outcome, just as it did for the two trendy women in front of me on line who dropped $250 each at the register and toted away three very large bags jammed full of clothing.
As you enter the Ultimate Vintage Sale, there is a large table that features a variety of Inhabit cashmere sweaters, which are among the only non-second-hand items the sale offers. These typically expensive luxurious sweaters, now only run for around $40 a piece. After checking these out, start your quest for vintage by starting with what’s left of What Goes Around’s famous collection of hand picked vintage concert shirts, where you’ll find an Elton John tour shirt for $60 (orig. $200) and an Asia concert tee for $45 (orig. $150). Don’t exit the section without taking a gander at the small selection of designer jackets, such as the vintage Yves Saint Laurent Blazer for just $105 (orig. $350).
The remaining sections are fit for perusing, with plenty of round racks featuring fun vintage tee shirts for around $5, plaid button downs for as low as $3 and no more than $38, for those that are embellished. Bohemian skirts, peasant blouses, and denim dresses are all available for $30 and below, as are sweaters and cardigans. The fur coats are definitely worth your time, such as the gorgeous White Mongolian Fur Coat ($225, orig. $750) and the simple black and white long wool coat for just $23.
After you exhaust the racks of sweaters, blouses, button up, and denim shorts for under $10, start fishing through the giant bins of random finds for between $3-$5. Patience is a virtue! There are still plenty of diamonds in this rough!
If you are an inexperienced vintage shopper, get your start today or tomorrow by taking a slow stroll through the What Goes Around Comes Around Ultimate Vintage Sale. After you’ve gained your sea legs, work your way through the streets of downtown and pop in and out of the best, and most vast, collection of second-hand shops and boutiques this city has to offer!
By Caitlin Colford
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