In Search of Soho

13 January 2010

New York is the perfect setting for any movie and we see so much of the city on screen, so it's understandable that we all arrive with our own pre-conceived ideas in mind.  I myself felt like I'd been transported into some kind of reality show the minute I landed, after hearing so many American accents, seeing copies of Us Weekly at the newstands and a fleet of yellow taxis. I had an extremely vague idea of the areas of New York, mainly through watching programs like Gossip Girl and reading  blogs but it is another thing to truly see and understand them for yourself.  I'd been hearing good things about Soho, so made it my mission to visit the area on Saturday; however I may have got a little distracted along the way.

I am in no way any kind of NYC expert, but I get the idea that you can find little gems by altering your route on occasions.  I decided to head Downtown via 8th Avenue and managed to resist temptation walking past the numerous shops, until I saw a massive Salvation Army Thrift Store.  It was like the Super Size Me of charity shops, rails and rails of items varying in quality, but definitely worth sifting through.  The main vintage items I'm after are chunky cardigans, embellished tops and floral dresses, so I kept that in mind while rifling through every rail.  There were many things I saw that weren't quite for me (such as baggy jumpers) yet had potential for the right kind of person.  The sequinned top would have been perfect were it not for a massive rip in the back.

I bought an oversized floral top to be worn with leggings and a denim shirt or just acid wash skinny jeans.  For $2, it has already got me excited for Spring...

Another distraction was a bigger and far superior Forever 21 store by Union Square (no doubt to cater for the many students around).  Although hectic, the clothes were far more spaced out and the staff were more abundant to help find items (bizarrely things placed on mannequins were nowhere to be seen near the actual displays).  I managed to find a skater dress (something I've been after for ages and was considering breaking the Topshop ban for) for the equivalent of £12, plus a few tops, a skirt and a unicorn necklace.  The whole point of my visit was to find some cheap, yet detailed leggings,  but I guess this place has The Primark Effect, meaning you end up leaving with something completely different.  Not that I'm complaining.

Really wanted to find these tights but they were nowhere to be seen in the store!  Disappointed by the lack of a designated hosiery section... 

I took many purchases to the fitting room; you have to be very alert as the shop assistants will constantly be checking whether your room is free.  If I were slightly half-asleep, who knows what might have happened...

My new stripy skirt ($6), beaded vest ($18) and skater dress ($22)...

Gorgeous edgy top ($20) and cute unicorn necklace ($4).  Forever 21 is definitely my new Primark

By the time we'd actually reached Soho (via the very interesting Hollister store full of dancing girls and semi-naked men) it was getting late and time was limited due to evening plans.  However I was amazed at how the relatively unassuming streets could hold boutiques such as Prada, Chanel and Marni. I only had time to go in a few shops, but I took a few pictures of the window display so that you can get a feel of things.  I definitely want to come back during the day to see this area properly and window shop a little more.
Really want this shop to have a sale, $300 jumpers with quirky pockets have never been so appealing...

LF Stores sells lots of lovely Jeffrey Campbell shoes, I can feel a collection coming on...

Now that is how you sell a rug

I guess the predicament I'm in is wanting to invest is some better quality, more unique clothes full of quirky design elements but forever being tempted by the cheaper stores.  Being a natural cheapskate, I will always love a bargain, so will try and look out for more sample sales and outlets so I can buy something really special.  Thrift shopping is also something I want to put a bit more effort into, so I'll definitely be going back to the Salvation Army.  Wish me luck.

Added more photos to the Facebook page!



  1. Your skater dress is lovely and I love the edgy t-shirt and necklace. Oooh I can't wait to go to New York for my elective next year (kind of like an internship, but unpaid). Will definitely be checking our that amazing thrift store! I am obsessed with hunting down bargains as well lol so I sympathize. It's difficult buying good quality things though when one's budget is limited.

    Oooh and I really like the lace up boots you are wearing in the first photo of you. Where are they from?

  2. I think that skater dress is fab, all your new goodies look delightful! Glad your having fun exploring New York !

  3. i think it's time i come to new york. A+


  4. Definitely LOVE thrift shopping. I love the idea of finding little treasures in vintage shops and turning it into something new. Greatest way to recycle!

  5. oh my goddddd! SO jealous you have such an amazing thrift store near you - it looks unbelievable!

    & what lovely purchases :)

    glad you're having a good time! though I still hate you for living my NY dream... haha x

    ♥ Hannah



  6. hi!
    Just started reading your blog, and i really enjoy it! you should definitely check out Inventory while you're in new york, It's at lafayette and spring in nolita, and there are lots of other smallish boutiques there as well.

  7. Wait. Did you love the sparkly tights or the polka dot tights because I have the polka dot tights and they're super easy to find online. ;D

  8. I felt the same way about the Union Square F21 and Soho! LF Boutique is sooo much fun to browse through--that's where I bought the Miz Mooz boots that net me compliments all the time.

  9. Love all of your new buys! I've never been to NY and I definitely want to go visit now!

  10. I have heard about forever21 sooo many times, really want to check it out! and that massive salvo army store is ridiculous, why don't we have charity shops like that in england?!

  11. I love your blog, I really want to go to NY for an internship some time soon, you look like you're having an amazing time...that thrift store is immense! If only we had things like that in England! I hope you can check out The Fashion Smoke and follow us too, we're following you now :)

  12. that skater dress is amazing! i really wanna go to Forever 21. i always see amazing clothes from there on blogs and it looks way nicer than primark! x

  13. See, I HAVE to go to NY!
    Btw, I saw your name - you wouldn't happen to be Sierra Leonean?

  14. I love buying cheap clothing, certain thrill isn't there?

  15. Looks like youre having an amazing time, so jealous of the F21 shopping!! Will u be there for July 4th?

  16. You know I'm living vicariously through you right now, right?! lol

  17. Haha the giant balls of wool are brilliant. You must have loved that!

    Wow, F21 the new Primark? I liked F21 when I was over there too and it's definitely faaaar superior to Primark. The Primark in Birmingham is a nightmare, so I vow never to step in there ever again!

  18. You look perfect as usual, and oh I am so very jealous that you get to visit Forever 21 whenever you like! Ahh if only if only international postage wasn't so high...

    Oh, and I laughed so much at the "weird Hollister store full of dancing girls", the thing is I somehow managed to get a job at a Hollister shop that literally just opened in my city, and it really is the height of pretentious, with the lights dark like a club and we have to say "hey what's up" to everyone who walks in! but despite all that it's kind of awesome...difinitely met many a good looking boy :D

  19. SALVATION ARMY is THE spot whenever i go nyc, YET AGAIN. JEALOUSSSS....!!!!!!!!

  20. The thrift store looks like the shop in SATC where Carrie, Charlotte and MIranda are looking for a wedding dress.