There are two ways to approach shopping for vintage clothes. For some, it’s all about scavenging second-hand stores for a 70s print shirt or retro denim with a price tag of $10. Others peruse high-end boutiques where expertly curated designer garments and accessories adorn mannequins, representing the most stylish trends from decades past. A Dior dress, Hermés scarf, or Ferragamo shoes are some lust-worthy pieces. In New York City, you’ll find some of the best vintage shopping in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Whether you’re a thrifter with a keen eye or a designer enthusiast, here are five shops in the neighborhood where you can score your next treasure.
Amarcord Vintage Fashion, 223 Bedford Ave
Since 2000, Amarcord Vintage Fashion has been a destination for vintage-savvy fashionistas in search of designer labels bearing names such as Balenciaga, Céline, YSL, and Burberry, among others. With an inventory spanning the Victorian age through 1990s, the boutique is also on top of current fashion, curating collections that mix vintage and modern trends. This philosophy is reflected in Amarcord’s award-worthy window displays, which draw attention from passersby.
Rabbits, 120 Havemeyer St
Located in South Williamsburg, Rabbits has been outfitting celebrities, stylists, and fashion lovers with its rare vintage gems since 2004. Owner Saori Kuno makes several trips to Italy, France, and Japan a year – be sure to check out her fabulous collection of kimonos. Rabbits carries pieces ranging from funky and eclectic to designer, so you can expect to find go-go boots, glamorous fascinators, a 50s Chanel jacket, and vintage Chloé sunglasses here.
About Glamour + AG Gallery, 310 Grand St
This vintage boutique and art gallery boasts a collection of vintage clothes and accessories from leading Japanese and European designers. With a strong Japanese background, About Glamour is stacked with Comme des Garcons, Yohi Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, and Junya Watanabe, and there’s a great selection of jackets, shirts, and shoes for men too. Be sure to check out the AF Gallery featuring art by emerging talent from around the world, and eclectic gift items that include unique stationery and home goods.
L Train Vintage, 629 Grand St
L Train Vintage is a second-hand shop that sells affordable vintage clothes and accessories. This is where serious thrifters put their skills to the test, scouring racks for unique finds at unbeatable prices as low as $5 to $10. Don’t expect to find that perfect piece immediately. But with a little patience and a sharp eye, you just may leave with a retro graphic T-shirt or distressed denim jacket – essential items to round out your vintage wardrobe. In addition to Williamsburg, L Train Vintage has more locations throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Antoinette, 119 Grand St
Inspired by her mother’s love of fashion, owner Lexi Oliveri opened Antoinette in 2011 and the shop quickly established itself as one of Williamsburg best places to shop vintage. Antoinette’s interior is friendly and welcoming thanks to its homey décor. This familiar vibe extends to the beautiful vintage clothes, which Lexi often selects from the closets of her mother and other stylish family members. Mixing vintage with modern, Antoinette also carries lovely pieces by Brooklyn-based designers.