SLC on a Budget: East Village Thrift Shops

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am the cheapest person they know. I blame my parents for always being so frugal and reminding me how much money I cost them. My perception of how much clothes should cost is also skewed by the fact that I’ve worked for 2 years at a dirt cheap thrift store with an employee discount. Regardless of whose fault my attitude is, I am hesitant to spend any more than ten dollars on any item of clothing. As a result of my job, I have become obsessed with thrift stores, but have been struggling to find ones in New York City that actually fit my budget. The Upper East and West Side’s shops were way too upscale, and I was recently heartbroken to discover that Soho was similar. So, I decided to try the East Village. With $20 in my pocket and 4 shops on my list, I embarked on my journey.

Housing Works 
(various locations – I went to 157 E. 23rd St., between 3rd & Lexington Ave)

I first went to Housing Works, which I had been to before (the Soho Location), where I bought a pair of roller skates for $5. I love Housing Works. They have a large variety, but it’s not so big that it becomes overwhelming. They have a massive selection of books (all more than $5), DVDs (all $1), and housewares in addition to all the clothes. I didn’t find any clothing I liked, but I found a rad pair of shoes for $5 that I bought (pictured).

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Cure Thrift Shop 
(111 E 12th St, between 3rd and 4th Ave)

I actually found out about this place because a friend of mine from high school posted on Instagram that she worked there. This place is pretty adorable. It is nicely decorated and they played vintage-y music to get you in the mood. The upstairs portion was fairly expensive, so I was discouraged until I found the stairs. Downstairs, they had tee-shirts for $5, sweater for $15, jeans for $10. Perfect. I love it. I didn’t find anything that I wanted in my price range, but I will return again.

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(84 E 7th St, between 1st and 2nd Ave)

This tiny little thrift shop had a $5 rack outside practically calling my name. While it was small (think the size of a rich lady’s closet), I immediately found 4 things that I wanted to buy. They had a mixture of men’s, women’s, and (I think) kid’s clothing. I am such a sucker for an ugly sweater, and I loved the one I tried on but decided it wasn’t worth $18. I also tried on a Joyrich skirt that was $25, which probably originally cost around $80. Not a bad deal. Their jewelry collection was nice as well. I walked away empty handed but not dissatisfied.

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No Relation (204 1st Ave, between 12th and 13th Street)

My last stop was at No Relation, which probably should have been my first stop because this place is MASSIVE. You need a lot of patience shopping in a store like that, and mine was running low. Nevertheless, I looked around and found some really cool items. This place is super cheap; all of their sweaters were generally under $15. I noticed that they had more men’s clothing than women’s, but they still had large selection of both. The store was nicely organized, separating the 90s-style windbreakers from the selection of denim jackets. I didn’t wind up buying anything but I will return once it gets super cold to buy some oversized men’s sweaters.

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Elena Tinschert is a freshman at Sarah Lawrence College. She has a passion for fashion but is also broke so she is always on the hunt for the best deal. She currently has no idea what she wants to do with her life so she is studying a vast variety of subjects while trying to get her life together

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