One of my favorite stores in this city is not a giant department store or a Soho boutique. It's not a chain discount retailer or a pop-up shop. It's Housing Works Thrift Stores.
Now wait a minute, you say. You're living in the shopping mecca of our country and you favor a thrift store above all else?! But you have to stop and pause a moment because the queen of finding good deals must be on to something. And in fact I am.
I wandered into the Yorkville outpost on 2nd Avenue and 90th Street shortly after I moved to the area and I cannot walk by without at least peeping in and doing a once over. You would hardly know this place was a thrift store. Clothes are neatly organized in racks according to pieces - dresses here, skirts on the bottom and blouses on the top, jeans in one section and blazers over there. Housing Works only accepts high quality donations. You will find many designer duds, some brand new with the original tags still on. They also have an amazing selection of books, jewelry, furniture and other household goods. The store is also exceedingly clean and lacks a certain mildewy scent which wafts through the Goodwill Store down the street.
In addition to the already ridiculous prices you might find on the racks, the stores have random flash sales - 25% off all clothing today only, 40% off all books (when paperbacks are already only $1 a pop), and my most recent favorite, All Pants $3. Yes, that means I bought 4 pairs - 1 Theory jeans, 1 Brooks Brother's capris and 2 Italian designer ankle pants - all for $12. It's ok to be jealous. I can't even count the number of items of clothing I've taken home from Housing Works, but one of my best finds was a new pair of Stuart Weitzman sandals for $35. Also, twice a year they hold a summer and a winter clearance sales where you can find runway styles from top designers at additional markdown prices. I find it best to go on a weekday so as to avoid the crowds.
The reason I write about this fabulous store today however is because of my earlier post-work-pre-gym pop-in. The Yorkville store currently has a full rack of amazing designer pieces (With their original tags! I'm not sure how they do it!) from the likes of Geren Ford, Miguelina, Betsey Johnson, Magaschoni, Ali Ro and Y Yigal. Most dresses were marked down to $90 and tops where anywhere from $35 to $60. Also, through the end of July, you will get an extra $25 off your entire purchase if you show an old Housing Works receipt. So buy a book for $1 and then use that receipt to scoop up the remainder of your summer wardrobe.
Housing Works is a non-profit organization that is committed to ending homelessness and AIDS. The stores are run by volunteers and the organization provides quality services for those in need across the city and beyond. So even when you feel your wallet cringing when you can't decide between four dresses, you can still feel good knowing your money is going towards a good cause. Face it, it's a win-win-win.
You can check out their website to find a store near you and check out their online auctions and future sale announcements. Happy shopping!