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Thrift Shop Archeology

Once upon a time, there was an inexperienced bargain-shopper: my fourteen year-old self.   This young grasshopper had not yet been exposed to the plethora of thrift stores scattered about Manhattan.  Love at first sight was inevitable when I stepped into “No Relation Vintage” on the Lower East Side some five or six years ago.  I was truly astonished: racks upon racks of shoes, accessories and all sorts of apparel. It still remains my favorite go-to thrift shop in the city.

On its blog, “No Relation” humbly calls itself a “boutique.”  You’ll find that “boutique” is quite the misnomer:  “No Relation” occupies a great deal of space, and merchandise is packed into every possible nook and cranny.  Vests dangle from plastic hangers; tons of costume jewelry and scarves line the shelves; and there’s always a pair of classic leather lace-up boots waiting in the back just for me (with only a small scuff mark or two attesting to the greatness of pre-owned clothes).

I gauge the success of a thrifting experience by the level of digging necessary to find a gem. You can either be overwhelmed in a place like this – racks stuffed with everything from designer fashions to your Mom’s old prom dress – or ready and willing to excavate.  If you’re the latter, I urge you to pay “No Relation” a visit.

All sales are final, so make sure to utilize the spacious fitting rooms in the back!

204 First Avenue (between 12th and 13th Streets). 212-228-5201. Mon-Thu: 1pm-8pm, Fri: 1pm-9pm, Sat: 12pm-9pm, Sun 12pm-8pm. L to 1 Av. 

-Brianna Clark

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