Buenos Aires is a mixture of the old and the new. Along with the many cutting-edge fashion boutiques and name-brand clothing stores pushing the latest trends, there is also an incredible array of shops full of vintage items where you can buy unique clothes and other treasures without spending a fortune. After vast research, we’ve pulled together this list of the top vintage and thrift shops in Buenos Aires where you can find the piece of your dreams.
Costa Rica 5758, Palermo
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy NEW-NEVER-BEEN-USED vintage clothes from the 90s and before! So many great findings and SO inexpensive (dresses for US$20, shirts for US$16)! Alfonsina, the owner, has been searching for clothes she loves all around Argentina for more that 20 years. For every 20 she bought for work, she kept one, to finally make this incredible collection. If you love the 80s and flashy things, you’ll want to buy everything. It opens Monday to Saturday from 11:30am to 8:30pm. Phone: 47722189
KEAK local; photo by Olivia Najt.
Florida 939 3K, Recoleta
Elisa Okner started selling crazy psychedelic clothing in underground parties and it went so well that almost 3 years ago she decided to open this luxury vintage boutique in Recoleta. Specialized in 60s, 70s and 80s clothes that have never been used, it’s the secret of fashion stylists. Sequins and embroidery, are the signature details that you’ll find here. The price range goes from US$15 for a shirt to US$400 for an incredible hand-embroidered dress. Open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 8pm. Call: 15-5-478-0777 or contact her through Facebook.
Para Elisa; photos courtesy of Elisa Okner.
Jazmin is a writer/actress/fashion stylist that decided to have a secret clothing store called BIMBA, located in Palermo Soho. Her selection is not described as retro vintage but more elegant, for the sake of fashion, ever-lasting clothes. You may find a Celine shirt (US$80), something more local for US$10, or a gala (red carpet) dress from the 50s for US$250. Jazmin has a sixth sense: if she can tell that you REALLY-REALLY love something, she’ll make a good deal for you. Only by appointment, contact her by email: [email protected] or call: 15-5-473-5419.
Jazmin in her BIMBA vintage boutique; photos by Olivia Najt.
Mercado Don Toto
Albarellos y Pizarro, Tigre
Soledad Benvenuto is the owner and pioneer of this few blocks full of restaurants, art galleries and little shops, that have made the neighborhood a place you have to visit more than ever. This place is a collection of vintage items of your grandma’s childhood. Old radios that still work, magazines and dolls from the 50s. Don Toto is not located in the Capital, but in Tigre right next to the “Delta”. To get here you can take the train (45 minutes). Phone: (+54) 11-5197-4776
Mercado Don Toto; photos by Olivia Najt.
Marcelo T de Alvear 1441
It feels like a small supermarket of vintage clothing from every period of the 20th century. Very well organized but because they have a lot of items you must be careful with what you buy. If it seems like a really cheap deal, look out for stains or holes.
Mercado de Pulgas
Av Dorrego and Av Alvarez Thomas, Palermo
If you are the kind of gal/pal that likes to get you hands dirty to find the good stuff, you’ll like the main flea market of Palermo. You’ll find vintage bijoux, accessories, and furniture from the 60s and 70s. Tip: You may as well try to haggle in this one (a thing that is not recommended in the others unless said so); most of the vendors have been there for a long time, and they know what they are doing, but a little haggling makes it more exiting. Also, bring a bottle of perfume – the cat smell is intense.
Feria de Anticuarios
Defensa 834, San Telmo
It’s more of a market with many vendors. There is no clothing here, but you’ll find gorgeous vintage jewellery for a lot less money than you think. Take your time to walk around and you might try to dip your feet in the haggle zone by saying: “¿A cuánto me lo deja?” which is not offensive, and if they are not the kind of salesperson that likes to haggle, they’ll just repeat the same price. (If they double the price, just walk away. It was never meant to be).
Humberto 1° 412, San Telmo
Every time I come here, I die. I would love to live here, between the 1920s weeding gowns and the porcelain and the artwork, and if I didn’t have a dust allergy, I would. They are so successful that they have another store (Estados Unidos 361) that is cleaner and only for brides, but the original has been in the same place for over 35 years. This one is more on the expensive side.
Portobello Vintage Boutique
Sebastian Pawlowicz, who has more that 20 years of experience in helping people find their own style, runs Portobello. You’ll find things with a British and European vibe, from Burberry to Hermés. Prices range from US$30 and up. Open Monday to Friday, 11am to 8pm.
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