Austin's Unique Boutiques to Check Out During Your Trip to Austin
So, you’re heading to Austin for SXSW. While you may have already read plenty of write-ups about where to find the best food and drinks while in town and have already changed your Tinder location to Austin to do some pre-SX matching (yes there are people out there who actually do this), you may not have done as much research yet on where to find the best threads. Or maybe you’ve tried looking up suggestions on where to shop and have found yourself wondering if there are any places to shop in Austin besides South Congress (spoiler alert: there are!) Don’t get me wrong, South Congress is definitely a fun and easy area to check out. It contains the longest strip of shops in town so it’s a good destination to spend some walking. And of course, it is home to Austin staples like Feathers and Stag (which you should totally visit if you never have.) However, if you’re looking for some cool spots that are awesomely underrated and also might not feel as tourist-ridden, here’s a selective list of boutiques to visit in Austin during SXSW 2016. Trust me these are good:
Garment Modern & Vintage:
Garment is brought to you by one of the original Feathers founders, Masha Poloskova, who branched off from Feathers a few years ago to focus on her own ventures. First she opened Moss, which is where you will find the most thoughtfully and stylishly curated designer consignment in town and is a go-to when searching for an interesting party dress or fancy event outfit. Just a couple doors down from Moss in the same shopping center, is where you will find Garment which has a mix of both vintage and modern clothing. The vintage selection here isn’t your typical Austin thrift-store style vintage. The focus is on designer labels and is artfully mixed with a selective curation of modern indie brands.
Focusing on modern, high-quality, simple but unique pieces, Kick Pleat curates clothing, shoes, and accessories from high end indie designers such as Rachel Comey and Maryam Nassir Zadeh, that are perfect for a chic adult closet. It’s definitely not a place to check out if money is tight, but if you have the dough to spend and are looking for some awesome pieces to add to your closet, this place is worth the trip. Plus it’s just a little north of downtown, on West 12th being just shy of the downtown madness, if you’re needing a slight escape.
Laced with Romance:
One of the saddest moments in Austin boutique history was when Laced with Romance shut its doors on South First street. Luckily all was made right in the universe again when the shop reopened last year (now on the east side) in an amazing space coexisting with the Fox Den. Laced with Romance houses some of the most badass vintage clothing that sticks to an aesthetic that’s mystical, hauntingly good, and definitely rock star worthy. Right next door under the same roof as Laced with Romance is the Fox Den which is the loveliest little space housing a selection of succulent and other plant arrangements, vintage pottery, and apothecary items.
Ok so I obviously had to add this shop to this list because, well, I own it. Once Bitten is one of Austin’s newest boutiques having had its grand opening only one month ago. It is a women’s boutique inspired by classic clothing, but offers a modern and playful twist. Here you will find clothing that is minimal in mostly neutral colors (lots of black and white and classic patterns like stripes, polka dots, and a few florals.) Pieces that are easily styled and comfortable, but unique and interesting at the same time. Located in the heart of downtown Austin, this shop has a bit more of a downtown aesthetic than what you will find elsewhere in the city. During SX, the shop is having a special pop up collaboration and party with badass shoe brand Intentionally Blank so this is the spot to go for some new shoes. (And I’ll be working in the shop a lot during SX so now’s probably a good chance to come meet me and say hi.)
Dandy’s Gentleman Store:
Just a couple doors down from Once Bitten, is one of only a handful of shops in Austin that’s dedicated to menswear. Dandy’s is an old school style haberdashery with clothing, shoes, hats, and other accessories that are made for and inspired by gentlemen. Not only are there plenty of ready-to-wear button downs, jackets, hats, and ties to choose from that all embody a very vintage-inspired classic style, but you can also get a custom suit made here. If you’re a dude, or want to find something special for a man in your life, this place is a must visit.
Noah Marion Quality Goods:
If you’re looking for that one special piece to add quality to your everyday style, then check out this place. Noah Marion hand makes leather bags and other leather goods right here in Austin. He focuses on untreated, undyed natural vegetable tanned leather. The idea with his creations is that the user will bring the design to life as the leather gets darker and worn over time. Noah produces the kinds of items you could literally be carrying with you and loving for a lifetime, and there are items for both men and women here. Also, right next door to Noah is Hoiden Supply Co., a local women’s boutique that contains a selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories with an edgy boho meets fashionable biker babe style which is also definitely worth checking out.