Thrift Shopping For NYC Students

By Isiah Magsino

Let’s get real: Rose Hill could step up its fashion game. Among many other things, I am over seeing the same Oxford button-down shirts, Canada Goose coats (which are incredibly tacky) and Vineyard Vines merchandise floating on bodies at this university. Now, I understand that investing in something a bit more stylish can take a hit on one’s wallet. Aside from the international students showing up to their 8:30 classes in Prada sweats and Burberry overcoats (not a diss, I’m slightly jealous), what college student is able to afford Valentino or Alexander McQueen?

I have been asked multiple times how a college student can step up their fashion game, and my most reasonable advice is take to your pennies to any thrift, consignment or vintage store in New York City. In one of the fashion capitals of the world, it is only natural that high-end, fashionable pieces trickle down to second-hand stores spread throughout the five boroughs.

Not only do second-hand stores provide an opportunity to save a few bucks and look good while doing it, they also allow the opportunity to finally get away from basic retail stores like Zara or TopShop and avoid running into someone that has the same exact shirt as you.

Although I’d usually never give away my secrets to where I find clothing, I have decided to swallow my pride for the sake of saving the school’s long list of fashion faux pas. I have compiled a list of some second-hand stores that have contributed to my survival in the fashion-forward Vogue offices.

To start off with the most basic second-hand store, Urban Jungle, right off of Morgan Avenue in Brooklyn, is a thrift store mecca. The store recently expanded its space, even though it was already extremely large to begin with. Separated by clothing types and pieces, the space gets overwhelming at times, but I always seem to leave with an item (or ten).

The price median is around $10 per piece, give or take a few dollars. I recently went and picked up two pairs of pants, a button down Brooks Brothers Shirt, a button down Ralph Lauren shirt and a windbreaker for a total of $38.

If you are looking for cheaper prices than retail but are still willing to pay a few extra bucks, 10 Ft Single by Stella Dallas, right off of Lorimer Street in Brooklyn, is the place to go. The consignment store has been one of my favorites since freshman year of university, as it is well-curated and fairly priced. Pants and shirts are at the base price of $25, while nice wool sweaters and overcoats range from $60-$100.

This place is a great start for people that have lived in a bubble their whole lives and think that second-hand shopping is gross, as the store’s clothes are extremely clean and well-taken-care of. A lot of my Fashion Month looks were birthed at this site.

Finding a home near Union Square, Cure Thrift Shop is one of my most recent finds in the city (ironic, because it is literally in one of the most overly populated spaces of Manhattan). I still think about the leather Tom Ford pants I laid eyes on during my first visit and cannot help but think whoever ended up buying the piece is one lucky guy. Cure Thrift Shop has two levels and is really cool because they also have a large, well-curated collection of antique furniture and accessories.

Three is my limit, and I will not be divulging any more hidden gems. However, I encourage students to venture out of the Urban Outfitters-Zara mindset and explore the many second-hand stores in the city.

Places like the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Lower East Side and Brooklyn are filled with thrift and vintage stores. Did I mention it is also better for the environment?