Arts and Entertainment | Fashion

Outside the bubble: Best thrift shops in the city

  • Alexandra Warrick for Spectator
    AWOKE | Awoke Vintage is a Bedford mainstay and features racks of $5 finds.
  • Alexandra Warrick for Spectator
    VINTAGE | Awoke Vintage offers clothes that look like they belonged to a kitsch-mad grandmother from Sarasota.

 With the new school year comes a chance to give your wardrobe a vigorous shaking up—which, thanks to the myriad thrift and vintage shops tucked in the city’s corners, can be done on the tightest of budgets. Whether you’re looking for a dependable pair of boots to carry you through the season’s incoming puddles or a way to combat your monochrome habit, have no fear: Below is a triad of spots offering style options as affordable as they are unconventional, as well as seasonal recommendations from the stores’ staffs.

Awoke Vintage
132 North Fifth St., Brooklyn
Awoke Vintage—originally based in Perth, Australia—currently enjoys the reputation of Bedford mainstay, showcasing a cannily curated selection of oddball offerings like tie-dye kaftans, placemat-patterned blouses, and the odd burlap shift dress here and there. Prices are fair, with the outliers being the steeply priced selection of jewel-toned leather and, on the other end of the spectrum, the racks of $5 finds. Also recommending Awoke is its robust menswear section, utilitarian leather goods, and eager staff.

The Look:
A kitsch-mad grandmother from Sarasota.

Staff Fall Pick:
“The long dress—you can go from summer to winter by adding tights or thigh highs or layering cable-knit sweaters over it.”

Antoinette
119 Grand St., Brooklyn
If Antoinette feels like a prowl through a well- dressed woman’s closet, don’t be surprised— the store is stocked exclusively with the owner’s mother’s eclectic duds, gathered during her career working for French milliner Lilly Daché. The store offers a fine spread for an omnivorous shopper, with an array of intricate, peony-ruffled knitwear and blouses printed like ’70s picture books. Pink, polka dots, and pussy bows abound, as well as silky slips for Courtney Love hopefuls. A wooden armoire overflows with silk scarves, and racks are strung with suspenders in bubblegum and satin black.

The Look
A Broadway hopeful’s trunk of collections from abroad.

Staff Fall Pick:
“Clogs are going to be super huge for fall.”

AuH20
84 East Seventh St.
AuH2O, the eponymous “thriftique” instated by NYU grad Kate Goldwater, is committed to being truly thrifty, featuring permanent $5 and $10 racks of kicky miniskirts and punchy florals. Inside the store, you’ll find offerings ranging from blue velvet to varsity jackets, sequined fabrics to sturdy leather boots. The shoe selection is a standout, offering pumps fit to carry you through swing dancing or Sociology. Also charming is its clutter of layerable chains and bold, lozenge-sized clip-on earrings strung from a large birdcage.

The Look:
A sartorially minded high school ceramics teacher.

Staff Fall Pick:
“Everybody’s all over leather boots. ... Velvet is really fun and really funky.”

alexandra.warrick@columbiaspectator.com | @ColumbiaSpec

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