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For fashion-minded Brooklynites who also keep an eye on their pocketbooks, a summer wardrobe just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Buffalo Exchange, where one hipster’s trash is another hipster’s treasure.

With 25 stores across the nation, Buffalo Exchange is built on the philosophy that recycling is always in style.

That attitude is clearly shared by the swarms of forward-thinking clotheshorses who crowd the Williamsburg location - which opened last December - to pick through trucker hats and taffeta skirts for that oh-so-hip flair.

And if you didn’t know that lime-and-turquoise Vans or a yellow mallard duck tie were summer’s essentials, then you’re not cool enough to be shopping here anyway.

The way the "exchange" part works is simple: Customers who turn in their own discards get either 30 percent of the resale value in cash, or 50 percent to be used as store credit.

But beware: the buyers have an extensive knowledge of fabrics, current retail trends, and eras, and their polite-but-firm rejection of your cast-offs can make you feel like your throwaways are suitable only for a stoop sale.

Hip offerings of the season include classic plaid 1970s-style pants for him, and flowered hip-length tanks edged in lace for her.

And don’t forget the vintage T, the quintessential item in any well-heeled hipster’s closet. Buffalo Exchange has tons of them in all sizes. Pickings range from "I Married A Communist" to "God Only Knows What I Would Be Without Booze."

This summer will see an updated riff on Americana, says store manager Jenny Harris.

"Wranger and Lee denim items are going to be very hot," she told GO Brooklyn. "Little-boy plaid will be in for both women and men."

The warmer weather will also usher in the high-waisted skirt, which will hit right below the knee. Footless tights will also make an appearance for women, while men will sport Bermuda and trouser shorts. Aspiring female hipsters should accentuate their summer look with long, chunky necklaces and plastic earrings.

Harris also said loose tops in jersey cotton will be best worn layered. And also expect a comeback for sailor sexy chic, with nautical stripes set to be another big hit for summer.

And as for footwear, it’s all about wedges, wedges, wedges, with cork or rope bottoms and delicate straps.

"Grecian sandals and ballet flats are also must-haves for summer," said Harris. "Everything will be in leather."

Buffalo Exchange (504 Driggs Ave. at North Ninth Street in Williamsburg, [718] 384-6901). Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 am-8 pm; Sunday, noon-7 pm.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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