BEST 2013: Best Places to Score Sweet Thrift and Vintage Threads

Terrorism, war, global recessions, and The Jersey Shore - we don't have to tell you the 21st century sucks. Maybe that's why we're into looking backward right now, whether it's watching Don Draper throw back old-fashioneds or the Earl of Grantham scowl theatrically. Thanks to vintage stores, we can stack our closets with threads from better decades to wash away those 2013 blues. It's not surprising that Boston, where residents have been getting dressed since 1630, is home to some of the best vintage shopping in the states. Check out this year's nominees for Best Vintage Clothing Store.

__Eric Twardzik


This South End shop is less a vintage store than a curated museum of menswear. Authentic prep school blazers and old-school Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers shirts spanning decades are arranged with the care and precision of an art historian. But be forewarned-  all the artful arrangement and organization means that prices are little stepper than you would find at a standard clothes-heap thrift.


This AIDS Action Committe-operated chain of thrift shops has locations in JP, West Roxbury, the South End, and Central Square. In addition to clothing they offer used records and miscellaneous second-hand furnishings for budding hipsters. Think of it as a good will operated by Urban Outfitters. Plus, you're shopping for a good cause, so that's always cool.


A vintage store scavenge always includes at least one gonzo find, like Jacko worthy leather pants or an acid-trip-tastic Hawaiian shirt. At Great Eastern Trading Company in Central Square, finds like these are the entire inventory. The little boutique sells genuine costumes alongside bizzaro vintage, making it the perfect stop for costume party revelers and disciples of boho-chic.


If this Harvard Square vintage makes you feel like you stumbled on the set of Boardwalk Empire, it's no accident. Oona's is operated by a former film set designer that furnishes her shop with props to accentuate the vintage feel, like old-timey boxing illustrations or a glass case of accessories from the golden age of shaving.


Sticking out like a sore thumb among the corporate flagships and snooty boutiques of Newbury St, Rick Walker's is a refreshing gust of go-to-hell vintage spirit. The racks are bursting with battle-worn leather jackets, sun-dried denim, and much-loved cowboy boots that still have some ass kickin' in them. Also, sometimes there's a caged chicken in the middle of the store, without explanation.


The unofficial flagship of vintage clothing in the greater Boston area, the Inman shop ("it's not a district, it's a store!") occupies a form long exclusive to the world of new clothing: the department store. The expansive, two story shop fills two floors with vintage arranged by decade, and hosts a year-round costume shop. But for those willing to get their hands dirty and pinch pennies, The Garment District breaks open an 850lb bale of second-hand clothing each morning (except Fridays) and allows scavengers to scoop up finds by the bag for $1.50 a pound.

Get thrifting and then get voting. And remember, if you don't see your fave vintage store repped here, you can write it in!

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