Charlotte’s Best Used and Vintage Clothing Stores

Who shops at the mall anymore? Okay, so it’s a bit of a stretch to believe that a majority of the populace has shifted toward second-hand clothing stores, but in Charlotte’s bustling youth culture, “Vintage” is definitely the way to go theses days. Rather than settling for the faux-vintage offered by some retail outlets such as Urban Outfitters, it’s usually a more rewarding experience and almost always a cheaper shopping trip to check out some of Charlotte’s many used and vintage if you’ve got a particular look in mind. No matter whether you’re just dressing up for a part or whether you’re looking to perfect that retro indie rock look, there are a few places in Charlotte with vintage bins just waiting to be rummaged through.

The Magic Maze, located on East Boulevard, is by far one of the strangest Charlotte destinations for vintage clothes or crazy costumes. Rumors of hauntings and strange occurrences have accompanied this retail outlet for much if its lifespan, with one of the most popular stories suggesting that the spirits of two sisters still inhabit the building. Though the store does a lot of its business at Halloween or assembling costumes for local plays, it also offers regular rummage sales and other discount events, so if you’re looking to add that wacky item to your wardrobe, you’ve got plenty of opportunities year-round. Since this leans toward what might be considered more of a specialty store, you might find yourself paying higher prices than at the traditional thrift stores, but you’ll certainly also discover items at The Magic Maze that you hadn’t even imagine existed. Be the hit of your New Year’s party with a crazy hat or a spectacular feather boa from The Magic Maze.

The long-running Goodwill has always been a staple for those in the market for used and vintage clothes. Since the shelves here are stocked with an assortment of clothing items that are mostly donated, you’ll have to do a lot of searching through the drab to find the fantastic buys. If you’re looking for something on the dressier side, definitely check the suits at Charlotte’s Sardis Road location. Two-pieces and three-pieces alike are available for not a lot of money; get some fancy vintage cloth and take it to one of the many local alterations shops, and you’ll find that you’ve saved yourself a few hundred dollars’ investment in finding that classic and classy upscale look with vintage edge. Browns and navies are predominant in this department, though the occasional powder-blue is perfect for a sock-hop-themed dance party or event. Don’t forget to take a look at their good selection of dress pants and jeans, as well. If you’re looking to round out your hipster wardrobe, nothing says “indie chic” like some faded and frayed light blue jeans that are tight through the hips and just screaming “I drink nothing but PBR and only buy music from independent labels.” And for $7!

By far the most outstanding destination for shoppers looking for a fashionable bargain in Charlotte is Value Village. With five outlets in the area and three within a short distance of city center, this store definitely lives up to its billing as “The Thrift Department Store”. The staff here processes huge quantities of clothing, but they do a good job of separating everything into Men’s and Women’s categories, and within those, clothes are sorted according to type, style, and color. For example, if you’re looking for a green button-up, all you have to do is follow the signs toward “Men’s Long Sleeve”, and you’ll find a whole rack of long-sleeve shirts sorted according to the color section. Clothing from all eras is represented, though the 80s and 90s are perhaps most well represented. There’s a good bit a turnover here, so you should check back often. The “Boys Tee-shirts” section is a great place to shop for hipsters in search of a new “First Baptist Church” or “Jewish Community Center Softball” tee-shirt, which won’t cost you more than $3. The place is rife with local sports-oriented clothing, with old Charlotte Hornets jerseys and first-generation Carolina Panthers stuff in bunches, and some Bobcats material is starting to surface as well. Value Village also tends to have a great selection of dress clothes and suits. Vintage pink-and-blue paisley ties aren’t hard to come by at all, and there are plenty of suits to choose from. Check the labels; sometimes some high quality couteur comes through here. A recent look at the dress rack saw items such as a pretty modern Burberry two-piece suit of pretty nice wool available for under $20.

As expensive as even medium-market retailers are becoming, it’s hard to imagine that even the most diehard of latest fashion fans haven’t considered checking out the used clothing bins every once in a while. Shopping at any of these locations can be a grab bag, which makes it fun, and you’ll certainly not regret it when you find that item you’ve been looking for for ages at the perfect price. Whatever you’re looking for, no matter the purpose, one of these Charlotte used and vintage clothing outlets is sure to have it.

The Magic Maze
325 East Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 358-8791

Goodwill Industries
1909 Sardis Road North
Charlotte, NC 28270
(704) 841-8600

Value Village
4451 Central Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 568-8896

Value Village
2917 Freedom Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208
(704) 393-3492

Value Village
6300 South Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28217
(704) 295-1468

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