Shopping in vintage stores sometimes requires a little extra energy to find just the right fashion item, but the payoff can be well worth it. Finding that great one-of-a-kind retro piece is much sweeter when the price tag doesn't break the bank. The Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg has several vintage shops worth checking out.
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With two locations in New York City, Amarcord is a good source for high-end vintage clothing from all over the world. The inventory covers the period from Victorian to the 1990s and features both famous labels and unknowns. The owners are from Italy and they go to Europe on seasonal buying trips, focusing on the styles that made Italian fashion famous, like Gucci, Fendi, Pucci, Valentino, and the like; French and English designers are also well represented.
The merchandise changes with the seasons and each season is treated as a complete collection. Outfits are color-coordinated and reflect current fashion trends. Customers can also shop online from a large selection of accessories, jewelry, shoes, handbags, and more.
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In the same building as the thrift shop Buffalo Exchange on Driggs Avenue, you'll find Monk's, an eclectic blend of second-hand and older vintage pieces. Even in Williamsburg, vintage for men can be difficult to find, but Monk's has a large selection of jeans, plaid shirts, and tees. Monk's also sells women's clothing, shoes, bags, sunglasses, and even jewelry, so if you're stumped on what to wear to a party and don't want to break the bank, stop into Monk's. It's more of a thrift store than a high-end vintage clothing shop, with items in every price range.
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The oddly named 10 Ft Single and Stella Dallas are two stores located next door to each other in Williamsburg. The space is broken up into separate rooms: The front room is the most spacious, lined wall-to-wall with clothing racks organized by men's and women's, and type of garment. The smaller back room caters to vintage aficionados with clothes from the 50s all the way back to the turn of the century. If you are looking for the perfect military jacket or a 1960s-style Mad Men dress, you've come to the right place. The vintage items are generally more expensive than the clothes in the front room, which are very affordable.
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This converted apartment on Driggs Avenue consists of two rooms filled with unique clothing, art, and accessories. The store has an elegant and artsy feel, not your typical thrift shop -- think prints, embroidery, and beads artfully displayed. There's even a backyard for Sunday music concerts. Designer labels are mixed with collectibles from around the world, and accessories like jewelry and shoes are well represented. Narnia's is a good place to find that one-of-a-kind item that you won't see anywhere else.