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For the casual shopper, New York's vintage scene can be daunting. Since we live in the seat of the American fashion industry, competition for the best merchandise is fierce, driving up the prices. This isn't the kind of place where you can stumble across somebody's grandmother's barely-used Chanel purse at the Junior League Thrift Store. Plus there's such a big selection of hole-in-the-wall vintage shops that it can be hard to separate the ones that are filled with treasures from the ones that are 90% polyester and mothball fumes.
To make the task a bit easier, we've rounded up the 38 best-loved local vintage stores and listed them from north to south in the map below. Note that these are all stores that focus on exchanging semi-historic fashion pieces for cash. We tried to omit any place that specializes in two-year-old H&M cardigans, and we left out stores where the bulk of the business is consignment (though you can find our ten favorite consignment shops right here.)
Are you a vintage expert who can't believe we left out that secret underground place in Queens? Let us know what we missed in the comments below. Are you shopping elsewhere? Here are the 38 best vintage stores in Los Angeles, Chicago, and online.