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Best Place to Look Like a Lady Who Lunches (On the Budget of a Lady Who Brown-Bags) New York 2010 - Spence-Chapin Thrift Shop

Spence-Chapin Thrift Shop

410 E. 92nd St.

New York, NY 10128

212-369-0300

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It's tough walking past the windows of Prada and Marni when your bank account limits your shopping sprees to Forever 21 and Target. (And, no, pronouncing it "Tar-zhay" doesn't render it any more elegant.) But a series of Upper East Side thrift shops just might satisfy your designer longings without putting too much of a dent in your Payless pocketbook. Among the plethora of UES charity depots (your clothing dollars could support arthritis research, cancer care, or Jewish women's good works), the jewel is the Spence-Chapin Thrift Shop. Granted, its interior doesn't look particularly gemlike—with its welter of fluorescent lighting, its plastic hangers, and its smudged glass case up front. But be assured: There's gold in them there racks. A recent visit yielded a Giorgio Armani silk blouse, a Vera Wang dress in a decorous shade of pink, Celine linen pants, smart suits, brocade jackets, and a pair of Louis Vuitton pumps so gorgeous and reasonably priced that one might momentarily consider shaving a bit from one's big toe or heel in order to jam them on.

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