Whether we Austinites care to admit it or not, wearing the right piece of vintage clothing can provide a slight bump to one’s social status. It may even catch the eye of a potential romantic interest and serve as a conversation starter. Whatever your reason for shopping for vintage clothes, here are some of the best places to start your browsing.
Proprietor Shari Gerstenberger is also a stylist for photo shoots, and her eye for good photos shows the layout of the store. As you walk through the small space, there’s always something new to catch your eye, whether it’s a pretty dress or a ram’s head. You’ll find well-made clothes from several eras and a talented shopkeeper who clearly loves her work. 1111 East 11th Street; (512) 524-0166
A small shop with a surprising amount of variety, Room Service sells furniture, jewelry, kitchen accessories, toys, records, lamps and vintage clothing. With eye-catching treasures from several decades, the store is packed with goodies yet not overwhelming. This is the kind of vintage store you can visit again and again and always find something interesting. 107 East North Loop Boulevard; (512) 451-1057
Clothes are arranged by decade, with selections from the ’40s to the ’90s. If you need a prom dress from the ’80s with period accessories, the staff at Blue Velvet can hook you up. Regulars appreciate the reasonable prices and the extensive selection of men’s clothing and funky sunglasses. 217 West North Loop Boulevard; (512) 452-2583
Located in a little old house complete with an artfully decorated backyard, Amelia’s is the best source for 1960s clothing in Austin. You can also find a few amazing items from the early 1900s. Owner Jane Clarke can provide voluminous information about many of the items in her store, which she has run for more than 30 years. She clearly has an eye for quality and loves the challenge of helping people put together one-of-a-kind outfits. 2213 South 1st Street; (512) 442-4446
An impeccably clean, well-organized store, Frock On Vintage has a large selection of the '60s and ’70s clothing for both men and women. Feeling nostalgic for men’s short-shorts from the 1980s? You can find them here. The jewelry selection is impressive and spans multiple decades. You can find top-notch vintage boots, purses, jackets and even sequined dresses at this whimsically curated shop. There’s also a sampling of art and small home goods available. The on-site parking garage makes the store easily accessible even though it’s in a busy part of town.
3016 Guadalupe Street; (512) 474-7711