Austin is known for its funky culture and weird vibe, as any native can tell you. If you’re visiting the city for the first time and are looking for things to do, one of the best ways to spend an afternoon is by renting a limo or luxury town car to take you on the shopping excursion of a lifetime.
But instead of hitting the malls, you can go off-the-beaten path to check out the best vintage shopping in the city. What separates Austin vintage stores from traditional thrift stores is that vintage clothing is often trendier and in better condition. Granted, vintage clothing is used, but items can be found at a higher quality than a neighborhood Goodwill.
To start your shopping adventure off right, check out some of the finest vintage stores that Austin has to offer:
- Blue Velvet: Blue Velvet is a notoriously fun and funky vintage clothing store/costume shop hybrid on the North Loop in Austin. There you will find both men’s and women’s clothing, hats, handbags, shoes, jewelry, and sunglasses. This is also the spot that most Austin natives hit up before a big Halloween bash, where you can find a one-of-a-kind costume with a retro wig to boot.
- Amelia’s Retro-Vogue & Relics: This hip vintage store has been recently remodeled and can now be found in a turquoise blue house built in the 1930s in the I-Biz district. Vintage items in the store range from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, where you can find classic pieces often used in the theater, fashion, and film industries in Austin. Amelia’s is well known for their extensive hat collection, unique bridal wear, antique jewelry and accessories, and breathtaking gowns and cocktail attire. The adventurous may also consider Amelia’s vintage lingerie, eyewear, and cufflinks as undiscovered treasures.
- Charm School Vintage: Located on Cesar Chavez, Charm School Vintage offers the hottest ladies vintage clothing in the area, ranging from Victorian fashion to 1990s trends. Charm School advertises that their items are both timeless and affordable, offering jewelry, accessories, lingerie, shoes, women’s clothing, and cosmetics. Even better, the vintage store was named as the Critic’s Pick for the Best Recycled and Refined in the Best of 2011 issue of the Austin Chronicle.
- Second Time Around: This women’s consignment fashion boutique is located on Burnet Road and has been in business since 1974. There you will find couture, designer, and other high-fashion pieces that have been “gently worn.” Although the clothing in the store isn’t necessarily vintage, it will give you the opportunity to buy luxury items with little wear and tear at a remarkably affordable price. Think Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, and Christian Dior.