Just because the economy's a mess doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your style. NYC has plenty of thrift, consignment, and discount clothing stores that will please any budget-minded fashionista. A few of the best places to score designer threads for less:
Beacon's Closet, with its two Brooklyn locations, is where the city's hipsters get their one of a kind vintage clothing. It's also a haven for the label-obsessed. Those dedicated to combing through racks and racks of clothing can find gems by Proenza Schouler, Zac Posen, and Alexander McQueen for prices far below retail.
For those of you who like to mix fashion with charity, check out Housing Works Thrift Shops. It isn't unheard of to find deeply discounted Manolo Blahnik shoes or Judith Leiber bags at one of Housing Works' ten locations, which is welcome news to any woman who has ever dreamed of raiding Carrie Bradshaw's closet (don't worry, guys--there are plenty of clothes available for you, too). But what's especially great about these shops, which are run by an AIDS service organization, is that the proceeds from their sales are used to support and advocate for those with HIV/AIDS. What's better than looking fabulous and helping out a worthwhile organization?
From the outside, Century 21 looks like an ordinary, sterile department store, but what it lacks in atmosphere it makes up in selection. This multi-level mecca for bargain hunters, with locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, is considered a New York institution by tourists and locals alike. True Religion jeans and Versace dresses are just some of the runway-worthy clothes you can snap up without emptying out your entire bank account.