The main reason I tagged along on Patrick’s business trip to SXSW was because I’d never been to Austin and the city seemed to offer up a decent amount of vintage shops to check out.
I checked out four areas of Austin, leaving out at least two good sized shopping areas due to time, proximity, lack of a car and my feet hurting, so I’m not too sure if my opinion on Austin “vintage” is all that true, but for me, I found it rather…lackluster. This was mainly because a good chunk of the “vintage” wasn’t really vintage at all, at least in my book. My definition of “vintage” with regards to clothing is the 1930s to the 1970s, which is pretty broad in my circle of friends. The 1920s and earlier is “antique” and as of this moment, the 1980s and newer is just “second-hand”. With the exception of two shops, most of the inventory of the stores offered up more Buffalo Exchange like garments. They were just selling second-hand goods and maybe had a few true vintage pieces. Which is fine, just not me.
The two shops I was really impressed with (although I didn’t buy anything at either shop) were Flashback and Amelia’s. Both shops were situated in adorable old homes along South First Street with lots of charm and loads of garments and accessories.
The shops are well curated with items that are selected for their style and uniqueness. Flashback offered up a combination of earlier pieces with a handful of later pieces, and was predominately of items from the 1960s. There was also a very decent mens section with so many wonderful items, it was kind of a bummer Patrick wasn’t there to shop too!
Amelia’s is where you’ll find the true vintage and even antique. Delicate turn-of-the-century garments hang along side flapper coats and glamorous dresses of the 40s. Then there’s the accessories to take in… Shoes, purses and a glorious selection of hats abound and rhinestones sparkle and Bakelite shines from the counter display case.
Like Flashback, Amelia’s also offers menswear too! A pretty good section too with a wide variety of items and styles.
The shop owner has been into vintage since her teens and has been dealing in vintage for nearly 30 years and is very, very knowledgeable.
I also enjoyed shopping on South Congress, which was home to many more wonderful shops and a stellar more antique mall like venue, Uncommon Objects. They carried beautiful bits and bobbles of home decor and knick-knacks with a bit of vintage clothing thrown in. Then there was the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store where I picked up three glorious newer western wear shirts…
But maybe my favorite find was this new addition to my Mexican tourist jacket collection.
I picked this up at Ragalicious, another fabulous store on South First.
Austin was pretty good to me, I’d say so. Let’s hope Palm Springs is just as nice if not more so! Stay tuned for one more Austin post tomorrow, y’all!