When Thrifting Backfires

 
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It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of thrifting clothes (buying and selling), but sometimes the process doesn't go as planned. I recently spent an entire weekend sifting through my shameful plethora of unwanted clothes, crammed into my tiny Brooklyn closet, in order to (hopefully) make some money thrifting what I could and donating the rest.

Want to know how much I made from Beacon's Closet – my local Bushwick, Brooklyn thrift shop – which I was SURE would be a gold mine? -$25... Yup, you read that right, NEGATIVE twenty-five dollars...my plan totally backfired on me and I spent money at the thrift store.

The feeling of being handed back my giant Ikea blue bag of previously cherished clothing from the cashier can only be described as one word, rejection. Thoughts of middle school embarrassment rushed back to me. Wandering around the lunchroom, brace-faced with nowhere to sit. The cool kids giggling in the corner. When I snapped back to reality, I realized, I've come a LONG way since then. I then reminded myself, who cares what these people think? We have to learn from our mistakes to better our chances next time. 

I accepted the fact that thrifting is a lot harder than being a thrifter (my kind of hunting and gathering). It's a matter of opinion, surrendering your clothes to another's judgment and being prepared for the potential let down. However; I now know that there are ways of increasing your luck. This includes:

  • Familiarity: Frequenting the same store...never hurts to make some insider friends
  • Quantity: Bringing fewer clothes (without the Ikea bag) 
  • Timing: Presenting seasonal selections (no crop tops in winter) 
  • Trial & Error: Hitting many different spots to up your chances (and be patient) 
  • Research: Look at the brands and styles in the store and align yours with this

On the bright side of this unfortunate day, I ended up with this awesome Rebecca Minkoff, plaid pea coat, a new favorite in my wardrobe! Time to do some more research in my favorite shops. 

XOXO Alex 

Photography: Nat Belkov

 
 
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Home for the Holidays

 
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For the second time as a New York resident, I got to leave the frigid city conditions for Winter Park, ironically in Central Florida (where my Mom lives). Minus the occasional family bickering (on account of being together WAY more than we're used to), we shut ourselves off from our busy daily routines and celebrated with an incredible dinner, gifts, and the neighborhood holiday party. Although the picturesque holiday decor didn't include snow, it did include the beautiful annual Christmas tree, floating in the center of our neighborhood lake. 

My trip wasn't over just yet, I zipped down to South Florida to spend the remainder of my trip in my original hometown with my Dad's family – the typical divorced parents narrative. I learned, yet again, to always bring a disguise when going to the mall, to avoid any dreaded high-school run-ins, and the occasional middle school one (even worse). 

Want to know my favorite part of going home? Getting to hang out with best friend, my 94-year old Nana who understands me like none other. Another highlight was laying out by the beautiful intercoastal waterway, accompanied by W magazine and the beating hot rays. Finally, I enjoyed yet another lovely holiday meal, this time to celebrate a belated Hanukkah filled with homemade latkas, and more family and friends. 

Black Slacks: Versona

Red Hat: NY Street Vendor 

Patterned Top: Gift from Thailand 

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Hidden Gems

 
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It's funny how amidst the graffiti-ridden, industrial warehouses of Bushwick and the Graham Ave delis, live some of New York's finest hidden gems. From Roberta's Pizza, to Raggedy Threads Vintage and Friends NYC, – maybe it's my intense love of 1920 speakeasys – there's simply something SO satisfying about discovering the seemingly undiscoverable.

If you're not local, or maybe you just never come to Brooklyn, here's the 411 for you (do people still say that??) on why these places are hidden and what they have in common: 

Roberta's

Roberta's is an extraordinary boho-chic pizzeria, hidden behind a run-down, red warehouse door, revealing dimly lit tables, tons of young people, and a sick outdoor garden and bar area. I first came here right when I moved to New York, I was a vegetarian at the time, and the pizza was out of this world! Fast forward to today (I'm now a vegan), and the pizza sans cheese was just as incredible. A quick tip for my vegan friends out there, if you order your cheeseless pizza as takeout, you can sprinkle some of your own vegan mozz on at home, stick it back in the oven, and voila, you're all set! 

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Friends NYC

This one may not be obvious since it's literally smack dab in from of the Morgan Ave Station, but I've included Friends NYC for the main reason that for two whole years, I thought this was a virtual store, selling clothes only on Instagram. Then, I come to realize its physical location is literally ten minutes from my house. Cue all of the outfitless nights with nothing to wear flashing before my eyes. Today, I finally discovered the real shop, filled with beautiful curated vintage clothing, accessories, and gifts, mixed with some new inclusions. This was definitely a gift in vintage heaven that I won't be forgetting. 

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Raggedy Threads

The Brooklyn location (also in Little Tokyo, LA) of this rustic vintage clothing store is literally hidden inside an old bakery, with the original street sign still up! I've walked by Ragged Threads hundreds of times on my way to the station until I realized it wasn't an actual bakery. The selection consists of predominantly white and cream colors with tons of awesome denim and authentic vintage accessories, like my brass Harley belt buckle (see the belt on my outfit from this shoot and the full story on Thrill of The Ride). They have a nice mix of men's and women's clothing, in which I shop in both departments since it's almost 2018, you know (jk, I started venturing into the menswear department since my days of fangirling over Man Repeller). If you're in the market for authentic vintage clothing in which they know the origins, come check out Raggedy Threads. 

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Hopefully, this post either inspired you to explore my favorite hidden Brooklyn spots, or to venture out further into your own neighborhood. There's just something to be said for the grimy exteriors, shielding top quality restaurants, stores, and the plethora of music venus (wait for another feature for this) hidden inside. It's almost the great anomaly of our era: how do you give millennials access to something forbidden when they can now access everything? Playing off of human nature's desire for the inaccessible (or at least the illusion of it) is truly remarkable.

XOXO

Alex

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Roberta's Photography: @JordanaTaylor 

Location Photography: Me 

Jacket: Member's Only

 

 

 

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Sayonara Summer

 
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Isn’t it crazy how the very day summer ends, it’s ALREADY noticeably colder? I walked out of my apartment yesterday in my bell-bottom jeans, vintage 1960’s vest, and felt hat, immediately feeling the onslaught of the almost crisp, fall air settling over Grand St.

As I briskly paced by the creepy construction workers on my usual walk to the station – en route to my East River shoot – a strange sense of fondness cascaded over me, not for the construction workers, but for my first summer as a Williamsburg resident and as a more mature working woman. I felt not only the change in the air, but the change in myself.

I switched jobs to run the social media department of a creative agency and advance my career in branding and digital strategy, I started this blog, and now I’m launching a company with my brother (more to details to come on this very soon!). Surprisingly, my summer wasn’t incredible this year for the usual reasons like traveling, parties, shopping, etc...definitely some of this. It was memorable for the shift in my priorities.

I also finally found that feeling of being so in love with my neighborhood, I purposely get off the train sooner to walk through the liveliness of Williamsburg for longer every night after work. Regardless of the neighborhood creeps, THIS is what I felt when the construction workers yelled out their last compliment (kinda flattered??) to me on the final day of summer 2017.

XOXO

Alex

Photos: Jacob Goldberg Productions

Vintage 1960’s Vest: Known to Man

Jeans: Diva’s and Devils

Hat: Free People

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