Saturday reviews: Hidden gems in NYC: Flamingos Vintage Kilo

Vivien Sweet, Staff Writer

When I first walked into Flamingos Vintage Kilo, I did not expect to get much out of a secondhand hole-in-the-wall that couldn’t have been bigger than 150 square feet. But what the store lacked in size it certainly made up in content. Here, I found everything from acid-wash Carhartt jean jackets to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse-themed Patagonia sweaters to only moderately-distressed Levi’s 501s for under $20. 

Flamingos Vintage Kilo is best known for its unique “price-by-the-pound” system that most closely resembles that of a produce section at a grocery store. Jeans, hung on a waist-level rack for easy sorting access, go for $9.99 per pound, while shirts—including colorful corduroy button-ups and a seemingly endless supply of Coca-Cola t-shirts—range from $5.99 to $8.99 per pound. For a well-organized New York City secondhand store that doesn’t smell like mothballs, the prices are more than fair. 

But ultimately, for me, what sets this thrift store apart is how curated the selection is for the price range. If you’re on a time crunch, the store’s displays save shoppers hours of sifting through Y2K low-waisted Hollister jeans and someone’s aunt’s floral polyester blouses. Rather than a large array of faded cargo joggers and flared yoga pants in miscellaneous sizes, the pants selection is filtered down to a handful of Lee, Levi, and Wrangler jeans. The tops are organized by color and material, so it’s easy to avoid the neon phase that the world went through in the early 2010s. Even the belts are separated into genuine leather, imitation leather, and those skinny clear plastic belts that used to come with dresses from the Gap. 

The most glaring downside of Flamingos Vintage Kilo is the fact that it’s about as small as the second-floor library classroom. Clothing racks are situated fairly close together, making moving past other shoppers a tight squeeze, and there is only one fitting room. Ideally, it’s a fun place to stop by with one or two friends after brunch, especially if you’ve never been to NoHo before. 

And if you don’t like the selection at Flamingos Vintage Kilo, there’s another thrift store called Buffalo Exchange, which is significantly larger but less curated and organized, right next to it. All secondhand stores considered though, Flamingos Vintage Kilo has been my go-to thrifting spot if I’m on a budget and looking to diversify my wardrobe.