If sifting through racks of silky, lacy, tailormade clothes of bygone eras is your thing, then this list is for you. If finding the crushed-velvety, designer-labeled frocks and finery delivers a satisfying rush, then this list is definitely for you. Keep calm and carry on to this week's shopping agenda below.
Up in Phinney Ridge, Omaima Wolf and BJay Tibbs’s corner shop is brimming with a little bit of everything: Lovely gem jewelry, ’70s Givenchy velvet, psychedelic print dresses, covetable furniture, and bins of vintage vinyl. Their mutual love of music and passion for retro wears shows in this cozy space.
Co-owner and buyer Ashley Busacca has turned her lifelong affinity of vintage wear hunting into what is now this well-curated store on Capitol Hill. Picking up home goods, jewelry, art, and of course clothing and accessories from travels in San Francisco, New York, and L.A., Busacca has certainly found something for everyone. Busacca, along with co-owner Ryan Darcey, don’t carry strictly pre-loved items, they also work with local artists and designers, selling contemporary pieces, too.
While the Capitol Hill location is no longer, further north in the University District, the smaller sibling is still going strong. Some folks come for Halloween costumes, sure, but stay for the solid ’80s button collection, Titantic tees, wool knits, leather goods, and more.
From 1940s floral dresses to colorful vintage glassware, this bright space in Ballard curates a sweet collection of rare finds. Garments may range in age from the 1800s to the 1990s, though owner Cyrena Preszler has a soft spot for ’30s-era treasures and all things turqoise. It also has gowns and wedding dresses, but bridal wear is by appointment only.
This place certainly differs from the other ateliers of bygone goods on this list: no kitchy decor, no jewelry burnished by time, no racks upon racks of clothing from the 1920s through 1990s. No, this Capitol Hill store is a lot more specific. Here find pristine vintage snapbacks, often with tags still attached, for UW Huskies or Chicago Bulls or Seattle Sonics (gear up for the comeback?). There’s also baseball and basketball jerseys, collectible pendants, bomber-style snap jackets sporting your favorite teams’ logos, and more for sports fans of every kind. Yes, even hockey.
Not only is its parlor pretty, but this boutique off of Olive Way is full of pretty pinks, lacy ivory, and rich fabrics all around. Find tweed duds and ties for days in the Manland section. And for feminine attire, there’s ornate flapper dresses, tulle in every shade, lingerie, jumpsuits, you name it. Meanwhile, the sibling bridal boutique boasts a vast collection of boho dresses and wedding styles for any bride.
The University District is home to many a vintage treasure trove, places like Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange are obvious mainstays, but further up The Ave is this little gem full of unique pieces. At the moment, I’m particularly crushing on a pair of peach, geometric frames from the ‘60s and a buttery-soft suede button-up.
May the bond between vinyl and vintage endure forever and ever, amen. And in Ballard, this shop peddles Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush alongside gold bangles and belts, bright, paisley pants beside The Who’s Magic Bus, proving the relationship between music and fashion is indeed everlasting.
This abbreviated list of Seattle’s retro retailers is missing more than a few other venerable spots… Bon Voyage Vintage in Pioneer Square stocks rock tees, housewares, and vinyl, too. Atlas Vintage is currently relocating to its sister store, Fremont Vintage Mall, and in the mean time is having a sale—50 percent off everything through March. Indian Summer, off Summit Avenue on Capitol Hill, tucks away dreamy dresses and patent leather platforms alike.
Where else do you go thrifting, Seattle?
Editor's Note: Mezzanine Records and Vintage closed in December 2017.