The recent weather reminds us that summer is gaining ground. After all, for San Francisco residents, summer means real winter is just around the corner (insert faux Mark Twain quote here). And when the cold hits, we know many locals won’t resist the urge to flee south as I did on a recent SoCal adventure, so I’ve compiled a guide to the five best vintage shops to hit while having a fine time in “America’s Finest City.”
Looking for a trendy bomber jacket or an accordion skirt? Flashbacks curates its buy-sell-trade collection by decade and is likely to have what you are searching for. “We incorporate new and mostly old pieces and carry styles from the 1940s-1990s,” explains Manager Amy Henderson.
What sets Flashbacks apart from other vintage shops?
“Our store is friendly, small and has a neighborhood feel to it. I think people come in because they enjoy the hunt for that special item and it makes it more satisfying when they can come in here and find it. We definitely choose clothing for its style rather than price and designer,” she says.
(Flashbacks has two locations, 628 S Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas, CA 92024 & in Hillcrest 3847 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103)
Opened with creativity and music as its influence, Home will give you a taste of the history and nostalgia for which it is named. Re-established in 2002 by three nephews of Richard Ross, who opened the original store in 1970 in New York City, the store was once a favorite hangout to some of music’s most notable performers, including John Lennon, Ritchie Havens and Alice Cooper, just to name a few.
Home, thanks to Ross’s nephews, is once again a great source for vintage clothing and artifacts, as well as a great selection of vintage concert T-shirts. Don’t miss the mural of Richard at the center of the store.
(Home has two locations, 629 S Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas, CA 92024 & 3013 University Ave San Diego, CA 92104)
Frock You Vintage opened its doors in 2002 and has since been a local stomping ground for those seeking unique and one-of-a-kind pieces. Frock You displays a wide range of vintage men and women’s clothing, accessories AND great selection of vintage shoes.
One a vacation budget? Check out the sister store, Frock You Too, conveniently located next door. No item is priced higher than $20. The location stocks clothing and purses, shoes, jewelry and a lot more.
(Frock You Vintage, 4121 Park Boulevard San Diego, CA 92103)
Hunt & Gather stocks a fantastic selection of vintage, re-designed clothing, locally made jewelry housewares AND vinyl. It was established in 2009 by Zoe Crenshaw & Lee Reynolds, fashion veterans, who were designers prior to opening the store in San Diego’s cool-kid neighborhood, North Park (think of it as San Diego’s equivalent to the Mission District).
What attracts people to Hunt & Gather?
“Most people, when they come in, don’t even realize it’s a vintage store. Our collection of goods looks modern and we are different in that we are not era specific,” the folks at Hunt & Gather tell us.
(Hunt & Gather, 2871 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92014)
Bedouin Vintage is not just about clothing. The store hosts a variety of locally-designed jewelry, crafts and local vinyl. Members contribute whatever items may be in their field of talent, making the vintage store “a literal group effort” and a unique spot to discover just outside of downtown. [Editor's note: According to our sources, this store is now closed.]
(Bedouin Vintage Collective, 2621 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104)
Photography by Sara Iravani, unless otherwise noted
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