Those who love the hunt for vintage clothes and accessories know that the smaller the city or town, the more unique (and, often, less-expensive) the pieces will be. And, while New Orleans is by no means a “small town,” the city is over 300 years old, so naturally, some of the iconic ghosts of fashion’s past have stuck around. While New Orleans may be many things, its residents have never lacked style—whether dining on five-star cuisine or getting decked out for Mardi Gras Day.
From 20s flapper fringe and 50s taffeta skirts to 70s bohemian and 90s grunge — no matter your favorite fashion decade, this list is fit for the ultimate vintage fashion shopping spree in New Orleans. Be sure to bring an extra suitcase.
This ethereal boutique is the place to go for high-end vintage pieces from designers like Valentino, Dior, St. John, and more. Glamour and a bit of whimsy are Century Girl’s bread and butter; if your dream closet is a mixture of Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Onassis, and Molly Ringwald’s character Andie from Pretty in Pink then rejoice! You’ve found your new favorite shop. You definitely won’t run into anyone wearing the same thing at a party if you’re sporting something from Century Girl.
This store is somewhat of a secret gem, tucked away off Frenchmen Street in the Marigny. So, if you know, you know. If you didn’t, well, now you do. It’s small, but well-curated with everything from vintage denim and tees to bright florals and wistful dresses. Along with clothes and accessories, Blue Dream also carries beauty and bath products, home decor, and books.
You’d be pressed to find a better-curated selection of antique jewelry and furs than Magpie, which sources its inventory directly from collectors. If, like me, you’re far from any kind of appraiser , Magpie’s team is well-informed and ready to answer any questions to help you find your perfect piece.
When it comes to vintage shops, Funky Monkey is a jack of all trades, supplying vintage and new t-shirts, costumes, and just about any sort of accessory you might need all under one roof. Whether you need a wig and platform boots, a vintage jumpsuit, a band tee, a Christmas-themed suit, or you just popped in for a peek around, there’s bound to be something you’ll want to take home.
Miss Claudia’s has a variety of vintage items spanning different decades and styles, perfect for people (like me) who take fashion inspiration from everyone from Mary Tyler Moore to Screech. It’s another great place to visit for costume inspiration and accessories, since, in New Orleans, it’s important to always have a costume on hand. This shop is packed with items, perfect for those who love the thrill of a fashion treasure hunt.
The Quarter Smith is best known for its collection of vintage and antique jewelry and watches—whether you’re an accessory-lover or an avid collector. Aside from their selection of Rolex watches, they also sell old coins and antique flatware. After more than 40 years in the business, many locals have come to know that Ken, the owner, is one of the best in town for jewelry sizing and watch repairs.
With two locations in the Lower Garden District and The French Quarter, Bambi Deville is one of the best shops for more high-end vintage clothing, accessories, and accent jewelry—think tweed jackets, mod dresses, furs, and hats galore. Their jewelry selection ranges in era and styles, ideal for completing a full-vintage ensemble or adding a pop to a modern look. Go in to play dress up, and leave with one or ten new items.
Bdffrnt is a slice of heaven for lovers of trends from the 70s all the way through the early aughts. Their affordable collection of t-shirts, denim, jackets, and accessories capture the fun and casual vibes of those decades. They even have a rack of vintage shirts that have been turned into crop tops for a more modern twist.
Along with their collection of vintage clothes and accessories — including jumpers, swimsuits, and even bolo ties — Slow Down is a shop with a mission: promoting and practicing “slow fashion,” a focus on the ethical and sustainable practice of clothing-making. They also have a weekly clothing swap every Thursday from 12-5 p.m., where they set up a rack of free (yes, free) items outside the store, and customers are encouraged to bring their own clean, wearable pieces to “swap” for something new. These exchanged items are then donated to one of three local charities for the unhoused. If you’re short on room in your suitcase, you can also make direct donations through the store.
The newest member on this list, Swamp Rags, is a t-shirt-lover’s dream come true. Between their variety of vintage clothing, accessories, collectibles, and decor, this French Quarter shop keeps the nostalgia of the 80s and 90s alive with a dash of grunge and skater style. What truly sets them apart is how well-curated their t-shirt collection really is, especially their selection of Louisiana-specific tees.
Located in the Bywater, Low Timers focuses on clothing from the 70s and earlier as well as artist-made pieces. They also sell vintage decor and accessories, and even some antiques. While their collection comes from across the country, Low Timers has a “southern influence” woven in throughout the store. Their site says it all: “keeping it simple is what we’re about.”
Located in the Lower Garden District, this warehouse is a temple to all things vintage. While the majority of the store focuses on vintage, Mid-Century Modern furnishings and home decor, you can also find a plethora of vintage clothing options, especially in the upstairs showroom.