Friday, January 29, 2010

Use your head

Imagine my delight when a lady gave me a leaflet for a new thrift store as I was strolling through NoLita during one lunch break last October. My heart raced at the prospect of finding a thrift store in a part of town famous for its boutiques and independent designers. It turned out that Use your head: shop for a cause wasn't out of place in this neighbourhood; this is the ultimate Manhattan high end boutique thrift store.

Rest assured that Use your head is the real deal - not a consignement store or a vintage store, but a true thrift store where your money goes to help the Soho partnership, a nonprofit for helping the homeless get jobs and off the streets. In fact, the lady who gave me the leaflet was called Renee and she had been helped off the streets by the organization. How cool is that?
The staff at Use your head are friendly and chatty and make you feel at ease - no boutique snootiness going on here. In fact, the girl working there gave me the low down on the place. The shop belongs to Henry Buhl, a gentleman in his 70s who has many friends and is extremely active in the community - he started the Soho partnership.

What makes this store so New York, is that Henry Buhl's friends are people like Lauren Hutton and Jane Fonda who regularly drop clothes off at the store. On another trip there I was told that they had just received a donation of vintage clothes from Sotheby's. Designer shops in the area also donate regularly to the shop - including Nicole Miller, Prada and Marc Jacobs.

As a result, the shop is very edited with high end clothes. The pricetags are hefty for a thrift shop but low considering that the boutique next door would probably charge you 5 times the price. Some examples are a Chloe dress ($120), a silk YSL Rive gauche blouse ($45), a Ferragamo jacket ($350). They also have some amazing vintage finds - I read that recently a lady donated clothes from Oscar de la Renta, YSL and Valentino after she refused the request from the fashion houses to arquive the clothes.

As well as clothes they also have shoes and handbags. I snatched a delicious vintage handbag for a mere $20.

If you are in town, do pay them a visit - you will see some beautiful clothes, maybe a celebrity or two, and if you buy something you can look gorgeous while helping support a great cause!

For the love of thrift rating (from 1 to 10):

Selection: 10
Presentation: 10

Niceness of staff: 10

Bargain factor (ie pricing): 7 (if you're looking for designer wear)
Thrift turnover: 8

Use your head: shop for a cause thrift store is on 262 Mott Street

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The little black dress

Every thrift girl knows how important an LBD is.

Thrifted in goodwill, courtesy of lookbook, all the way across the East river ie Brooklyn.