It goes without saying that Nashville has a special kind of “look” when it comes to fashion. The signature ‘fit: plaid button downs, cowboy boots, curled hair and maybe even a bridal sash or two. While there is certainly a time and place for our killer country boots (i.e. tailgate season), Nashville’s retailers have broadened significantly over the last couple of years with the rise of local vendors, making shopping an overall trendier experience.
Still, matching with every other Vandy girl at the tailgate because you all shopped at the same Hillsboro boutique is a buzzkill. What is the solution? Vintage and thrift stores are hidden all around the Nashville area that won’t break the bank and will guarantee you aren’t “twinning.” Check out some of the best vintage and repurposed stores in the area to find your next go-to outfit.
1220 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN
Located in an old 1930s firehouse, Black Shag is the ultimate destination for anything vintage. After you step inside its aesthetically-pleasing brick exterior, you’re immediately greeted by boots, lots of leather and rock concert band tees. The vibe of this store is definitely niche; the sought-after items for sale are edgy, southern and bold. However, even if this isn’t really your style, Black Shag is entirely worth the visit. It’s unique, extremely valuable pieces are so fun to browse through that they’ve garnered visits from celebrities like Macklemore and Harry Styles.
If you feel as though you may be a potential customer, know that clothing from this famous spot doesn’t come cheap. You may get lucky and find shorts or a top for under fifty dollars, but many of Black Shag’s carefully curated pieces are definitely on the pricier side. However, if vintage is your thing and you’re willing to splurge, this store is definitely the place for you.
2115 Elliston Pl, Nashville, TN
This chain thrift store is well within a college student’s budget. Ranging in style, size and brand, Buffalo Exchange should be everyone’s go-to place for cheap retail therapy. Unlike some of the more specifically-styled shopping spots in Nashville, your trip to this store will definitely require digging through some questionable pieces. However, if you’re willing to put in the time, you will undoubtedly leave with fun pieces from your favorite stores at less than half their original retail price.
Buffalo Exchange is also the perfect place to find items that you absolutely need for a specific event, but know you’ll only wear once. The store has a section exclusively for costumes and a broad selection of quirky sunglasses, so you’re sure to find a piece to top off your look within their endless racks of clothes. Buffalo Exchange’s affordability means that you won’t feel guilty permanently banishing your purchases to your closet after one wear. However, the diversity of the options in this store means that you could also walk out of the door with the newest addition to your go-to outfit repertoire.
2201 Elliston Pl, Nashville, TN
Conveniently located next to Buffalo Exchange, Smack perfectly balances the cheap prices and cool, vintage style that everyone looks for when thrifting. At a reasonable price, you are sure to find fun looks for any occasion. Laden with neon wigs, 80s style ski jackets, and a wide array of animal prints, Smack is especially perfect for themed date parties or other special events. Beyond this, the impressive collection of jean jackets and graphic t-shirts mean you can easily find pieces that complement your everyday wardrobe. Even if you are just looking to browse, Smack’s quirky, colorful aesthetic makes a trip to this shop a good time nonetheless.
Unlike Buffalo Exchange, you won’t have to spend your time digging through the racks to find an item that speaks to you. Another perk is that a purchase from Smack won’t break your bank relative to that of the higher-end vintage stores you can find in Nashville. This vendor offers a perfect mixture of individuality and affordability which makes this the ultimate thrifting destination.