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How to have a Guilt-Free Shopping Spree in Greenwich Village

It’s no secret that New York City is expensive, and after the holidays, budgets are tight. But with these tips, you can enjoy a quintessential Greenwich Village shopping experience, guilt-free.

1. Shop Vintage, Consignment, and Resale

In the modern era, fast fashion reigns supreme. Before the models have even left the catwalk, big retailers are rushing to duplicate and churn out runway styles as quickly as possible in attempts to keep up with current trends. But some things never go out of style (think cashmere sweaters, leather boots, and of course, the little black dress). To find timeless pieces at bargain prices, check out shops that offer pre-owned, new-to-you clothing.

Greenwich Village is brimming with hip vintage shops like Hamlet’s Village, which is full of rare finds ranging from funky and eclectic to classic and sophisticated. Buying vintage means you’ll pay less for high-quality, one-of-a-kind pieces. If you’re looking for even better deals, head to AuH20, which straddles the line between thrift and vintage. The items are carefully curated, so you won’t have to dig through piles of tattered clothing to find a gem, but almost everything at the shop costs less than $25. For a mix of pre-owned vintage and modern clothing, swing by Beacon’s Closet, where you can find timeless pieces as well as more modern, trendy styles. By buying vintage and resale clothing, you can lessen both the impact on the planet and your wallet.

2. Change Your Thinking

Who doesn’t love a good deal? There are few thrills like discovering that the last pair of gorgeous leather boots on clearance are in your size. But beware: for some, the appeal of a discount can lure us into buying things we will rarely (if ever) wear. If you have ever bought something from the clearance rack that didn’t quite fit, we are talking to you. After all, inexpensive clothing is not free; buying clothing you won’t wear will cost you in the long run.

Think of the items in your closet that you love, the ones your reach for, again and again. What do you wear when you’re meeting up with an old friend? Which jeans are the ones you won’t leave town without? Chances are, they are not the ones you bought simply because the price was slashed. You bought them because you loved them, and they have given you a good return on your investment.

Keep this in mind when you’re visiting the many boutiques in Greenwich Village. For some, this may mean reassessing the way you shop. Resist the temptation to take advantage of every single deal you come across, and focus on buying fewer, higher-quality pieces that you absolutely want. You may end up spending more money in the short-term, but eventually, you’ll find yourself buying less. Your clothing will last longer and the difference will begin to add up. Greenwich Village is an ideal place to pick up one or two high-quality pieces that will last for years. Just stop by one of the many luxury shops in the neighborhood, like Jusarra Lee and Lexie.

3. Be a Detective

Hopefully, this information doesn’t come as a surprise: stores are set up to make money. The layout is specifically designed to invite, entice, and seduce you into pulling out your plastic. The most expensive items are laid out attractively, front and center, just begging to be touched, tried-on, and loved. Arm yourself with this knowledge, and enter every boutique with a detective’s mindset. Look where the sales people do not expect you to look; let your eyes fall to dark corners or unremarkable displays. That is where the deals are found.

As a rule, when you enter a shop, walk straight to the back. Avert your eyes from the gorgeous displays up front. In the back, you will usually find the clothing that’s been marked down. It is still important to resist buying items simply because they’re on clearance, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get lucky. If you begin with the sale rack and work your way to the front, chances are, you’ll find something to satisfy your appetite before you reach the pricey displays up front. 

4. Find a Good Happy Hour

It’s a well-known phenomenon: shopping is exhausting. When you emerge on the street, weighed down by the fruits of your labor, you are going to need sustenance. If you time it right, this moment will occur during happy hour. Greenwich Village has a creative and lively restaurant scene, and many of these hip eateries slash the prices of their snacks and drinks for a few magical hours in the afternoon. The North Square Lounge offers beer, wine, and snacks starting at just six dollars. Or swing by the Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor and try one of the 24 beers on tap. After all the money you saved, you owe yourself one!