Crossroads Trading Co.'s Brooklyn location is one thrift store that would be right at home within any suburban, small-town strip mall. The store's trendy Williamsburg clientele might interpret that as a veiled insult, but I mean it in the best way possible, I promise! Impeccably organized, well-staffed and spotless, Crossroads is a great place for those looking to ditch the less desirable aspects of thrifting while still scoring secondhand clothes at decent prices. Even more importantly, the store--which has a sister location in midtown Manhattan--offers a great return policy, further securing its status as a thrift world anomaly.
The women's clothing section is varied and well-curated at Crossroads, reliably full of mid-market and high-end clothing, bags and shoes at reasonable prices. The store also has plenty of designer pieces, many of which are found lining the top of the walls or behind the cashier's counter. (Staff members are happy to take down these items if you want to take a closer look.) Because the staff is highly trained in what to look for and how to price it, however, outrageous, out-of-this-world deals are rare. But with Crossroads' reputation for quality, on-trend merchandise and the added bonus of a return policy, it's easy to justify shelling out a bit more than usual.
The key to finding the best deals at Crossroads is to keep a eye out for sale items, which can be hard to spot. They're randomly scattered among the regularly-priced inventory (a smart way ensure us deal-seekers are exposed to plenty of non-sale items!) and subtly marked with a red stamp on the price tag. Still, it's worth digging through the racks--I've found a cute, like-new Betsey Johnson sweater on sale for just $13.
Another draw is the store's dressing rooms, which are separated from the main shopping area and offer more privacy than usual. Plus, it's always attended by an employee, which means you can leave items you want to try on by the dressing rooms, instead of lugging them around the store while you shop (a thrifting luxury!).
One of the store's drawbacks, however, is its men's section. Not only is it woefully small, but its designer wares are far from impressive. That said, I did find a silk Ben Sherman bow tie for the boyfriend there this winter, priced at $14 (brand new, would be reg. priced at around $55).
After hitting up Crossroads, you can head to the huge, strip-mall-worthy 16 Handles next door for some fro-yo. Or better yet, if you time your trip right, I recommend the nearby Rosarito Fish Shack for happy hour, where you can get some 99-cent oysters and a budget-friendly buzz!
Crossroads Trading Co. (Williamsburg)
135 N. 7th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211