Tag Archives: Thrift Stores

Scanning the globe for inspiration

I’ve been back home for only a few days and I’ve been really restless trying to figure out what it was that I “discovered” on my trip to Paris.  Last year it was the color red being the “red thread” but this year I was really unable to put my finger on something.  Spending time in a city where the world’s best trend forecasting companies are home based is a little intimidating, because I almost feel as though it is imperative to bring something back with me.  I found a few trends popping up, the vintage military jackets, straw hats, and of course the over saturation of the striped shirts, but overall the only creative feeling that I could gather from this city is the concept of minimalism.  Not the kind that you would imagine from the 90s era of fashion or the minimalist art movement, but more of the un-satisfaction of over-consumption.  In Paris clothing and styling is more simple, store windows are more simple, the attitudes of the French are more simplified.  Maybe this is something that has always existed in the Parisian culture, but it just feels like a return to naturalism . . . but in a modern sense.  Although I can just put myself in Sofia Coppola’s film “Marie Antoinette” when she so well visualizes the return to naturalism. But of course that came about after years and years of over-consumption, hence the revolution.

Photo from film found: weddingsinparisi.com

I think this minimalistic character is what I really like about Paris.  It’s so different from New York in that matter, even in NY we’re trying to be more natural and organic but it becomes a big deal and in a way unnatural, and like everything else in American culture the idea of being natural and organic is flaunted and commercialized, making the concept ironic.  Now I know I am generalizing here in many ways, but I am to trying to explain this feeling that I get from Paris, and essentially it’s really hard to.  With that said, I think I’ll lighten up and try present a few odds and ends of trends, (design-wise) that I captured while being in Paris.

1. military jackets: I saw so many women and men wearing these jackets, from young to old, and thin to thick (even though there aren’t a lot of thick women in Paris).  The most important styling detail of these jackets, you must roll up the sleeves!  When I tried mine on, the girl at the counter insisted on it and even motioned me to roll then pushing my sleeves up.  It was funny.

Chictopia.com has a little segment on this jackets, showing where you can buy them.  However, I know that Madewell was selling them at the end of last summer, because a lot of their designers use Paris as an inspiration, and they definitely just bought a bunch of those jackets in bulk and shipped to the states to sell for hundreds. I’m thinking one should just hit up the army navy stores for a better deal.

These jackets have oddly become the ‘it’ item of Paris and the best part is that they’re really cheap.  I bought one at “The King of Frip” which was actually below the apartment we stayed in.  This store had an entire rack dedicated to these jackets, all selling for only 10 euros a piece!  Now I was silly and forgot to take a photo of the front of the store but, The King of Frip is found @ 33 Rue du Roi de Sicile • 75004 Paris, France • 01 42 78 33 72 .  I found a beautiful photograph taken by the street blogger/photographer, Yanidel.

photo found here on Yanidel’s Blog ‘Street Photography in Paris’

2. Straw hats: while all the stores in the US are selling these hats, people in the States are not wearing, in Paris however, they are in full force and those ladies look effortlessly chic as they avoid sunburns and skin cancer.  That is something my boyfriend & I had a laugh over a few times, there were so many singed and burned Americans. Please put on some sunscreen!

Thank styleinthecity.com for these photos, and um that’s Karl Lagerfeld in the background of the pic.

3. Color: I saw a slight influence of the color turquoise in design in Paris, not as big as it is in New York.

More so I noticed the color combination of yellow and white popping up in design.  The image on the left is from the Givenchy 2010 Fall collection, the image on the right is a window display for a jewelry company, and the below image from Apartmenttherapy.com, a Parisian apartment.

More to come soon. . .

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Filed under Fashion, Paris, Shopping, Travel

U.E.S. (Upper East Side) 2nd hand shopping

Thrift stores abound on the UES! Not too many know this about the district with one of the wealthiest zip codes in the country. But yes, not only are there are great 2nd hand designer stores, there also are great thrift stores.  In this installment of the UES I will focus on the less expensive thrift stores that you will find in the neighborhood. However, if you can’t wait to explore this neighborhood and would love to check out the designer resale stores, you check out the handy-dandy map I’ve created.

This image was taken from the HW website. It’s a photograph of the 17th street location.

As seen on the map numbers 1 & 8, the Housing Works Thrift-shops are my favorite thrift stores!  Not only are there great articles of vintage and second hand clothing, many designers will donate overstock or samples to these stores.  Sometimes even the original tags are on the pieces. I have found Marc Jacobs shoes, dresses and tops with the original price tags. I also bought a brand new pair of Cheap Monday jeans there.  Housing Works also offers great furniture, hence my couch that bought there. It was still wrapped in the plastic, an overstock item from some furniture company. It’s a pullout couch, wool fabric with bolsters with a low price of $400!  The two Louis XV style chairs I also picked up from there for . . . $75 ea.!

On the UES there are two Housing Works locations. One on 90th and 2nd avenue and the other on 77th street between 3rd and 2nd avenue.  I tend to find better deals at the 90th one because I’m convinced the people who price the product don’t know its worth. I’ve bought all of my furniture and artwork from this location because of that.  But there are always lines before the store opens on weekends. There are definitely cat fights at this location too! Its intense. The 77th street location is great for clothing, the last time I went I bought a BCBG Maxazria blazer for $30 and a J.Crew wool blazer for $8 (because it didn’t have a price tag and the girl at the register charged what she thought it was worth).

photo found here.

2. The Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop expels the perfect musty-mothball-grandma thrift store smell.  Although I haven’t found anything here yet, there is a good selection of both men’s and women’s clothing.

PRELOVED A Designer Room volunteer shows off choice offerings, including a Thierry Mugler suit.

Photo found here.

3. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop is a very large thrift store that is well organized.  You’ll never know what gems you’ll find here. Sometimes a little over priced, the best time to go is during the 1/2 off  sales. One time as I was passing by, I noticed the same exact pinched pleat drapes that my mother had.  It was so odd because hers were custom made!  This is the photo I took from my IPhone.  She could not believe it! (see below)

4. & 9.  The Spence-Chapin Thrift Shop is a store that I have not yet explored myself.  I have heard great things about it though.

According to  The New York Magazine Shopping Section the “Spence and Chapin, long bastions for the education of New York’s blueblood feminine heirs, sponsor thrift shops to support the Spence-Chapin organization’s considerable good works in the larger community, mainly by recycling the high-end, high-quality cast-offs of elegant, label-happy UES moms. The jam-packed store donates thousands of dollars every month to charity, earned from the sale of near-new castoffs like Prada and Miu Miu dresses, Carolina Herrera leather totes, and Marc Jacobs peacoats, all at half their one-time retail price—or less. Granted, the gently worn clothes can be a season or two behind, but how much does a year matter when you’re talking Lacoste polos or lined Ralph Lauren gray flannel slacks? The shop is organized by category, with men’s clothing towards the back and women’s offerings crammed onto racks that line the whole space; a selection of furniture—heavy on the kitchen tables and chairs—is also available. The shop is usually crowded with both merchandise and people; shop early for the best picks. While the jaundice-suggestive fluorescent lighting could be better for choosing among the used Luca Luca gowns, shopping at the Spence-Chapin thrift shop is worth it for the bargains alone. Sadly, no schoolgirl uniforms are for sale.” — Faran Alexis Krentci

That sounds great to me.  I’ll definitely be checking out this gift shop very soon!

Read more: Spence-Chapin Thrift Shop – – Upper East Side – New York Store & Shopping Guide http://nymag.com/listings/stores/spence-chapin-thrift-shop01/#ixzz0iBo7bHfv

5.  At the Cancer Care Thrift Shop you’ll find, after some scrounging and digging, designer brands with the tags still on them along with some cute costume jewelry, and handbags.  All proceeds benefit CancerCare‘s free, professional services for people with cancer and their loved ones.

6. I’ve never made it to the Council Thrift Shop because they’re hours are 11-4:45 and closed on Sundays.  But according to reviews, for a thrift store it can be a little pricey.  One reviewer from Yelp.com ended up buying a Krups espresso machine for $17.00 though.

7.  The Goodwill store is one of the larger stores that is definitely lower priced then the UES thrift stores because most of the people who tag the items do not know who’s who and what’s what when it comes to designers.  In the past I’ve bought a few Ralph Lauren Purple label blazers for $8.  Upstairs is the mens department, where nice button-down dress shirts can be found. Last week, my boyfriend found this really nice flannel. It was a weird no-name brand “Criminal Damage” (we had a chuckle) but its a great plaid and nice colors.  The store is well known for putting their better pieces in the window displays. Once a month or sometimes biweekly on Saturday mornings the store will sell the goods via first come first serve.  If the merchandise is worth it, there will be a line down the block. This store is definitely worth looking into.

The original article from the New York Times, published on June 10, 2009, features the Goodwill stores. The location in the picture is of the Chelsea store.  That’s another neighborhood with great vintage finds. The Chelsea installment is coming soon!

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Filed under New York, Shopping, Travel Tours, Uncategorized

Rainy days make me think. Maybe too much.

Wow, I never realized how hard blogging would be. Especially when you’re trying to write about something interesting and not so narcissistic. Which is what I have been working on for the past few days.  Recently, my boyfriend and I booked a trip to Seattle and while searching for interesting places to shop and things to do, I found it really hard to find what I was looking for.

These struggles caused me to be more self-critical of my own blog.  What am I?  As there are boundless shelter blogs out there, I almost find too many inspiring blogs to keep up with.  That is why I’m not going to focus on my shelter, but more on my city.  I know there are people out there are looking for the “Real” New York things to do.  I am going to embark on a series of installments that will guide us through the things that one can do . . . for fun, in New York City!  Such miscellaneous things may include: thrift store shopping, drinking coffee, walking your dog, vegetarian restaurants, grocery shopping, places for have  happy hour, museum days, furniture shopping, fabric shopping and even craft shopping.  I’m sure I’ll think of more ideas along the way, which will lead me off my path a little, but I promise it will all tie in and make sense! And of course, all the while, I will still be adding updates of my apartment’s progress, because a big part of living in NYC is making your only 500 sq. ft. work for you.  Well I hope you enjoy my perspective of New York City and thanks for stopping by!

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