Tastemakers Choice – Where They Go For Their Clothing Gems


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The Dressing Room, part bar, part boutique, a favorite of Jessi Arringon's.

The Dressing Room, part bar, part boutique, a favorite of Jessi Arringon's.

We all have our go-tos, secret spots and default shops where we plunder and uncover to complete our individual style. But if you’ve ever wondered where the style mavens go, look no further. We’ve got a few tips here from the crème de la crème. From San Francisco to New York City and Chicago in between, find out where these style bloggers, flea market curators and creative designers do their favorite off-the-beaten-path shopping.

Victoria of SF Girl By Bay in San Francisco

A private shopping salon for you and friends at Lemon Twist.

A private shopping salon for you and friends at Lemon Twist.

Victoria Smith, is an editor, stylist and founder of Sfgirlbybay.com, a gorgeous and supremely popular blog dedicated to the bohemian modern style of dressing, shopping, designing, and living in San Francisco and beyond.

“For well-tailored, well-made independent fashion, the place to go is Lemon Twist. Designers Eric and Danette Scheib have been keeping it an insider’s secret for years, but now they moved to their new location on Potrero Hill, and host fun openings and private salons. The more friends you bring to a private salon, the better the discount. Danette even makes housecalls, and will bring the collection to you!”

Sfgirlbybay.com | @sfgirlbybay

Katherine Raz of Vintage Bazaar in Chicago

The Vintage Bazaar in 2010. Photo: Optimistclub's flickr

The Vintage Bazaar in 2010. Photo: Optimistclub's flickr

Katherine Raz is co-curator of Chicago’s premiere modern pop-up flea market, Vintage Bazaar.

“I buy most of my clothes at thrift stores. Unique Discount is my personal favorite, as everything’s arranged by style and color. It’s a totally utilitarian way to find clothes, less visual and tactile than it is “search and destroy.” I’m pretty Brutalist in my style choices — I tend to wear the same black, grey, and olive-colored knit clothes with boots or flip flops every day — so if I need a grey knit hooded sweater that comes to mid-thigh, I go in there and find it. And it’s cheap, too, like $6 instead of $40. And I get that glowing feeling of knowing I’m not adding to the mountains of cast-offs in landfills, supporting cheap labor, blah blah.”

TheVintageBazaar.com | BackGarage.com | @katherine_raz

Patrice Williams of Looking Fly On A Dime in Queens

Pay by the pound at the Goodwill Outlet in Long Island City, New York. Photo: mydeartrash.blogspot.com.

Pay by the pound at the Goodwill Outlet in Long Island City, New York. Photo: mydeartrash.blogspot.com.

Patrice Williams is the New York City-based founder of Looking Fly On A Dime, a lifestyle blog dedicated to offering readers insight to living their best life, no matter what their budget.

“I’m a serious thriftaholic and I’ve been to some amazing thrift stores, but my absolute favorite is the Goodwill Outlet in Long Island City, New York. Most people don’t know about this hidden gem. This is the place where I get the most bang for my buck. Unlike other secondhand stores, this location prices clothing by the pound. If you have the patience to dig through the bins of clothing, you can walk away amazing pieces like cashmere sweaters, unique jackets or designer jeans. At just $1.69 per pound, you can score a large bag of clothing for less than $15.”

Lookingflyonadime.com | @FlyonaDime

Jessi Arrington of Workshop in Brooklyn

Jessi Arrington

Jessi Arrington

Jessi Arrington is a color-loving, party-throwing, thrift-shopping, Brooklyn-based designer. We love Jessi and her fascination with unicorns.

“My favorite place to shop of all time is the Brooklyn Flea, especially now that the East River Ferry takes me right up to it’s door on Sundays. I guess everyone and their grandma already knows about that, but for me, it never gets old as I can ALWAYS find something “new” I have to have. Get there before lunch to avoid the crowd.

On a more “hidden gem” note, one of my current favorites combines two of my biggest loves: second-hand shopping and happy hour! The Dressing Room on the Lower East Side is one part clothing resale shop, one part funky little bar, all parts awesome. Sell your clothes in exchange for cash, store credit or bar tab. That’s right, theoretically you can walk in fully clothed and walk out naked but drunk! The pricier labels are upstairs; if you’re looking for bargains (like me), head downstairs for items in the $10-$25 range, and don’t miss a dig in the $5 trunk. Remember: drinking before shopping can prove treacherous. Shop first then celebrate your thrifty stylishness the way I do: with a nice bourbon cocktail. Cheers!”

Luckysoandso.com | @jessiarrington | Jessi speaking on wearing nothing new.

Suchin Pak of Hester Street Fair Manhattan

New World Order Vintage in New York City.

New World Order Vintage in New York City.

Suchin Pak is one of the founders of the Hester Street Fair, New York City’s favorite flea and food market in the Lower East Side. She is a also a former MTV coorespondant, so there’s that.

“New World Order is my secret spot for the best vintage. All of my best coats are from there. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll get to meet the owner Rene who gets all the stuff from choice antique markets in Europe. How this place has been able to keep under the radar is beyond me, plus it’s the most chic store interior. It’s just all glamour!”

Hesterstreetfair.com | @suchinpak

Eli Perez of Thrift Eye in Pasadena

The Rose Bowl Flea Market. Photo: dailytrojan.com

The Rose Bowl Flea Market. Photo: dailytrojan.com

Eli Perez is a thrifter and style connoisseur, and founder of the blog Thrifteye, am awesome fashion and lifestyle site.

“My favorite under the radar place to shop is the Rose Bowl flea market– held the second Sunday of every month in Pasadena CA, this flea market is a one stop shop for all things vintage and even some contemporary items curated for those looking for hidden gems. If youre in the area that time of the month, it’s an absolute must.”

thrifteye.blogspot.com | @thrifteye

But Aren’t We All Our Own Tastemakers?

Where do you go for your must-haves? Any secret spots you can enlighten us with? Remember, sharing is caring. Let us know in the comments.

  • Thanks for sharing the video. And we totally agree. There are tons of reasons to buy thrift!

  • Recycle 2011

    Thanks for writing this post. People who’d like to help the less fortunate can also go to Goodwill for some back-to-school shopping. http://youtu.be/oD8ZiathS9s