Whether it’s for clothing, accessories, shoes, home furnishings or even groceries, there are reasons that certain shops top our list. Vintage shopping is no different. Many people confuse thrift shops with vintage stores, but people that know their stuff agree that there is a big difference between the two, and if you are looking for vintage fashion, you definitely don’t want to end up at thrift shop. Areas like the Orange Circle are known for fun vintage finds, but there are also treasures to be found in Newport Beach and Fullerton. Even if you aren’t a hardcore vintage shopper, these stores are so fun and packed with so much good stuff, you’ll have a blast just browsing the day away.
131 W. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92866
The top three reasons to shop Elsewhere Vintage: clean, organized and the clothes are in great shape. Plus, the employees rock. Whether you’re looking for clothes and accessories from the 1920s, 30s, 40s or 50s, Elsewhere has something for you to take home. Once you’re in the area, check out the other antique and vintage shops or down an old-fashioned malt at nearby Watson Drug and Soda Fountain. Make a day of it.
3409 Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
This is not a thrift shop. You can’t miss the turquoise exterior and the interior of the shop is decorated in “vintage” fashion – like a store from the 50s. In spite of the small size of the store, it has a big selection at reasonable prices, including a decent men’s collection. Swellegant has great stuff for costumes and cool dressing rooms, also knickknacks galore. Swellegant Vintage is one of the few vintage shops in Newport Beach. When you get shopped out, you can grab some lunch and hit the sand.
210 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832
American Vintage is a huge store with a great layout. The store carries both vintage and modern wear from the 1920s to the 1970s. Nancy says, “There’s so much good stuff that you need a couple days to sort through all the treasures.” Rather than digging through a small, dingy store with goods stuffed to the hilt with no rhyme or reason, American Vintage has great ambiance that makes you want to stay all day. Why not? You have years of vintage treasures to browse through.
Out of Vogue
109 E. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
This clean and impressive vintage store is loved by many, as is the owner. Mike is friendly and knowledgeable, passionate about his shop and the vintage items he sells. The focus in this store isn’t clothing, but lighting, art, furniture, records, jewelry, purses, knickknacks and other furnishings. This is a popular store for longtime vintage shoppers. If you are looking for something special, you are sure to find it at Out of Vogue.
Villains Vintage Clothing
940 W. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92868
Audra describes Villains Vintage as a “vintage department store…spacious and easy to navigate.” With items spanning four decades, you can find clean, decently priced clothing and shoes, accessories and even luggage. Vintage T-shirts are this store’s claim to fame. The service is great and if you’ve got questions, the owners have answers. Villains Vintage also gives a 15-percent discount to students, one more reason to “stay in school.” A bonus if you visit Villains — its right next door to Black Kat Vintage, which is owned by Mike Ness of Social Distortion.
Erin Johnson is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.