Summertime, albeit oodles of fun, has rendered this editor a penniless pauper. It’s bad enough that a steady stream of barbecues, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and beach outings have turned my pupils permanently into dollar signs, but I’m also expected to look nice when I show up for them, too! If you’re in the same (rather humble) boat as I am, I’ve got good news. You can snag a polished wardrobe for über cheap, without having to shop at Forever 21. If you’re new to the concept or never thought to try it, maybe you’ll be swayed by the fact that I scored this entire summer outfit—that’s a dress, a belt, a pair of sandals, and a bag—for only $21 at my favorite secondhand shop. Impossible, you say? Stick with me on the first installment of our new series, “Goodwill Hunting,” as I unearth some hidden gems at the second-oldest thrift store in New York City: the Bayside Thrift Shop in Flushing, Queens.
I’ll level with you: I’m pretty loathe to tell anyone about the Bayside Thrift Shop (also known as the Northern Boulevard Thrift Shop or just “the thrift shop,” as my mom and I call it). First, this place has some of the most affordable prices I’ve ever seen. In fact, I find myself chuckling as I exit the shop (purchases tucked protectively under my arm), as if I’m getting away with some kind of crime. To put the prices in perspective, I purchased a practically brand new Ralph Lauren crested blazer here for $7 last winter. That’s less than the price of the new Lady Gaga album on iTunes. Plus, I’ll probably wear it more times than I’ll listen to all of her tracks—sorry, Gaga.
In general, I try to stay away from secondhand shops that are disorganized or in a permanent state of deshabille because it’s a clear sign that the proprietor doesn’t care about the merchandise. That being said, one of the reasons I love the Bayside Thrift is that the shop is nice and tidy, so picking out items is easy. It wasn’t long before I selected some breezy items for my outfit.
WHAT I BOUGHT
- ’70s-style tan dress: $10
- Preppy belt: $1
- Woven bag: $5
- Orange stacked-heel sandals: $5
Not included in the outfit:
- J. Crew baby-pink summer dress (like-new!): $10
- Straw hat: $1
Total spent: $21 ($32 with the extra items)