Category Archives: Store Reviews

Splendor stays true to its name

100 W. North Loop Unit H. Austin, Texas 78751

I’m glad I saved this store for my last post. I’ve been wanting to visit Splendor since I first read about it on the Vintage Around Town Guide. I had a feeling it would be the perfect store for me. And I was right!

Stephanie Jimenez, the owner of Splendor, was nice enough to talk with me about her store during my visit Friday.

Isn't her outfit fantastic?

Stephanie said she wanted to open a store that offered customer’s top quality vintage clothing at the most affordable prices. She calls Splendor a “retrofit boutique” because the vintage pieces chosen for the store are influenced by the latest trends.

The store’s clothing and accessories are bought by Stephanie and her two sisters from around the country. Together, Stephanie, in her 30’s, her younger sister in her 20’s, and her older sister in her 40’s, make a great trio at handpicking the best quality vintage items.

Splendor really does feel more like a boutique, rather than a vintage store. It’s a single room with clothes neatly organized by style and era on racks around the walls with a centerpiece table of accessories. The prices were pretty affordable, considering that everything is handpicked by very stylish sisters and dry cleaned before it’s put on the floor.

In addition to the awesome hand-picked vintage items, Splendor offers feather hair extensions, which are the latest trend for Austinites. Although I haven’t tried them, they do look nice on everyone I’ve seen with them, including Stephanie.

Splendor may one of the newest vintage stores in town, but it’s sure to stick around. Even if you don’t normally shop for vintage clothing, because each item is chosen based on current trends, anyone can find something to fit their style in Splendor.

I’ll definitely be dropping in the store again soon to find my next vintage treasure!

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Feathers Boutique keeps it chic

By Destinee Hodge

I’m realizing that it’s quite a lucky thing to be able to get acquainted with all the fabulous vintage places around town doing this blog. I really liked the boutique feel of Prototype Vintage last week, so I decided to check out  Feathers Boutique  this week (which actually happens to be right next door).

When you first walk in, you have no concept of how large the store actually is, but once you hit the cashier’s desk you can look either way and see into the rooms filled with clothing on either side. The store has a modern, sleek and organized vibe. You definitely feel like you’ve stepped into a boutique off of Rodeo Drive. In short, not your average vintage store.

It caters to women only, and has everything from 80s inspired sequin covered blazers (yes, I’m on a sequin rampage) to vintage magazines. The clothes are sorted by color, which works when you have an idea as to what you’re looking for.

I will say here, as a matter of personal preference, I do tend to like to see clothes sorted by era because it really gives you the feeling that you’re buying something that’s vintage. There is something magical about knowing that a top is from the 60s or that a pair of jeans were worn by someone on their way to a 70s disco.

But overall, I think when you go into Feathers, you will certainly find something that is perfect for you. I also appreciated the variety in pricing. You can find something in the store from $5 to $200, which is not a quality that every vintage store can claim.

You can check out Feathers Boutique at 1700 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704. They’re open from 11a.m.-7p.m. daily.

Raw Materials for Creative Living

1512 South Congress Ave., Austin TX 78704 / Photo by Pauline Lee

By Pauline Lee

If you’re a true vintage lover, Uncommon Objects is the store you should check out! Opened since 1991, Uncommon Objects is filled with a variety of objects from a century-old diamond ring to antique furniture from almost every era in American history!

Photo by Pauline Lee

While I was walking through the store, I felt like I was at a museum because of rare materials that I wouldn’t see at any other store. I can say Uncommon Objects isn’t a typical vintage store. As the store’s website describes itself, it is “your eccentric uncle’s attic on steroids”.

Photo by Pauline Lee

There are two long hallways throughout the store. A myriad of unique items caught my attention. I tried to focus on finding accessories and clothing that suit our Rags from the Past concept. However, it was hard to just pass by so many rare materials. For example, I had to stop and look at this typewriter from almost a century ago. Selling for $95, this is definitely one of a kind!

Uncommon Objects was created by 20 antique sellers, who got together and made a huge collection of raw materials for Austinites. Regulars probably come back constantly because you never know what you will find at the store.

Uncommon Objects is open Monday through Saturday 11:00am to 7:00pm (until 8:00pm on Friday and Saturday). Check it out at the SoCo shopping district and hopefully you will find an antique treasure for yourself!

Photo by Pauline Lee

Photo by Pauline Lee

Photo by Pauline Lee

Prototype Vintage Design is Sublime

By Destinee Hodge

I really can’t believe the semester has gone by so quickly! I’m excited about how many great places around Austin we’ve been able to cover on the blog. After a whirlwind trip out of the country this weekend, I was definitely a little lost on which vintage store I should pay a visit to this week. I did some searching and decided on  Prototype Vintage Design. I have to say that it was an entirely unique experience compared to the other vintage stores I’ve been to for this blog.

This is definitely not your average vintage store. It’s impeccably clean and designed beautifully. It really feels like a high-end boutique with modern decor (from light fixtures to the type of music that’s playing).  Christina Kilgallon, an employee at the store said that it has been around for six years. ” The owners wanted to have a vintage store in Austin because they just loved thrifting and shopping for a long time,” she said.

The store features furniture and decorative fixtures but seems to focus mainly on clothing and accessories. The clothes are generally priced between $30 and $100, which isn’t cheap, but is pretty average for your typical vintage store.

The clothes are organized by gender, color and type. You’ll find women’s clothing and then subcategories like sequins or swimsuits to search by. I do wish that they would include more information on the tags  about the era the clothing is from, although I suppose you could always ask a store attendant if you were dying to know. Overall, you should definitely check Prototype out.

Sunglasses on display

Tiered shoe display

Women's clothing

Menswear section

Prototype is located on 1700 1/2 S. Congress, 78704 and open from 11 a.m. to 7p.m. daily.

Top Drawer Thrift

By Natalie Garza

I decided to visit a different kind of store this week. After supporting two friends who participated in the Hill Country Ride for AIDS this weekend, I wanted to do my own part in supporting the cause.

I stopped by Top Drawer Thrift  just before closing on Saturday. I ended up having a great time getting to know the Stephanie, the assistant manager, and Stanton, who has been a volunteer for 10 at Top Drawer for 10 years.

Top Drawer Thrift, managed by Karin Kokinda, funds Project Transitions, a local non-profit organization.  According to the website, “Project Transitions is dedicated to serving people with HIV and AIDS by providing hospice, housing, and support in a compassionate and caring environment. We have been serving Central Texas since 1988.”

Top Drawer sells men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, art, books, records, housewares, electronics, linens, and furniture. It’s a great place for people who aren’t used to shopping at thrift stores, especially larger ones like Goodwill and Savers, because it’s not very big. Another really cool thing about the store is that only three employees are actually paid. The rest are all volunteers, like Stanton.

The store offers really great deals on its items, especially the longer it’s been in the store. When an item is first put on the floor, it’s marked with a pink tag at regular price (which is still a thrift store price!). The more time that passes, the bigger a discount on the item, as shown on the board below. If the item is still in the store after four months, it’s passed on to be sold or donated somewhere else.

Stanton said, “Nothing goes to waste.”

Texas Swing is Project Transitions’ music festival and sideshow held the first Friday of every June. This year’s 16th annual fundraiser is held on June 3. According to Stephanie and Stanton, it’s sure to be a fun event that you won’t want to miss.

One of the most interesting and fun things about the store are the trannequins. That’s right; male mannequins in women’s clothing. Check out some of the best photos on the Project Transitions website.

Check out Top Drawer Thrift on Facebook.

Room Service Vintage

By Destinee Hodge

107 East North Loop Boulevard Austin, TX 78751

The more I visit local vintage stores, the more I realize that “vintage” is really an entire culture. I finally went to Room Service Vintage this week after passing by the store for almost a month.

When you walk into the store there is so much to take in, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed.The best way to describe this store would be labyrinth-like. The photos really cannot capture exactly how many twists and turns there are, and how many shelves are inside.  You would be honestly hard-pressed to find empty space on any of the walls.

But, the minute you stop obsessing over how much stuff is in there, you can take a look around and are sure to find a plethora of vintage treasures.

“A lot of it’s nostalgia” said  Bill Goodpasture, who works in and helps manage the store. “A lot of people come in here because they remember something from their youth that they had and they want to relive that or it’s something that their grandmother had.”

The store’s main focus is furniture/decorative pieces but they have clothes and accessories as well. Goodpasture said that he’s seen a diversification of their clientele over the last few years.

“In the past, our clientele was mostly kids on the edge- hippie or doom and gloomers,” he said with a laugh. “But now, sorority girls and frat boys are coming in and have discovered us whereas before they would have never set foot in here because they would only buy new stuff. But now they’re shopping vintage, which is great.”

For some people, Room Service probably represents the paradox of choice;  you have everything you could possibly want to choose from, which can be overwhelming. However, for those who can get past the sheer volume of material, they are bound to find something that is one of a kind.

Room Service is open from 11a.m.-7p.m. daily and located on 107 East North Loop Boulevard Austin, TX 78751.

Flashback to the Past

1805 South First Street in Austin TX 78704 / Photo by Pauline Lee

By Pauline Lee

Founded by Marsha Laine in 1982, Flashback has been one of top places vintage lovers find unique items in Austin. Styles ranging from the 20s to the late 80s, clothing and accessories are located in a house-style store that has different rooms. I’ve noticed they have a lot of spring/summer dresses in-stock. Flower-print dresses caught my eye when I first walked into the store.

The first room you see when you walk into the store. / Photo by Pauline Lee

Other customers seem to look at the dresses at first as well. The first room is really colorful and clothing of similar styles are also displayed. As you walk to the right, there is another room with antique accessories as well as clothing from the 20s to the 40s.

One section located in the second room. / Photo by Pauline Lee

The fun comes from finding unexpected items. Throughout the whole store, you can find unique vintage items like disco balls and Elvis Presley posters. As I explored the store, I really felt like I was taking a journey to the past. Flashback fits perfectly with its literal definition stated in a dictionary: a past incident recurring vividly in the mind. The store has many items from pop culture of different era as well as items for Austinites. Cowboy boots are displayed in three different rooms.

Cowboy boots and hat displayed in one of the rooms with men's clothing. / Photo by Pauline Lee

Cheap accessories! / Photo by Pauline Lee

Outdoor look of the store. / Photo by Pauline Lee

Entrance to other rooms. / Photo by Pauline Lee