Austinites like having their own, unique style in just about everything. From music and art to neighborhoods and our Keep Austin Weird motto, we definitely march to the beat of our own drum. When it comes to personal style, it's easy to dress like a million bucks while creating a distinctive, individual look that doesn't have to cost a fortune either.
Here are six fashionable and totally Austin spots to create your one-of-a-kind style:
Since opening in 2010, Coco Coquette has provided a unique shopping experience to channel creative expression with maximum glamour. In addition to vintage clothing, the shop offers cosmetics, perfume, skincare and apothecary items, jewelry, sunglasses, false eyelashes, and lingerie. It also specializes in wigs — many in vivid colors, feathered or bejeweled, or stacked high like an Antoinette 'do. The store even offers popular wig parties.
This is the place to indulge your more whimsical, extreme, and wild fashion side. Owner Allyson Garro was instilled with a love for all things sparkly by her mother, Jeanne, who was a go-go dancer and showgirl. Garro also produces full-scale, costumed performance extravaganzas at local venues such as ND Studios.
Big Bertha's Paradise Vintage
Big Bertha's is now located on North Loop Boulevard among other vintage shops, bars, and restaurants. This is definitely an upscale place; browse through the beautifully preserved clothing and you'll see labels like Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, and more.
Bertha's is where you want to go for extremely high quality, couture pieces that will last for decades. Owner Henry Tarin is a character himself and will consult with you to suggest items and regale you with fun stories. Tarin not only carefully curates his collection of vintage pieces for sale, he also works with a number of fashion designers who make new pieces in a line just for him.
Moss Designer Consignment
This is like shopping in hundreds of fashionistas' closets, all under one roof. The 2,000-square-foot-space features luxury brands such as Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Manolo Blahnik, Stella McCartney, Louboutin, and more, with more than 1,200 consigners constantly bringing in new merchandise for an ever-changing selection of high-end designer and popular contemporary labels.
Owner Masha Poloskova opened the store in December 2010 with the intent to bring the world of high-end consignment to Austin in an entirely new way, and all merchandise is hand-selected for quality. Since Moss works on consignment, it's not only a great place to shop but also to sell items — allowing you to rotate out and refresh your look for a constantly updated style. Poloskova also has a sister store, Garment, which sells vintage and modern looks.
Created by Austin fashion designer Linda Asaf, Design Lab is a concept store in a vintage-industrial boutique setting overlooking Lake Travis. Featuring a collection from some of the best designers in Texas, carefully curated by Asaf, this is a place that celebrates the creators of fashion.
The store features men's, women's and children's fashion, as well as shoes, accessories, hats, cosmetics, and even home goods. There are many ongoing events here including runway shows, fashion camps, sample sales, and live music shows. One of the biggest is Full Tilt, a major international fashion show put on yearly by Asaf during Formula 1 race weekend.
Charm School Vintage
This retro-inspired shop represents fashion from over a century, from the 1890s to the 1990s, aiming to synthesize the best designs of each era into a modern, stylish wardrobe selection. Each item selected for the shop is chosen on high standards of quality, timelessness, wearability, and design, in a variety of price ranges, including very affordable price points.
Owner Shari Gerstenberger is a stylist and director who produces bimonthly art shows and biannual music shows at Charm School. She also hosts trunk shows, workshops, and consultations. In addition to clothing, the shop carries jewelry from small, independent designers, as well as apothecary products.
Amelia's Retro-Vogue & Relics
Entering Amelia's shop is a little like stepping into a magical wardrobe; only instead of Narnia, you'll find yourself on a journey through fashion history. Everything from Victorian and Civil War era dresses to late 20th century chic can be found here, including a collection of shoes, hats, textiles, jewelry, eyeglasses, lingerie, and bridal wear.
A self-described social anthropologist, owner Jane Clarke spends her time scouring through estate sales and collectors' offerings, though after nearly 40 years in the business, people often bring special vintage and antique items straight to her.
The name is an homage to Amelia Earhart, one of Clarke's heroes and a woman who blazed her own path. Like Earhart, when people build their own fashion style from treasure hunting in places like these, they are ensuring that they won't look like anyone else. Amelia's is available by appointment out of its vintage trailer shop in South Austin, plus there's an online shop. The menswear collection can be found at New Bohemia, 4631 Airport Blvd.