A Treasure Trove of Dreams Awaits You in PDX
Even though the ranks of Portland’s vintage clothing retailers has fallen a bit over the last couple years as some of our favorite shops have abandoned brick and mortar for a solely-Internet presence, there are still plenty of great shops out there. Here are ten of Portland’s best.
1 – House of Vintage
Parked right on Hawthorne, just down from the light at SE 33rd, this two-story warehouse sized building (13,000 square feet) is home to sixty-one independent vintage dealers. House of Vintage the biggest one-stop vintage shop in the entire city, but because it works kind of like an antique mall, pricing and selection can vary greatly from dealer to dealer. Bonus: there are food trucks (including one serving one of the best bowls of ramen in all of PDX right outside).
2 – Red Light Clothing Exchange
Just up and across the street from House of Vintage, at the corner of thirty-sixth and Hawthorne, Red Light is another shop with deep roots on the Portland street that used to be synonymous with used clothing. It’s large, approximately three storefronts wide, and offers one of the city’s best selections of men’s and women’s funky used clothes.
3 – Hollywood Vintage
Part costume shop, part vintage store, and with a hatter inside to boot, Hollywood Vintage has been outfitting Halloween partiers with their return it for buy back policy and costume rentals for several decades now. They’re located behind the Zipper building at NE 28th and Sandy. If you’re looking for a specific period piece or hard to find hat, this is the store for you.
4 – HalfPint
Located on bustling N Mississippi Ave, you’ll find Portland’s finest purveyor of second hand boots, purses, belts, and all manner of other leather goods. Good luck browsing at HalfPint and not finding something you just have to have.
5 – Red Fox Vintage
Red Fox Vintage is one of Portland’s better-kept secrets in the vintage clothing category. Just make sure you visit Red Fox before you lube up over at Expatriate — drunk shopping is fun, but trying to return something with a hangover… maybe not so much.
6 – Animal Traffic
Continuing our tour of Portland’s East Side, Animal Traffic, on the corner of North Mississippi and North Shaver, just across from Freshpot, has one of the city’s best selections of used vintage western wear, boots, and accessories. It is a must stop on any shopping tour of N. Mississippi.
7 – Avalon
We cross the river now, though it may pain some of you, and heading downtown for a slice of vintage vintage at Avalon, one of Portland’s original antique and vintage clothing stores, now located between 4th and 5th on Oak. If you are looking for an antique watch, this is probably your best bet in the city. They’re also lousy with great men’s and women’s vintage clothes and accessories.
8 – Living Threads Boutique
Heading across downtown, after pausing a moment to pour some out at the curb in front of the former site of Decades (the best vintage suit purveyor in Stumpy—now exclusively online), we find ourselves across from the downtown Multnomah County Library at the Southwest Tenth and Taylor location of Living Threads. Living Threads, a jam-packed downtown storefront loaded with men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, and accessories.
9 – Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique
Back across the river to the East Side again, we check in with the best vintage dress shop in the entire city, Xtabay on SE Clinton next to Dots Café. If you’re looking for a vintage dress, this is the shop for you.
10 – Buffalo Exchange
Lastly, we end up on upper SE Hawthorne again, at the chain vintage store known for its long lines of hopefuls with their trash bags full of used clothing they are looking to sell. Buffalo has a bit of something from most decades and specializes primarily in offering lower prices than most of the more curated shops in town.
Portland Is Definitely Still a Great Town for Vintage
Well there you have it—a mini tour of Portland’s vintage clothing retail scene. We didn’t hit them all, and you can still find better deals at the bins if you’re willing to fight the pickers, but we hopefully gave you at least one new spot to check out. Happy hunting!