I love the thrill of the hunt, especially when it comes to shopping for vintage clothes, accessories, and home goods. In every city I visit, I make it my goal to visit as many of the top vintage boutiques I can while I’m in town. Over the past five years, I’ve found some of my favorite vintage treasures in Los Angeles, Austin, and, of course, Minneapolis (my home town).
Here are my recommendations for top vintage shops — in terms of the quality, selection, and creative display of their merchandise — to visit in each of these three cities.
A veritable vintage Mecca, Austin is a great place to find one-of-a-kind treasures. One of Austin’s premier vintage shops, Feathers Vintage can be found at 1700 South Congress Avenue and carries top quality international vintage clothing, jewels, and accessories. From heavily-embroidered skirts to hand-tooled leather bags, you’re sure to find a treasure to take home. If you’re looking for unique home accessories, textiles, vintage jewels, and more, head to Uncommon Objects. A popular shopping spot for stylists and celebrities, Uncommon Objects (located at 1512 South Congress Avenue) is so beautifully curated that some corners look like a museum (or your trendiest friend’s living room).
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is brimming with great vintage shops. One of my favorites is Tavin at 543 Echo Park Ave. It is a lifestyle boutique specializing in rare, high-end and hard-to-find vintage clothing and accessories. Erin Tavin, the owner, describes the aesthetic as “A bohemian lifestyle with a California flavor… a Laurel Canyon or Big Sur of the 1960’s with a touch of European influences.” Avalon Vintage, at 106 N. Ave. 56 in Highland Park, does double duty as a vintage clothing and record store. Model and designer, Carmen Hawk, carefully curates the clothing and accessories. With choices ranging from scooter dresses to flowing Indian cotton skirts to rare concert t-shirts to tribal necklaces, it’s rare to leave this gem of a store empty-handed.
There are so many things to love about Minneapolis, and vintage shopping is one. For the perfect home accents and vintage jewels, head to Victory at 3505 W. 44th St. in the Linden Hills neighborhood. Owned by acclaimed interior designers Lisa Clark Balke and Susan Braun Blankenship, Victory is chock full of amazing finds from deco settees to over-dyed vintage rugs (to indigo textiles, to porcelain Fu dogs, the list goes on…). The vintage jewelry case holds must-have pieces ranging from classic signet rings to disco-era mirrored necklaces. When I was in high school, I used to make monthly pilgrimages to The Corner Store on 900 W. Lake St., located in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. I’m happy to report that over the past 20 years, it’s only gotten better. Expect to find loads of vintage denim, a great selection of vintage leather and letter jackets, silk scarves, 70s button-down shirts, ringer tees, 60s heels, and more.
Are you a veteran vintage shopper? Have a favorite city or store for finding throwback treasures to share? Leave it in the comments section!