Thrift shopping for vintage treasures is easy when you know where to find them. Here are seven of our favorite thrift shops in Austin, Texas.
The hippest city in the Lone Star State offers some of the best vintage shopping in Texas. The thrifting scene in Austin could be described as “New York quality with Texas prices.” You can be sure to score a good pair of cowboy boots here and, thanks to Isabel Marant, line dancing shirts are now all the rage and can surely be found at one of these shops.
Vintage shopping is part skill, part luck and part perseverance, but you can stack the odds in your favor by hitting up stores known to always stock good stuff. Here are seven of our favorite thrift stores in Austin, Texas. For those of you located elsewhere, many of these also have online shops.
Opened in a small house on South Lamar in 1982, Flashback has grown to be one of Austin’s best vintage shops. It’s homey and sweet and stocks a good selection of period pieces from the 40s to the 80s as well as contemporary finds. There’s clothing for both women and men. The front room, where you enter, is the boutique area and is where you find the more expensive stuff. Staff members have a passion for all things vintage, and are knowledge about eras, labels, fabrics, and construction. The men’s area is on the right as you enter and has shirts, including pearl snaps, suits, hats, ties and buckles. Flashback has dressed “musicians, theater groups, hippies, flower children, hipsters, punks, soccer moms, celebrities and everyone in between.” Surely you will find something here that strikes your fancy.
Flashback Vintage, 1805 S 1st Street, 78704/So-Fi
Feathers Boutique offers a well-edited selection of vintage items that reflect current trends. Upon entering, you are greeted by a display of non-vintage Jeffrey Campbell shoes, but turn left or right and you’ll find a variety of dresses, belts, tops, coats, and vintage shoes. Everything is thoroughly labeled with price as well as the time period from which it came – most things are from the 70s – 90s. On the website there is a fun feature where vintage fans elsewhere can shop the outfit blog.
Feathers Boutique, 1700 S Congress Avenue, 78704/SoCo
Featuring a great selection of handpicked vintage pieces inspired by the latest trends, Splendor is one of Austin’s finest vintage shops. Each piece is laundered before it hits the racks, so you will not find that musky smell otherwise so typical of vintage stores. Prices are still reasonably fair compared to other vintage shop and, in addition to clothing, Splendor also offers styling services, helping you put together that perfect vintage outfit. They also run an eBay store, where anyone can shop from the comfort of the couch.
Splendor, 100 W. North Loop, Suite H, North Loop
One of the most well-known vintage shops in Austin, Cream has a nice selection of clothing and accessories for both men and women and has better prices than many other shops. There’s an interesting selection of upcycled jewelry, but what this place is really known for is cowboy boots, which line the walls and are organized by color and gender. Cream has a friendly, knowledgeable staff happy to help answer questions or find something you’re looking for. There is also an in-house tailor that can alter your finds to fit you perfectly.
Cream Vintage, 2532 Guadalupe Street, The Drag
Roadhouse Rags is owned by Kelli Archer and Clay Connell and specializes in men’s western shirts, cowboy boots, vintage purses and jewelry, vintage sleepwear, and women’s eveningwear. Many come here for the cowboy boots, which are plentiful, in all thinkable colors, styles and sizes. Located a bit off the beaten path, Roadhouse Rags goes concert venue on the weekends and is a great place to come hear local Austin bands. Check out the website, which is a MySpace page, for upcoming shows. There is a backyard and it’s always BYOB, so bring your beer and save your money to buy clothes for instead.
Roadhouse Rags, 1600 Fortview Road, South Austin
For more than 18 years, the mother-and-daughter team behind Blue Velvet has outfitted fashionable Austinites in great vintage duds. A six-time winner of Austin Chronicle’s Reader’s Poll for Best Vintage Store, the shop has a wide selection of men’s and women’s vintage clothing and accessories, including petticoats, sunglasses, jewelry, and shoes, as well as tons of unique handmade items from local artists. This is where you may find both that obscure Halloween costume and that gorgeous vintage bridesmaid dress. The website features teaser-photos of what’s in store.
Blue Velvet, 217 W. North Loop Blvd., North Loop
It looks like a Marshalls or TJ Maxx, but this store is actually filled with second-hand clothing instead of overstock. There are two locations in Austin, both organized and clean. It’s fairly easy to find bargains, as every aisle is filled with current looks and authentic vintage finds. Savers was founded in 1954 on principles such as giving back and providing opportunities – core values the company still embraces today. Unsold clothing is recycled or donated to developing countries.
Savers, 4001 S Lamar Blvd. & 5222 Burnet Road, Suite 600