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In Search of Vintage Tees

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Q: Where can I find a selection of vintage T-shirts—the kind with ironic iron-ons? Used is okay; smelly isn’t. —Cinthia, West Village

A: New York may not be the retro-T-shirt mecca that L.A. is (where some stores on Melrose Avenue sell only shirts), but you don’t have to wait until your next cross-country trip. Depending on luck, timing, and personal initiative, you can find covetable ones anywhere from your local Salvation Army to pricey vintage boutiques like Resurrection (not to mention eBay). One sure bet is Screaming Mimi’s (382 Lafayette Street; 212-677-6464), a popular destination for vintage clothes in general, which has a well-vetted selection of shirts going back to the sixties starting at $12 or so. (They can get expensive—an authentic Rolling Stones concert-tour shirt from the eighties is $135.) If you enjoy the hunt, try Beacon’s Closet’s two Brooklyn locations (88 North 11th Street, 718-486-0816; and 220 Fifth Avenue; 718-230-1630). At the Williamsburg store, for instance, a slick ringer tee with an early-model Corvette emblazoned on the front was recently going for $11.95; that’s about average, with choice retro prints topping out at around $20.


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