Shopping second-hand and vintage is one of the most ethical and sustainable ways to shop because it gives clothes that have already been produced a new life in your closet. These days, it’s easier than ever to shop second-hand. You can find — and sell — great pieces from online consignment stores, and Remake has already created a fantastic list of these. But what about the brick-and-mortar second-hand and vintage shopping experience? How does one even go about finding the best second-hand shops in her city?
As the producer and host of Pre-Loved Podcast, I spend a lot of my days chatting with vintage shoppers and sellers about where to get the best second-hand pieces. The Pre-Loved Podcast community spans the globe, so I’ve become the fortunate keeper of a killer second-hand shopping list in a variety of cool locales. Rounded up below is my list the 30 best second-hand shops from around the globe, so you can discover great pre-loved goodies near you no matter where you live. Some even ship worldwide, so be sure to check these out no matter your home base.
Amarcord Vintage Fashion — New York City, New York
Amarcord Vintage Fashion opened in 2000, and it has two locations in New York City today. Amarcord specializes in high-end vintage clothing, including collectible brands such as Gucci, Fendi, Pucci, Prada, Versace, and Missoni.
Dressing Room 2.0 — Budapest, Hungary
Dressing Room 2.0 (or, Öltöző in Hungarian) is located in a basement store in the central District VII of Budapest. They specialize in retro and bohemian clothing, kitschy jewelry, and vintage handbags.
Retromania — London, U.K.
Retromania is a charity vintage shop in central London, dedicated to serving marginalized young people in Romania. They are a charity shop, so the pieces are donated, but they uniquely specialize in vintage pieces. Retromania carries vintage clothing and accessories from the Victorian era to the 1990s, plus designer pieces.
City Walk Thrift — Tallahassee, Florida
When you shop second-hand from City Walk Thrift, you’re helping feed and house people in need in the local community. The owners mark their prices 50-90% off retail price; however, despite the deals, they organize the store like a boutique — not your average mega thrift store.
We Are Vintage — Amsterdam, Netherlands
We Are Vintage has two vintage shops in Amsterdam, one on each side of the city center. Both shops specialize in 1970s-2000s era second-hand clothing. We Are Vintage is a great place to find vintage dresses, retro t-shirts, streetwear, and bohemian pieces.
The Red Cross Shops — Australia
Red Cross Shops save lives and support people and communities before and after disasters strike. You can find Red Cross Shops in most major cities in Australia, including Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane— and these large charity shops carry second-hand everything!
Oxfam — Great Britain
Oxfam shops help fight poverty and injustice around the world and proceeds support 20 independent charitable organizations. These charity shops have it all — second-hand women’s and men’s clothing, homewares, vintage wedding dresses, vinyl, books, and children’s items.
Music City Thrift — Nashville, Tennessee
Music City Thrift has an incredible selection of items at bargain prices. This large thrift store carries it all — clothing, furniture, kid’s items, decor, and more.
Mademoiselle Swing — Paris, France
The Mademoiselle Swing boutique opened in Paris in 1995. They sell women’s vintage clothing and accessories from the 1930s-1970s. This is definitely where you want to go to shop for Mad Men and pin-up style fashion in Paris.
Vintage Lab — Bogotá, Columbia
Vintage Lab is a second-hand store in Bogotá. The owners are sisters, and they source the best second-hand and vintage finds from flea markets across Columbia. They carry a variety of designer and international brands, but strive to sell them at reasonable prices.
The Sleeveless Society — Sydney, Australia
The Sleeveless Society sells and consigns vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry from all eras. They carry both designer and trend pieces, many of which are modern and contemporary.
FindFurnish — Minneapolis, Minnesota
FindFurnish is a collective second-hand store featuring furniture, decor, clothing, records, barware, and art from a variety of different sellers. Beloved Minneapolis vintage sellers Tandem Vintage and Dearheart Vintage both sell vintage clothing at the FindFurnish space.
The End — Yucca Valley, California
The End is a vintage oasis in the Mojave Desert. The outside is painted in a vibrant, colorful mural, and the inside of the shop is just as bright. The End specializes in vintage clothing — often with a colorful or Southwestern twist — and jewelry and textiles.
Elsewhere Vintage — Orange County, California
Located in Old Town Orange County, Elsewhere Vintage carries Victorian to 1990s vintage pieces. They have everything from period pieces and formal wear to vintage dresses and retro sweaters.
Barnardo’s — U.K.
Shopping at Barnado’s charity shops across the U.K. helps protect, support, and nurture the UK’s most vulnerable children. The Barnado’s vintage shops specialize in retro pieces, accessories, and trinkets for the home.
Kinji Used — Toyko, Japan
Located in Harajuku, Kinji Used is one of the best places to shop second-hand in Toyko and find a deal. The store is huge and carries both women’s and men’s clothing. They specialize in streetwear and quirky t-shirts, but there is usually something for everyone here.
The Plus Bus Boutique — Los Angeles, California
The Plus Bus Boutique is a body-positive community space, and a shop for plus-size vintage and second-hand pieces. In addition to selling great plus-size clothing, the owners offer styling sessions and host community events.
Eldorado General Store — Detroit, Michigan
Eldorado General Store is a curated, vintage general store full of trinkets and treasures. They carry vintage men’s and women’s clothing, home decor, and handcrafted accessories. The boutique specializes in Americana, including cowboy boots, suede jackets, and western shirts.
10 Ft. Single by Stella Dallas — Brooklyn, New York
10 Ft. Single by Stella Dallas in Brooklyn sells vintage men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. They specialize in vintage denim — this is the perfect place to go for vintage Levi jeans and t-shirts.
Buffalo Exchange — Multiple Locations
Buffalo Exchange is a buy, sell, and trade second-hand shop specializing in clothing and accessories for both men and women. You’ll find all the current trends in recycled pieces at Buffalo Exchange.
Dusty Rose Vintage — Greenpoint, New York
Located in the heart of industrial Brooklyn, Dusty Rose Vintage specializes in curated women’s vintage clothing. Dusty Rose Vintage is considered a wholesale vintage clothing warehouse, and they also do film/TV wardrobe and stylist rentals.
Old Touch — Stockholm, Sweden
Old Touch sells everything from antique 19th century lace to 1970s retro dresses, but they specialize in 1920s dresses, hats, and accessories. If you’re a vintage hat lover, or looking for a party dress, this place is a dream!
Nevernew — Capetown, South Africa
Nevernew sells second-hand men’s and women’s clothing at great prices, right in the heart of Capetown. They also have a great selection of jewelry and scarves.
Gold Mine Vintage — Denver, Colorado
Goldmine Vintage is Denver’s largest purveyor of vintage clothing and accessories. They scour the U.S. to find the best vintage clothing for their shop. They specialize in retro pieces that reflect modern trends.
Dolly Up Vintage Emporium — Sydney, Australia
Dolly Up Vintage Emporium sells vintage women’s clothing and specializes in designer pieces. This boutique has an amazing collection of dresses, including vintage wedding dresses!
The Phluid Project — New York City, New York
The Phluid Project is a gender-free brand (androgynous, unisex, gender neutral) selling clothing, accessories, and beauty products for the LGBTQA+ community. They also participate in gender-free clothing swaps in partnership with Remake!
Garage Vintage — Berlin, Germany
Garage Vintage is a bargain, ‘by the kilo’ vintage shop, selling clothing for 25€ per kilo. They have an amazing selection of vintage graphic tees.
Jo & June — Tulsa, Oklahoma
Jo & June in Tulsa sells men’s and women’s vintage clothing, home decor, plants, pottery, and crystals. This is definitely the place to go for all your vintage wicker, brass, and ceramic decor needs.
Vintage Martini — Dallas, Texas
Vintage Martini is a used-clothing boutique offering antique, vintage, and designer pieces for women. They sell both Victorian and Edwardian vintage clothing, including vintage clothing up to the 1980s. They specialize in vintage designer garments, including couture from the 1960s-1990s.
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Images: c/o Alex Van Os, c/o The End, Unsplash