Thrift Review Friday: Housing Works

right size

This post is part of a series called Thrift Review Friday, where an awesome thrift or consignment store is put in the spotlight for a day!

Happy Thrift Review Friday! Today’s superstar is Housing Works, a do-good thrift store located in SoHo on 130 Crosby Street. (This one is my favorite of their locations because it’s located next to their book store!)

Besides the eccentric collection of vintage and contemporary clothing, shoes and household hoods, Housing Works is particularly cool because of its dedication to fighting AIDS and homelessness.

Why do I love it?

1. It depends on volunteers to run it, so it’s a store operated by the people for the people! The salespeople I interacted with were all young, energetic and friendly.

2. There’s a constant rotation of events, including discounts and one where they turn the store into an art gallery for the day. (And at the bookstore, famous authors often do signings – David Sedaris was a guest a few weeks ago!)

3. If you don’t live near the city, they also do online auctions, where you can bid on brands like Gucci, Prada and 3.1 Phillip Lim while helping charity.

4. In store, I spotted shoes from brands like Miu Miu and French Connection for under $20 a pair.

I’ll leave you with the Housing Works mission statement:

“Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.”

Can’t argue with that!

Soho Thrift Shop

130 Crosby Street

New York, NY 10012

646-786-1200

Mon-Sat: 11 AM-7 PM, Sun: 11AM-5 PM

facebook // twitter // website

Advertisements

Thrift and Nosh

right size

There are few things that I enjoy more than shopping, but food is definitely one of them. This post intends to combine the best of both worlds. Here are several pairs of thrift stores and nearby places to grab a bite afterwards. They’re all in my favorite city, NYC.

Thrift: Crossroads Trading Co.

Nosh: Shake Shack

Untitled-1

This Crossroads location on 24 W 26th St. is a great place to start when you want to refill your closet. (Buffalo Exchange is nearby, too!) The clothing is always in great condition, and the staff is extremely personable. When you’re ready to check out, have a friend walk over to Shake Shack in Madison Square Park (E 23rd St. & Madison) and get in line for you – it can take a while depending on the day. I recommend the ‘Shroom burger (it’s veg) and vanilla shake. Simple and perfect.

Thrift: Second Time Around

Nosh: Maison Kayser

Untitled-1

STA is all over the city, but this one on 1040 Lexington Ave. has a decent selection of mid-to-high-end brands. I found a pair of navy J. Crew chino shorts with the tags on and ended up wearing them out of the store. Almost right next store is Maison Kayser on 1294 3rd Ave and 74th – they have simply amazing almond croissants (which may be my favorite pastry).

Thrift: Salvation Army

Nosh: Amy’s Bread

Untitled-1

I’ve found pristine Anthropologie dresses for $7 and $8 at this SA on 536 W 46th St. Sometimes it’s really crowded inside (with both people and clothing) but there’s tons of variety and it’s totally worth it. When you’ve shopped until you can take it no longer, head over to Amy’s Bread on 672 9th Ave for some amazing black and white cookies (possibly the best in the city), orange butter cookies and chocolatey twisty bread stick things. Mamma mia.

Enjoy!

 

Fitting Room Guide

right size

This post is part of a series called Getting Started. It’s meant to guide new thrifters (or seasoned ones looking for tips)!

Today I want to talk about the best tips for fitting rooms in thrift stores. The first one is to absolutely, positively try EVERYTHING on.

This can be a pain, especially if you are someone like me. I often have upwards of 20 items draped over each arm – whoever says shopping isn’t a workout has never wobbled under the weight of 30 pounds of clothing – and by the time I get in line to try on, the metal parts of the hangers are digging into my hands and wrists, leaving gray marks. It’s the cross that a thrifter has to bear.

If you still look this cheerful, you’re not carrying enough clothing yet.

Anyway, this can make trying on a lengthy hassle. However, you just have to take a deep breath and do it, for the following reasons:

1. Between vanity and weird sizing from decades past, the number on the tag means exactly nothing. Unless you are a magician, you can not look at a garment and know for sure that it will fit you adequately. (If you can actually do this, please write to me and share your wisdom, O Thrifting Goddess.)

2. Something that looked great on the hanger may A) hang terribly on you, and B) have nasty stains that do not make an appearance until you see the way it fits on an actual body. Looking at you, shoulder ketchup mark.

3. It’s not always obvious if something has been hemmed, so those jeans or pants from a brand that you ~know~ will fit you – because everything from that brand in that size fits you – may not fit you.

There will be people that camp out at the fitting rooms, especially in places that sell children’s clothing. If you get stuck behind a twelve-person family, make a beeline to the nearest bathroom (if it’s allowed) and try on your stuff there!

But what if there are no fitting rooms or usable bathrooms?

Don’t panic:

1. Call ahead or do some Yelp research to see if there are fitting rooms BEFORE you go. This will save you so much trouble.

2. If there are, congrats! The rest of this section is irrelevant to you.

3. If there aren’t any, dress in form-fitting clothing like bike shorts or leggings, a tank or camisole, or even a bikini top. This way you can slip clothing on over your outfit with no shame!

Here’s your last tip:

Well said.

Best of luck!

The Thrifting Mindset

right size

This post is part of a series called Getting Started. It’s meant to guide new thrifters (or seasoned ones looking for tips)!

Some people aren’t immediately on board with the idea of secondhand clothing – and that’s okay. It’s usually not possible to tell where clothing has been, and sometimes flaws aren’t immediately visible. It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious as a first-time thrifter!

Have no fear: there are definitely ways to thrift smartly and attain perfectly good clothing at low prices and from notable brands. It just takes a little know-how!

1. Avoid certain items.

This is one of my simplest tips – there are certain things that are a good idea to stay away from at a thrift store, including underwear/lingerie and socks, or heavily worn bathing suits, shoes or hats. Of course most anything is fine if it’s new with tags or in the package, but avoid items that are difficult to clean or have been really used. For example, shoes that are worn by someone for a long time tend to absorb their foot shape, and could be uncomfortable for a different owner. Stick to pairs with < 5 wearings.

2. Bring hand sanitizer.

Especially if you’re a germaphobe, you may feel more comfortable with some trusty Purell in hand. It’s definitely a good idea when furniture shopping.

3. Gauge the store.

If there’s a giant mold stain on the ceiling of the store, use your best judgment and decide if it is worth your time to sift through the selection. Thrift store stock typically reflects the atmosphere of the store itself. Of course this is not always the case – there are plenty of treasures to be found in many whole-in-the-wall stores – but use your sixth sense.

Untitled-2

4. Inspect clothing for imperfections.

Here’s a checklist of what to watch out for when thrifting!

  • pit stains
  • loose threads
  • missing buttons or other embellishments
  • hems that have been let out
  • holes
  • fading
  • pitting
  • discoloration
  • fraying
  • bleach stains

5. Have the right attitude.

Above all, patience is key! Go into it with an open mind and you’ll be just fine.

Bulletin Board

This series of posts focuses on the non-thrift-related things/topics on my mind this week. Sometimes a visual representation is literally pinned on the bulletin board on my dorm room desk. The items on the list below are sometimes random and occasionally a borderline obsession. Whether a physical or Pinterest board or just a half-thought-out dream, I’d love to hear what’s on yours, too! Here’s what’s on my bulletin board this week…

Untitled-1

1. New Balance

I bought these awesome mint green sneakers the other day from DSW and am patiently awaiting their arrival. J. Crew got me excited about sneakers again!

2. Ultraviolence

Lana Del Rey’s new album isn’t my favorite of hers, but there are a couple of great ones on here including ‘Ultraviolence’, ‘West Coast’ and ‘Brooklyn Baby’.

3. Thank You Notes

Since graduation, I’ve been writing thank you notes like crazy. Here’s a great guide!

4. Bob’s Burgers

This show is basically an animated sitcom that features a slew of crazy (and often relatable) characters. Tina Belcher is all of us. And it’s on Netflix!

5. 22 Jump Street

Saw this last night with a friend and laughed until my throat hurt. Definitely a must-see if you need a stress reliever!

Best on Sale

Here are the best buys for this week. Enjoy and happy shopping!

Untitled-1

Don’t forget to use eBates for cash back!

1. Topshop Flared Crepe Dress // $44.99 at Nordstrom // free shipping on all orders!

2. kate spade new york ‘print bow’ skinny belt // $39.98 at Nordstrom // free shipping on all orders!

3. vintage cotton v-neck tee in htrh sky // $19.99 at J. Crew // extra 30% off with code SHOPNOW

4. boyfriend short in broken-in chino in antique linen // $23.99 at J. Crew Factory // free shipping on orders of $100+

5. Ninah Pump in Pink multi // $79.99 at Banana Republic // free returns and shipping!

6. Parkside Pleated Dress // $119.95 at Anthropologie // was $228!

7. ooh la la coin purse // $39 at Kate Spade // free shipping and returns!

 

Magazine Contests

right size

Psst! I’ll let you in on one of my favorite ways to get free stuff – and remember, I love free stuff – by entering magazine contests! If you enter regularly, you can win anything from makeup to free trips. I’ve been entering contests ever since I was little, first by snail mail. It’s all done online now, which makes it a lot easier! Here’s the list of contests that I enter every month. (You can enter most of these every day, but I usually go through the whole list on the first of every month. It takes about an hour.)

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/forums-freebies/contests/

http://www.elle.com/Sweepstakes/

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/giveaways/

http://www.luckymag.com/breaks/luckysweeps_slideshow_item0_1

http://www.marieclaire.com/fun/free-stuff/

http://www.seventeen.com/fun/freebies/

http://www.teenvogue.com/win

http://www.glamour.com/win

http://www.redbookmag.com/online-sweepstakes/

I know I’m upping my competition by posting these here, hee hee.

Some magazines have more prizes and winners for each contest (like Lucky, for example – I’ve won Smashbox cosmetics from there!) which gives you a better chance. If you don’t have the time to enter every one, it’s a good idea to pick and choose the best ones.

Good luck!