Discovering hidden treasures in Portland’s vintage shops
Fall is my favorite season to update my wardrobe.
Each fall, my girlfriends and I make a run to the supermarket and grab armfuls of fall fashion magazines (and a few bottles of wine) and gather together to bookmark the pages of our favorite fall fashion trends. As we chatter and tear out pages, we make mental notes of the shoes, handbags, skirts and jackets we’d love to add to our fall wardrobe at more affordable prices than those featured in the magazines. Then we schedule a day away from the husbands and kids and hit local thrift shops and consignment stores in search of fall fashion treasures for less.
One of my favorite cities in which to seek recycled and vintage clothing treasures: my beloved hometown of Portland, Oregon.
With images of the hit TV series, “Portlandia,” in our brains, it’s easy to see why Portland is a hidden gem for quirky thrift-store shopping. Portland loves to recycle. According to Travel Portland, the city’s visitors bureau, there are now more than 50 vintage and consignment shops in the Portland area. (Photo credit on the picture above goes to Jamie Francis at Travel Portland.) Portland’s hipster culture and the unique sense of style can be seen in the racks of clothes adorning these shops. Here are three notable vintage, consignment, and thrift shops to check out on your next visit to Bridge City.
Viewfinder Tip: It’s always a good idea to bring cash when thrifting. Many vintage stores take credit, but some do not.
Hattie’s Vintage and Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique
Nothing pulls an outfit together better than great vintage accessories. When I hit a new thrift shop, I head straight to the jewelry cases and shoe racks to find unique retro necklaces, rings and bracelets, and statement shoes. If you are shopping for a special occasion, or you want to find the perfect accessories to pull your fall outfits together, consider Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique or Hattie’s Vintage. Xtabay, in Southeast Portland, specializes in ladies’ retro clothing, and also has a vintage bridal salon with an extensive collection of wedding dresses and special occasion items. Hattie’s Vintage has a large selection of dresses, shoes, and vintage wear for men and women.
Other great vintage shops for accessories include Rock & Rose, Magpie (a Portland vintage shopping institution), and Simply Vintage.
For more contemporary recycled finds, take a trip over to Sequel Apparel, in Southeast Portland. Like many locally owned second-hand stores, Sequel Apparel has an epic selection of lightly-worn men’s and women’s designer denim, women’s shoes, hats, handbags, and accessories. In a recent interview, Rita Tiwari, the owner of Sequel Apparel, shared her thoughts on why Portland is a hidden gem for visitors looking to do some vintage shopping, “Portlanders love to recycle and love unique finds,” she said. “Every shop has its own little niche, and there are so many here to explore.”
Other great shops for contemporary recycled finds include Modo, Seams to Fit, Button, Threads Count.
Crossroads Trading Company
If you like to mix thrift shopping with visiting new and trendy boutiques, consider spending the day in Northwest Portland on Northwest 23rd Avenue. Known to Portlanders as “Nob Hill,” this borough has an abundance of fun shops, eateries, and of course, great thrifting.
Just across the street from Urban Outfitters is Crossroads Trading Company, a local store owned by a national consignment store chain. Crossroads has a huge selection of men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. It is one of my go-to favorites in Portland. Crossroads Trading Company has two locations in Portland, including another store on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard. On my last visit to Crossroads, I picked up some gently used designer denim and an awesome mustard button-down coat. The Crossroads blog also has great tips for fall fashion trends.
Portland offers a vibrant vintage and thrifting scene. Before you break your budget with those awesome fall boots at the mall, consider stopping off at some of your local neighborhood consignment and thrift stores for some affordable, fall fashion finds.
What thrifting treasures are you hoping to find this fall?
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