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The best vintage and thrift stores in Boston

Rummage for classic pieces, retro treasures and great deals at these prime vintage clothing and thrift stores

Photograph: Steven A. Soto
The best vintage clothing stores and thrift stores in Boston: Oona's Experienced Clothing

Boston is a great destination for vintage clothing and thrift stores, from by-the-pound bargains atCambridge institution Garment District to immaculately preserved suits, denim and more at destination vintage emporium Bobby From Boston and baubles at 20th Century Limited. If you want to extend the retro look to your home, check out the housewares at Abodeon, one of the city’s best furniture stores.

RECOMMENDED: See the best of shopping in ​Boston

Oona's Experienced Clothing

After acquiring a new owner and a revamped interior a few years back, Oona’s went on to regain its former place as one of the best vintage stores in Boston. The unfortunate (and inaccurate) label of a “costume shop” has hurt Oona’s in the past, but another visit will show former nonbelievers that this is no longer the case. The feel is more Victorian dressing room than Halloween party store. The update is most evident in the men’s section, which has traded in its printed cowboy hats and fake mustaches for vintage Western shirts and Levis 501s. As far as the women’s section goes, the clothes are both affordable (starting at $30 for dresses and $20 for blouses) and beautiful. Everything in the store is thoughtfully handpicked—so you won’t be wasting time rifling through extra-large polyester shift dresses and little league T-shirts.

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Harvard Sq

Bobby from Boston

Bobby Garnett's fabulous vintage emporium in the SoWa warehouse gallery complex is well known to Japanese denim aficionados, movie wardrobe professionals and local rockers. The pristine stock spans the 1930s to the '70s and, although women's clothes are sold, the focus is menswear. Here you'll find both $25 501s and three-figure vintage versions, American sportswear and lots of cool suits, including English labels from the 1960s.

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South End

40 South Street

The most varied and laid-back of Boston’s local thrift stores is 40 South Street (née Gumshoe). Run by local rock legend Hilken Mancini, it walks the line between vintage and thrift so adeptly, you’d be hard pressed to know there was ever a line there to begin with. You can find clothing-era representation from the ‘50s to the ‘90s, and all of it is high quality, clean, and moderately priced. If you’re looking for a plaid shirt or a pair of jeans, then you have definitely come to the right place—their selection is almost overwhelming, but in the best way possible.

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Jamaica Plain