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Beacon's Closet - Williamsburg & Park Slope

Brooklyn's Most Popular Store to Buy Or Sell, Vintage & Trendy Used Clothes

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Beacon's Closet - Williamsburg & Park Slope

Beacons Closet in Park Slope is crammed with clothes, shoes, and, with luck great finds.

Photo by Ellen Freudenheim

Sleuthing for Style at Beacon's Closet

Probably the borough's most popular thrift shop and clothing-exchange, Beacon's is a destination shopping experience for women and men who like sleuthing for style.

Beacon's Closet has two Brooklyn locations. Born in Williamsburg, they still have a large store there — and even a fussy shopper will be able to find something in its 5,500 square feet of clothing. Around 1997, they expanded, opening a smaller store in Park Slope and subsequently made the leap into Manhattan. Both Brooklyn stores offer a great opportunities for ferreting out vintage and also trendy, second-hand and gently used clothing, as well as shoes, and accessories.

Beacon's Closet: Where Vintage Meets Second-Hand, There's Room for Creative Dressing

If you have a strong sense of your personal style, shopping at Beacon's Closet can be a cheap way to express yourself, without breaking the bank. In fact, you can probably find a complete outfit for under $50 at Beacon's Closet.

And, it's a relatively easy shopping experience, complete with dressing rooms. They accept credit cards. Merchandise changes seasonally, so you can actually pick up relevant wardrobe items for weekends, and with luck, possibly work attire too.

Beacon's Closet is a good place to find vintage-y gifts for major holidays, whether that's a red sweater with a pink applique heart for her on Valentine's Day, or a retro Maine plaid shirt for him on Christmas — or vice versa.

The racks are jammed with all kinds of stuff — on a good day, one can find prom dresses from the '90s, resort wear from someone's grandmother's attic, lined denim jackets, boots of various kinds and epochs, and countless accessories. Some goods look slightly faded and worn, which in this environment only adds to their charm. This is a store where items previously purchased in a different vintage shop hang side by side with $800 unworn designer clothing, with the tags still on.

The goods are not as "curated" as one might find at Brooklyn Flea. But they aren't as expensive, either. There are plenty of usable clothes here, for both men and women — especially if you recognize what you are looking at. On the designer end of the spectrum, Beacon's website features cool-looking outfits created from goods found in their stores, for instance, an "Alexander Wang thermal romper, 90's Betsey Johnson sequined flared pants, and a Versus by Versace wool floral skirt suit."

Because it's so popular, Beacon's Closet can be jammed on weekends.

A Place for Halloween Costumes, Christmas Gifts, Valentine's Day Vintage

If you're looking for great stuff for a homemade Halloween costume, or a shimmering sequin sheath dress for New Year's Eve, start prowling these stores early in the season — and come back regularly.

To Trade In Your Old Clothes

Where does Beacon's Closet get its merchandise? Much of it comes from people like you. Beacon's Closet buys clothes, for which they will pay a small sum or offer customers a credit for use in future purchases. They pay, on the spot: 35% cash or 55% store credit of the price tags. If you take the higher rate, they then apply this as a discount to your purchases. Unlike consignment stores, at Beacon's Closet you don't have to wait for your items to sell before getting paid.

No appointments are necessary (or available) to sell your clothes.

When you bring clothes to sell to Beacon's Closet, be prepared to wait, or drop them off for review and then return later the same day for your payment. Goods brought in for resale are examined, one by one, by hard-hearted, eagle-eyed, experienced Beacon's Closet buyers. They are available to review merchandise at both locations seven days a week. Be prepared for possible rejection: even if you love the ratty lambskin coat you bought on vacation years back in Turkey, don't take it personally if they don't. The buyers will look over a customer's goods on the spot, and what they don't want, they will, with your OK, donate to a charity. (One of their favorites is Dominick's Mobile Ministry, which distributes customer clothing to the needy and to churches in New York and Pennsylvania. )

If you want to sell your clothes to Beacon's Closet, come with ID, and no more than four bags of stuff.

Williamsburg Store

  • Where: Williamsburg store: 88 North 11th Street, between Berry Street and Wythe
  • When: Monday to Friday, 11 A.M. - 9 P.M. Weekends,11 A.M.-8 P.M.
  • Directions:By subway, take the l train to Bedford Avenue Walk up Bedford Avenue In the direction of traffic for 4 blocks, to North 11th Street. Take a left on North 11th Street. Walk up North 11th Street for 1 and a half blocks.
  • Contact: (718) 486-0816.

Park Slope Store

  • Where: 92 5th Avenue at Warren Street.
  • When: Monday to Friday, Noon.- 9 P.M. Weekends,11 A.M.-8 P.M.
  • Directions: By subway, take the B, D, N or Q to Atlantic/Pacific, or the 2/3 to Bergen Street and then walk to 5th Avenue.
  • Contact: (718) 230-1630.
Need a makeover, a cheap, unique something to add to your wardrobe, or a chance to go shopping on a shoestring? Head to Beacon's Closet, in Brooklyn. Beacons Closet website: http://www.beaconscloset.com/

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