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This is by far Austin's most notorious vintage shop, and its most flamboyant. This fabulous store is largely a costume shop packed with thousands of choices ranging from gorilla suits to bullfighters to princesses; and the store carries all the necessary accessories to boot. If your personal style is unconventional (to say the least), there is a huge selection of retro clothing suitable for everyday wear as well.
Upon viewing the curious building that houses Room Service Vintage, complete with a rooftop sculpture of a large, purple easy chair, aficionados of retro chic will feel right at home. The furniture department offers the most interesting items in the store. In fact, you will often find some of them reserved as movie props for locally produced films. It also offers a fairly small collection of vintage men's and women's clothing. Whimsical knickknacks from yesteryear abound.
Austin is ripe for vintage fashion, especially on South Congress. Located on this street, Feathers Boutique might be small in size, but is big on personality. They tend to offer 1970s retro attire mixed with boho chic and some very feminine styles. Every corner of this store seems to have some treat or theme, so you are sure to find something that really excites you. They sell not just apparel, but shoes and gorgeous accessories to match! If you are bold about your love for retro chic, this is definitely the place to go.
Recycled Reads is run by volunteers and sells books, music, and movies from both the branches of the Austin Public Library and by generous donors. This store, a business of The City of Austin, does what it proudly calls "upcycling": items that are not sold are sent to companies that work with literacy programs, while items that are in poor shape are turned into art (such as "book origami" and "vinyl earrings").
Like any secondhand store, at St. Vincent de Paul's you never know what you're going to find. With stores in Austin and other parts of the country, St. Vincent's raises money to support the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, a Catholic organization that funds clothing and houses for the poor. The store resells items donated by the public, which can be anything under the sun. From furniture and artwork to dishes and books, there is always something new to find. For used clothing and shoes spanning decades, a floor at St. Vincent's showcases rooms full, as well as fitting rooms to try items on.
Arguably the best factors about this vintage/thrift shop is that it is a consignment store AND it sells some new merchandise (women's & men's clothing, accessories, and some home decorations). Buffalo Exchange is a great place to go if you're looking for some truly unique pieces of clothing at good prices. Often you can find some real designer gems mixed in with the selection.