Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thrift for Traviata, Vintage for Verdi

Amongst Manhattan's array of thrift stores, few have the quirk and charm of the City Opera Thrift Shop. This Bergdorf Goodman of secondhand stores lures you in with it's gorgeous window displays - courtesy of the students of the nearby School of Visual Arts - and offers up an assortment of upscale designer wear.

The collection of dresses, women's shoes and men's suits make it an excellent place to shop for a special occasion. The styles on offer cater nicely for all ages; I can imagine bringing my mum here (and her squealing in delight at the velvet jackets and silk dresses). There are plenty of clothes for us younger types too, when I was there last a young woman was trying on a cute fitted leather jacket. If you want a Dior jacket this is the thrift store to visit - but if you're looking to stretch your last 20 dollars as far as you can you might want to steer clear.

It's not just having art students dress the windows and the designer threads that makes this place so New York, it's where the thrift dollars go - here is a clothes tag:

Hmmmm, my shoe indulgences have contributed towards Madame Butterfly; Candide; Don Giovanni; Tosca....

The New York City Opera supports groundbreaking opera and has 25% of tickets priced at $25 and less - now that is thrifty.

For the love of thrift rating (from 1 to 10):
Selection: 9
Presentation: 9
Niceness of staff: 8
Bargain factor (ie pricing): 7 (if you're looking for designer wear)
Thrift turnover: 8

The New York City Opera thrift store is on East 23rd Street. As well as women's and men's clothes and shoes, they have furniture, books and often opera records and posters.


  1. Wow, I wish there was somebody doing reviews like this on thrift stores in my area- handy! This place looks amazing, wish I was close enough to visit!

  2. I definitely intend to check this out next time I'm in NYC! Great post.