1. Blue Velvet217 West North Loop
This funky vintage clothing store and costume shop in Austin has reasonable prices and a variety of used goods, including men's and women's clothing, handbags, wild hats, sunglasses, shoes, and jewelry. It also has a large and quirky costume section, so if you're in the market for go go boots or a colored wig, this is your stop. The store is tiny, but full of character and treasures waiting to be found. Nothing new is sold here; it's all retro goods. Make note that the shop has moved from The Drag to the North Loop area.
Buffalo Exchange is somewhat of a combination of a vintage store and thrift store. Ordinary people bring in things they don't want anymore. If the picky employees decide it's hip enough, they buy it from the person in exchange for cash or store credit (you get more money if you opt for store credit). Then all of those goods go out on the racks for shoppers to buy. Sometimes you will find a bunch of lame things to pick through, such as plaid flannel T-shirts from the '90s, but you can also find gems such as pairs of nearly-new Michael Kors heels and retro sunglasses. Buffalo Exhange sell men's and women's fashions, bags, shoes, sunglasses, and jewelry.
This consignment fashion boutique has been around since 1974. It sells designer, couture, and other high-quality goods that are very gently used. The items aren't exactly "vintage," but perfect for the discerning shopper who can't afford to buy high fashion brand new. Here you can find women's clothing, shoes, bags, and an incredible jewelry collection. Can't afford to buy a spanking new Louis Vuitton purse? You can find a barely-used one here for much less. The list of designers you can find here is extensive, including Cynthia Rowley, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, Betsey Johnson, and Christian Dior. They also carry items from stores such as Gap, Anne Taylor, Bebe, and J. Crew.
With the gigantic Jimi Hendrix poster in the window and smell of burning incense, you may think you're back in the '60s when you enter Sonny's. This hole-in-the-wall vintage store is best known for its collection of vintage microphones, recording equipment, and musical instruments, but it also has a sizable offering of vintage clothing and accessories. They have both men's and women's clothing (many cute dresses and tops), in addition to hats and purses. There are occasional in-store live music shoes.
What makes this vintage store unique? It has its own in-store seamstresses, so if you find a killer vintage outfit and it doesn't fit quite right, you can have it altered before you leave. Cream's original store is in the campus area, and second location recently opened in South Austin. They carry over 15,000 hand-picked pieces. Whether you're in the mark for vintage concert T-shirts, leather jackets, boots, jewelry, or even old records, you'll think you've died and gone to heaven when you enter Cream. The prices can run a little high, but their goods are high-quality and truly vintage. New shipments arrive on Thursdays or Fridays.