Thrift Shopping in NYC: Expert Shares Tips

Thrift Shopping
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Thrift Shopping in NYC: Expert Shares Tips

Thrift shopping has become very popular over the last couple of years and has become both a fun and budget-friendly way to get different styles of clothes! For parents who have younger children, second hand or vintage clothing are a great option to purchase since kids bodies are constantly growing and changing and you won’t have to spend a fortune buying new clothes. 

Now for those of you (including myself) who are trying to dip their toes into the world of thrift shopping, Natalie Sky, Owner of Mother Vintage NYC, shares her experience with thrift shopping and shares some tips for us newbies!

How did your fascination for thrifting/vintage shopping begin?

I grew up thrifting out of necessity– My mom was a single mom of 5. Thrift shops were somewhere that she could get us all clothes without really breaking the bank. Funny thing is, we didn’t know we were shopping at Thrift Shops or that the clothes were secondhand until we got older. She called The Salvation Army “Sallys.” 

We always looked at Sallys as a cool place where we could find unique clothes that our friends didn’t have. So even after I became a teenager/ adult, I continued shopping there for cool, unique clothes!

How did the idea of your store, MOTHER VINTAGE, come to be?

Growing up in the thrifts, my love for thrifting never ended! My twin sister and I tour the world as singers/ DJ’s. Anytime we land in a new city I map out where the closest thrift/ vintage shops are and we head out to shop before our shows.

While acquiring clothes for ourselves, we started collecting cute vintage kid clothing that reminded us of outfits we wore growing up. Then we had kids of our own and we found ourselves shopping at Thrift shops for our kids. That’s when the idea of MOTHER VINTAGE came about.  

Here we are doing the same thing our mother did, thrifting for clothes for our kids! Although we could always shop in other stores– we were always back at the thrifts! MOTHER VINTAGE is really a nod to our mother who introduced us to thrifting + vintage, but it’s also our way to give other people the chance to shop some of our finds + scoop up some of that NYC 90’s – 2000’s Aesthetic for their kids. That’s what  MOTHER VINTAGE  collections are inspired by,  what we saw + wore growing up in NYC  in the late 90’s – early 2000’s.

Vintage/thrift shopping has become so popular over the past couple of years. Why do you believe that is?

So many reasons! The reason our Mother brought us, to save money!  Because you can find high quality clothing at low prices. Because it’s fun, it’s like searching for treasure you never know what unique pieces you will find while thrifting. Because most fashion trends are rip offs of past fashion anyway!

Right now y2k style is making a comeback- low rise jeans, bucket hats, that ed Hardy vibe- these are all things you can currently find at the thrifts! And of course because It’s eco-friendly and sustainable!

What are some of the benefits of second hand clothes shopping, especially when it comes to kids clothing?

Kids outgrow clothing so fast! Thrifting is budget friendly, you can shop for a full season of kids clothes for a fraction of the price you would pay at regular department stores.There’s so many different styles & items to shop – new styles & past seasons-  vintage to designer.  When your child outgrows their current wardrobe, you can donate those & pick up something “new.” I love bringing my kids to pick out their own clothes at the thrift store!

It really is a way to find unique clothing and allow them to make their style their own since there’s so much to choose from and as they get older you can teach them how thrifting is sustainable and you’re actually helping the earth by shopping there!

For those (like myself) who would like to start thrift shopping, what are some tips/techniques to help get your started?

  1. Dress comfortably! Some thrift shops have fitting rooms, some don’t. So be ready to try on clothing over your clothes if necessary. 
  2. Check all buttons/ seams/ zippers & stains and then- DOUBLE CHECK!  I’ve come home with the perfect leather jacket only to find out the zipper was broken. I was able to get it fixed, but that isn’t always the case so make sure you inspect your items before bringing them to the checkout.  
  3. Size doesn’t  always matter.  Vintage clothing tends to run smaller than modern day sizing so don’t be scared to shop in different size sections than you’re used to. 
  4. Always check for deals!  Most thrift shops have color tag sales. So like on a Monday there might be 50% off green tags – or even multiple colors. Check for the color tags of the day for an extra little discount. 
  5. Lastly, be ready to dig/ hunt for those treasures. Some days at the thrift store you might strike gold &  find tons of awesome pieces- the next day you might not- But that is the thrill of the find!

Have you been experiencing more stress as a parent? Check out Parental Burnout: Expert Shares Signs and Tips Parents Need to Know