You can do two kinds of thrift shopping in Brooklyn: the first is the heavily curated, heftily priced experience of the high-end vintage boutiques. Think a perfectly broken-in, 1994-era Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, or a handmade 50s pin-up dress, each with triple digit price tags. The second is the more appealing kind for the budget-conscious crowd. It’s the kind that involves rolling up your sleeves and digging through the heaps of WWE t-shirts and tattered peasant skirts in order to find that perfect $10 gem.
I enjoy doing the second kind of thrift shopping all year round, but especially in summer, because this time of year, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect summer dress. The kind of dress you can imagine yourself wearing while holding a rocket pop, or a sparkler; while strolling on a boardwalk, or standing on a rooftop. To me, it’s something just a little specialer, weirder, and cooler than my usual style. And of course, it’s gotta fit right.
Since this season’s trends are not appealing to me (Off-the-shoulders? Laces? Pseudo-bohemian nonsense? No, no, no), I decided to take my quest exclusively to the thrift stores. Bushwick is teeming with affordable shops lately, and friends tipped me off to great stops in Greenpoint and Park Slope/Gowanus. My perfect summer dress was in reach, I could just feel it. Here’s how I found it.