If you want to know where the funkiest vintage shops in New York City are, you have to ask the funkiest New York people. There are few better places to find those people than in Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park.
It’s there, on a gorgeous October day, where HuffPost chatted with these six stylish men and women, ranging in age from 17-73, who were either visiting New York or are lifetime residents. They gave us the lowdown on their favorite brands, vintage stores, hair and skin products and more.
I’m having major accessories envy. What’s the story behind them?
This is a World War II B-3 bomber jacket, pretty authentic. I have two bags, one is a mink bag by a friend of mine Peter Farkas who makes bags and leather that I put my cell phone in. His company is called Branded Leather. My sunglasses are vintage, John Lennon type.
Where do you shop for vintage?
What’s your approach to getting dressed in the morning?
You know what’s happened these couple of years? People would approach me and ask to take a photo. Why? I have no clue. So they would approach me, take a photo and I would ask to please send it. It’s very flattering, nice. My daughter and some friends said, “Try to brand your image.” That’s when I started Instagram. And it’s my first time on social media, it was incredible.
Nicole, 19, New Yorker
How do you take care of your hair?
I don’t really [Laughs]. It’s yellow and stuff. My colorist is like, “Please wash your hair with a purple shampoo,” and I’m like, “I don’t want to.” I wash my hair every two to three days and use Batiste dry shampoo in between if I really need it. On the off days I don’t wash my hair, I’ll keep it in braids at night to keep it neat. I usually just wear it down in all her 33-inch glory because, hey, why not?”
I love skin care and have experimented with my routine a lot, but as of late I’ve just been wearing SPF and a moisturizer underneath during the day. Every day I use Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pencil, Glossier cloud paint in Dawn, and a MAC lip pencil in Spice for my makeup.
As far as your style goes, you look like you’re pretty into vintage.
Yeah, definitely. Everything I’m wearing is vintage except my bag, which is Telfar Global.
Kayla, 17, New Yorker
Your sneakers are so fun!
I seen the shoes in a thrift store and I was like, “I don’t have enough money to buy them today.” So I tried to hide them under something. But when I came back the next week the girl was like, “They’re under there for you!” and I looked under and I’m like, “OH MY GOD YES!” They were waiting for me. It was destiny.
Do you shop mostly in thrift stores?
I’ve been thrifting since I was a kid, like before it became like all fashionable. Yeah, so like, I’ve kind of always had old style to me.
Walk me through your skin, hair and makeup routine.
OK ― my skin routine is pretty long. First I clean off makeup with oils or Abolene. I wash my face with African black soap at night and Damn Good Face Wash in the morning. I use toner, then shea butter, vitamin E oil and/or sweet almond oil, then two to four swabs of aloe vera on each high point of the face.
Any hairstyle is just lots of water, swoops and lots of gel. I like to use Gorilla Snot gel. I make my own conditioners because my hair is very thick, kinky and curly so it needs more love. But if I buy one it’s OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy. I style my hair in puffs, or one puff. But I always have a swoop in front because I got a forehead [Laughs].
My skin is usually glowing because oof my skin care, but if I’m doing a full face I use Maybelline FIT ME! Dewy & Smooth Foundation in 360 because it’s the only one that fits my skin tone. Having dark skin we struggle with finding makeup lots of time, so I live by these. I legit bake my face with baby powder because it does a great job.
Charlotte, 56, visiting from England
What are you doing in the city today?
I’ve met my son who is at NYU for lunch. We decided to sit outside because it’s a glorious day.
How did that impact what you decided to wear?
I’m traveling, visiting from the U.K., so I have very little. But I think the flowers on my skirt kind of resonated with my mood and wanting to be in nature.
Your jewelry is amazing. Any stories behind any of the pieces you can share?
I’m an Anglican priest, a female priest, so normally I’d be wearing a collar. Even when I don’t wear it I always wear this, my Celtic cross from holy islands off of Northern England where one of the saints that I feel very close to, St. Cuthbert, used to live. He had a very strong relationship with the environment and nature. I’m doing a doctorate on him.
I wish I could talk to you for many more hours ― but I’ll let you get back to lunch. What does your skin and hair routine consist of?
No particular skin/hair routine ― I often use No. 7 foundation and moisturizer, lipstick and Chanel No. 5 perfume. I do not use any particular product on my hair and get it cut just twice a year. I cut it myself as I have so little time because of my ministry to get to a hairdresser!
Madeline, 20, New Yorker
What are you doing in the city today?
Going to Tokio 7 (a consignment store) ― I really want loafers. It’s such a versatile shoe and I like that business-esque is making its way into more streetwear.
Is that how you would describe your style?
This question always gets me [laughs]. I go to FIT so on the first day of school they’re always like, “Describe your style,” and it’s hard! I’m inspired by vintage wear, a lot of asymmetrical cuts, experimenting with layers. I like a lot of Japanese streetwear like ’90s, Y Project. I really like Vivienne Westwood, Chrome Hearts. Just experimenting, having fun.
Is your approach to a beauty routine similar?
I would say I keep it pretty simple. Minimal effort required because living here takes the most effort. I’m big on the position of emphasizing one’s own natural beauty rather than covering or hiding “faults.” The whole messy natural look is so hot to me. I have been prepping my skin for winter because my skin gets incredibly dry in the cold so I have been using vitamin E, jojoba oil and vitamin B. I usually put a small amount on my fingers and spend a couple of minutes patting it into my skin in the morning.
I have had Rosacea since I was a little kid so I have to use products that won’t dry my skin out, but the upside is that I don’t have to really wear blush ― I just always look embarrassed and flushed. I have a new moisturizer I’m actually wearing for the first time, Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream with Ashwagandha and Reishi. I just got a sample of the Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser so I’ve been testing that out and am really liking it — might have to invest. I also have the Burt’s Bees’ lip balm in Pomegranate for a little color and a travel vial of Dyptique Voultes that I like to put behind my ear, on my neck and wrists. I absolutely love the spicy, woody tobacco scent. It’s so sexy.
Sandra & Ronald, 72 & 73, visiting from Atlanta
How are you spending this gorgeous fall day?
S: Well we bought a ticket on an on and off bus, not realizing it was so slow. We should have known it was that slow [Laughs]. So we got off, we wanted to see Greenwich Village. We walked around and we’re going to get back on and see whether we can see anything else before they close down this evening. We’re in New York until next Friday.
What do you love about visiting the city?
R: We just like to explore and see every time we turn the corner there’s something new in New York. That’s why we like to come here.
How did you go about packing your New York wardrobe?
S: I just wore the same thing I do in Atlanta [Laughs]. I just packed it up and brought it. I have found that J. Jill knit dresses with tights are a comfortable alternative to pants.
R: We tried to be warm ― casual.
And what about hair and skin?
S: It’s fairly simple. I use Olay tinted moisturizer, Clinique blush and Aveda defining whip in my hair.
Everything I’m wearing right now is either secondhand or curated vintage. My shirt is just a basic T-shirt I picked up in the Goodwill bins. My sweater is vintage Comme des Garçons, the glasses are just from a friend. Just a super simple, kind of French fall moment.
What is your relationship with fashion?
I study fashion at Parsons. I create clothing from a perspective where I use gender binary as a visual additive rather than a determining factor. So I use hyper masculinity and hyper femininity to strengthen design points through silhouette. extreme tailoring, extreme draping, really talking about how the woman feels in a piece of clothing rather than the way she looks in a piece of clothing. Make clothing that makes people feel good and also look good.
Do you have a hair and skin routine?
I typically just let my hair air dry, maybe some dry shampoo. Skin is au naturale, but I can definitely get down with high shine clear lip gloss!