Vintage Fashion Haul: Thrifty Finds from NYC

EcoSalon goes vintage shopping in New York City.

A while back we discussed the “fashion hauling” phenomenon and the impact it is having on today’s teen shopper. While I do think it’s a disturbing trend, I also realize that there is very little we can do to affect the basic desire that shoppers have to share their finds with others. If you can’t beat them, join them. Of course, we here at EcoSalon do it in a conscious consumer kind of way, featuring some of awesome vintage finds that I recently scored while scouring two of my favorite NYC thrift shops.

At Beacon’s Closet in Williamsburg I found two things that fit well into current trends.

This African print tunic, which has a really lovely pattern and one of my favorite colors: green. I think it’s originally for kids, because the arm holes are a bit tight, but that’s an easy fix with the sewing machine.

These pale pink shorts are really nicely distressed, and both the color and length are right on trend for summer. And at $12, they were a great deal.

Moving on to my other favorite Brooklyn thrift shop, Guvnor’s Vintage Thrift, I found a bunch of great dresses.

First, I saw this vaguely animal-pattern dress in a nice, flattering 50s-style cut. Usually it’s hard to find this kind of dress without a really narrow waist, but this one fits perfectly and I’ll probably pair it with a delicate belt. I love the colors and the pearlized buttons too.

Like I mentioned, I’m very into bright greens right now, and this 70s dress with a pleated skirt and metallic bodice instantly caught my eye.

I have a problem with black—so much so that I had banned myself from buying anything black this summer. This long-sleeve maxi dress fit me really well, though, and when I saw that the label was called Mr. Sergio, like one of my best friends, I just had to break down and get it. It’s got these really nice ruffle details on the front that keep it from being just another black dress. Or maybe that’s just my excuse.

Finally, this rose-patterned linen thing caught my eye. Initially I wasn’t sure why, but I think I can relate to the fact that it’s an insane mix of styles – the collar is vaguely Asian, the pattern very conservative and sort of British, and the leather lace up detail with shells is very hippie chic. It was also less than $20, so done deal.

Actually, none of these set me back more than $40. The brown animal-print dress and green 70s party dress were the most expensive things, but the good thing about vintage clothing is that you can just sell it again once you don’t want it anymore. It’s like a virtuous circle of consumption, where all this good stuff is passed along for someone else to discover and fall in love with one day.

What are some of your recent vintage finds?

Johanna Björk

Johanna is a sustainable fashion writer currently based in Ojai, CA. Read her weekly On Trend column to learn what's new in eco fashion.