The desire for new fall clothes is hard-wired. But this year—well, maybe that designer bag or extra pair of sneakers is beyond the budget. Or is it? The city’s excellent thrift and consignment shops are still getting new(ish) merch every day. Seven stores to keep you stylish.
THE ARTSY CLEARINGHOUSE
Sprinkled into the morass of antique baby cribs, lampstands, and glassware at the City Opera Thrift Store are some surprising fashion finds like a Bob Mackie dress or this Saks Fifth Avenue top, $35. 222 E. 23rd St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-684-5344.
THE PROMISING EXCHANGE
Buffalo Exchange isn’t the best place to assemble a designer wardrobe (it’s more discount cast-offs than high-end labels), but patient hunting might net you a Rag and Bone shirt, $35.50, or these Nike sneakers, $40. 504 Driggs Ave., at N. 9th St., Williamsburg; 718-384-6901.
THE OLD-SCHOOL RUMMAGE
When you really want to test your thrifting fortitude, try the Salvation Army. Yes, the atmosphere is drab and the merchandise isn’t exactly curated, but you can frequently unearth lightly worn, super-cheap finds like this Gap sweater, $9. 536 W. 46th St., nr. Eleventh Ave.; 212-757-2311.
THE SECONDHAND BARNEYS
Business is way up at hip consignment store Ina, says co-owner Milo Bernstein. “People who were shopping at designer stores are still trying to live the lifestyle and save money.” Expect up to a half off retail on names like Lanvin and Chloé; this Marc Jacobs men’s jean jacket is $90. 15 Bleecker St., nr. Elizabeth St.; 212-228-8511.
THE OUTER-BOROUGH TROVE
Rewind has everything you could want in a high-end consignment store: mint-condition clothes, sophisticated buyers, and shopping coups like these nearly new Miu Miu flats, $110 (about a quarter the price of a new pair). Yes, it’s faaar away. But the location’s a boon: “We take consignments from our usual customers,” says clerk Kari Guercio, referring to Gravesend’s population of wealthy Syrian Jews. “The financial crisis isn’t affecting them that much.” 335 Ave. U, nr. West St., Gravesend; 718-333-2288.
THE LABEL EMPORIUM
Encore has seen an uptick in new consignors—and new merch—since the economy started tanking, says manager Peter Kabcenell. The racks frequently contain labels like Chanel and Prada with prices in the mid-hundreds, but there are more affordable pieces, like this Peggy Jennings dress, $140. 1132 Madison Ave., nr. E. 84th St.; 212-879-2850.
THE BEST FOR GOLD NUGGETS
“We’re very fortunate. We get remarkable donations,” says Housing Works manager Zak Wing. Because of its reputation for being a well-run nonprofit, the quality of the merchandise is high and prices exceedingly reasonable. Example: this Armani Jeans women’s jacket, $50. 202 E. 77th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-772-8461.