Mod ‘60s. Groovin’ ‘70s. Bold and fearless ‘80s. Whether you already know your vintage style or are just looking for a fun way to mix up your wardrobe, Tacoma has a great selection of small and independently owned vintage shops and vendors. Vintage clothing be surprisingly wearable – pieces from the past were usually well-made, and they can be a look unto themselves or be paired with modern clothing to make a unique statement (I guarantee, people will ask about your vintage piece, and you’ll have fun wearing it!).
Vintage shops are often reasonably priced, and they are a great way to shop eco-friendly and repurpose beautifully made clothing. Best of all, many of our local vintage shops are run by hard-working business owners who make it a labor of love to bring you the best treasures they can find. From eclectic to higher-end, here is a round-up of Tacoma’s must-see vintage stops:
Packed with vintage gems from the Victorian era through the 1990s, Scorpio Rising at 2709 6th Avenue is a hub for vintage lovers. Owners Cheree and Ryan Swain have been in business for about three years, and their shop features everything from lovely 1950s cocktail dresses to a vast selection of vintage tees. “[Looking for] vintage clothing is addictive,” says Cheree, and from the truly outstanding selection, it is clear their passion pays off. She says 1970s and ’90 s styles are the most popular now.
Housed next to King’s Books at 218 Saint Helens Avenue, Janku Land features booths from several great vintage sellers in one spot. You’ll find fashions from the 1960s to ‘90s and other fun items (glassware, cowboy boots) from Sassafratz Vintage, run by Rachele Piety. Piety, who also manages Valhalla Coffee, brings a super-stylish eye and a fun-to-shop layout to her selection. (You can also catch Sassafratz at local markets throughout the year and on Etsy). JankuLand also houses a selection from Pure Vintage Clothing – owner Jordan Tart’s family has sold vintage locally for over 20 years, and they run the Saturday-only Pure Vintage store in the Stadium district. Janku Land also hosts a nostalgic collection of vintage toys, records and more, making it a fun stop to browse during a visit to King’s or on its own.
Dazed & ReUsed
Dazed & ReUsed, Tacoma’s premiere sip-n-paint art spot at 2607 6th Ave, also features a selection of vintage clothing items with personality, lovingly picked by co-owner Nancy Franklin. Prices are down-to-earth, clothing is organized by feeling and period (“Groovy,” “Glam Doll”) and you can also shop the local art or sit and paint a while (read more about their art offerings here).
Vanity Vintage, farther west at 3825 6th Avenue, offers a charming and chic vintage shopping experience with wares ranging from dresses to a large selection of vintage costume jewelry – you’ll find Lucite bangles, artistic brooches and more. Owner Melanie Peterson has been in the Tacoma vintage market for over 10 years, and knows her stuff: her shop is well-organized and has a feel of the luxe glamour of yesteryear (you can also find her shop on Etsy).
On the upscale end, Cocobolo is a new shop at 705 Court C in Opera Alley, with carefully curated vintage clothing pieces and cowboy boots along with ethically made apparel, cosmetics, and some lovely handmade costume jewelry. Think airy, elegant boutique: items are treated like works of art and the co-owners, including Lana Alisdairi, Sarah Alisdairi (Lana’s sister and Alexis Sergeant, put a lot of thought into the whole aesthetic experience.
Tacoma’s still got more vintage you need to check out. In the heart of the Museum District, UrbanXChange is a well-established spot with a selection of men’s and women’s fashion. All Star Vintage in Lincoln District specializes in vintage sports gear. And your local Goodwill stores often have some vintage mixed in – you’ll also find their cherry vintage items on their website (proceeds benefit their job training programs).
Each shop has a different personality all its own. So, get ready to head out, try on, and discover some new (timeless) treasures.