Retro apparel? Check. High-end used clothes? Double check. Modern vintage (fabulously paradoxical)? Triple check. Adding pop and flair to your ensemble is as simple as dropping in to one of San Diego's vintage hotspots, such as Buffalo Exchange, Flashbacks, City Digz, Goodwill, Trabuse Boutique, Whatever Clothing or The Spare Room.
Looking for designer labels, but not ready to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for luxury duds? Fear no more. We're prepping you with our Vintage 101: How to lock in the savvy shopper mindset, and alter plain Jane items and jazz them up for an evening out. Prepare to look and feel like a million bucks (your wallet will thank you, too).
Stepping foot inside a thrift store or boutique can be, to say the least, slightly intimidating. Where to start? When weeding through a plethora of goodies, always remember that there are clutch finds among the mix, you just have to find them. Shopper's attitude is everything.
When we go into a department store, we're more fixated on a specific find for a particular occasion. Shopping vintage? Expand your horizons. Think bigger. Bolder. Alter it. Cut it. Sew it. Add buttons. Belt it. Tuck it. Over-sized maternity shirts can be cinched with a belt and worn as a blouse (add a pair of leggings, tights or skinny jeans), old blazers or button-up blouses can be super trendy with or without shoulder pads (if you're looking for a more relaxed look, simply cut out shoulder pads from the inside), and '70s and '80s longer length shorts with high waists can be paired with tight, tucked in tanks.
Lesson 1: It's not what you have or find, but what you can do with it.
Lesson 2: Always carefully assess your new treasures to make sure they are in decent condition, or reparable depending on the severity of the wound (stains, rips, tears, missing buttons). Find a designer article with a stain? Most dry cleaners are trained well and fully equipped to rise to the occasion. However, not to add insult to injury, but don't have too high of hopes for extracting permanent marker or ink stains out of your latest, marvelous find. Duh. If you don't think that it's fixable? Surrender, mate.
Discover these top San Diego vintage and thrift store for your next shopping spree on a budget.
Have you ever experienced a flashback? Flashbacks Recycled Fashions, located in Hillcrest, may not offer the full legitimate mind trip back in time (sorry, bro), however, they get you well on your way by providing '60s, '70s and '80s vintage wear. This buy, sell and trade gem (no appointment necessary) offers 35 percent cash back on its retail value or 50 percent trade. That's right. Raid your parent's closet (toss the zoot suit, please) and reap the benefits. For more information, visit Flashbackintime.com.
Want to skip the hassle of deciding where you will buy your next outfit? Want to find a boutique that has whatever you need? Whatever Clothing in La Mesa is your next stop shop. Affordable so you don't break the bank, Whatever has amazing customer service and trendy pieces that are sure to be a hit on your next night out. Shoes, bags, dresses, accessories and a dollar rack? Heaven here we come. Oh, and don't forget; Saturday, starting at noon, Whatever sifts through your goods to offer you cash back or trade. For more information, call 619.698.5148.
Trabuse Boutique, a true hidden wonder, serves not only as a vintage shop, but consignment store to boot. The racks have a plethora of deals, so sift away to scope out your next big find. Designer labels and funky accessories? Hello, old friend. And if you need to make some cash on your own duds, ask about its consignment program. For more information, call 858.505.9350.
Have some Spare Room on hand that you need to fill? No problem. The Spare Room, located in Chula Vista, is an Anthropologie-like boutique without the Anthropologie-like prices (cha-ching!). Welcome to designer labels, reasonable prices and a San Diego boutique with an LA-like beat. For more information, visit Spareroomconsignment.com.
Time is money and City Digz, located in East Village, understands that. Organized sections and reasonably priced merchandise allows a fast, efficient shopping experience and satisfied customers. Hidden treasures lurk in the shadows and on the racks, so make sure to dig deep as most do not walk out the doors empty handed. Prices can fall as low as $1, so search the premises well. For more information, call 619.645.3333.
You will not be muttering the words "Good grief, Charlie Brown," in distress at Goodwill, conveniently located in Pacific Beach off Garnet Avenue. There are tons of hip threads at extraordinary prices, sure to make any fellow shoppette gleam from ear-to-ear. So what's the difference between here and the other notable vintage marketplaces? Goodwill is not one to judge on quality or trend. They accept all (yes, including your undies and bras). Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, leaving you as the ultimate fashion judge. Stains, rips or doesn't quite fit? If you dub the item worthy, remember that man created stain sticks, alteration specialists and dry cleaners. Fear not as your stylish picks with a few imperfections may be fixable. Amen. For more information, visit Sdgoodwill.org.
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