Don’t be a cat again for Halloween. This year, strut through the annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade decked out as a New York icon of style, whether fictional or real. There are (obviously) plenty to choose from: Madonna, Don Draper, Andy Warhol, Jackie Kennedy, or even the Broad City gals. And luckily, the city also has plenty of vintage stores to score authentic duds for your look. Have as much fun rummaging through these vintage emporiums for your costume as you do trick-or-treating.
240 West 14th Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues), Chelsea
After five decades, it’s no surprise this beloved fashion emporium has established itself as one of the most well-known purveyors of highly curated, fashion-forward treasures from the 1920s to 1990s. Find everything from satin gowns to lace tops to tempt the ’80s-era Madonna in you—and don’t forget to rummage the jewelry cases and racks overflowing with shoes and sunglasses. Despite the volume of goods for both women and men, Screaming Mimi’s is well organized and a pleasure to peruse. And if you’re looking for a haute, high-end look à la Carrie Bradshaw, this vintage destination spot harbors an entire penthouse of decently priced specialty garments, all of which have earned a seal of approval from some of the city’s top stylists.
333 East 9th Street (between First and Second Avenues), East Village
Veteran online seller (and celebrator!) of everything ’90s, Spark Pretty has finally opened up its own brick-and-mortar in the East Village. Animal prints, bold florals, leather, velvet, and lace abound in this fabulously stocked shop, which pays homage to style icons Betsey Johnson and Lisa Frank. Patricia Field and Cyndi Lauper would be honored to be represented this Halloween in authentic apparel and gear from this vintage gem.
130 West 25th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), Chelsea
If you’re outfitting an entire family of Halloween enthusiasts, this 32-year-old vintage rental operation might be exactly what you need. A regular contributor to major film companies and fashion houses, Early Halloween boasts an incredible collection of clothing, accessories, and retro luggage. The Chelsea shop is open by appointment only, most of which begins with a walk through its 8,500-square-foot loft. With an eye for styling the ’60s, this is the place to go for those who’ve always dreamed of stepping out as Jackie Kennedy or Edie Sedgwick.
377 Broome Street (between Mulberry and Mott Streets), Soho
You won’t find any cheap, grunge-inspired flannels at this shop—it’s as much a high-end boutique as it is a vintage outlet. Here you’ll discover gorgeous pre-1950s clothing for men and women, as well as a curated selection of more contemporary pieces, like an exquisite 1990s Kenzo kimono wrap evening set with a fur neckline. If you have visions of dapper Don Draper or Holly Golightly glamour this year, you will likely uncover the perfect threads to pull it off at Ritual (cigarettes and arrogant tendencies not included).
428 East 9th Street (between First Avenue and Avenue A), East Village
If former New York Knick Patrick Ewing or Hall of Famer Derek Jeter is the inspiration behind your sports legend ensemble, look no further than Mr. Throwback, which specializes in vintage athletic apparel from the glory days of the ’80s and ’90s. You’ll find NBA Championship jerseys, Chalk Line jackets, and snapback caps—all featuring your favorite players and teams.
47 Greenwich Avenue (between Perry and Charles Streets), West Village
Star Struck is what we all envision when we hear “vintage”: racks of leather jackets, denim shirts, rock-and-roll tees, and dresses and accessories galore. Although this shop isn’t cheap, the selection is excellent and—without question—you’ll be able to resurrect Andy Warhol or Patti Smith from any time period.
33-06 31st Avenue, Astoria
Simply put, this is where the Broad City girls might very well stock their eclectic and fabulous wardrobes. Expect to find ’70s faux-fur–trimmed coats, jumpsuits, polka dot rompers, adorable vintage sunglasses, and handbags at any given time. The selection is always fresh, and your costume won’t cost a fortune.
74 Guernsey Street, Greenpoint
If you live or shop in Brooklyn, you already know this store is 2,000 square feet of classic vintage magic. You’ll find mostly everything you need in one go—from a Lady Gaga–esque selection of avant-garde high heels to baby-pink velour jumpsuits from J.Lo’s days on the block. Beacon’s Closet has racks upon racks of well-curated fancy tops, casual flannel and polyester shirts, glamorous skirts, shimmering dresses, unique hats, purses, and scarves. Not only will you easily complete your Halloween costume, you might also pick up a few pieces for your own closet.