Maybe their presence is the direct result of a surplus of leftovers from the summer of love, maybe it is the result of business owners knowing the the blocks between Haight & Stanyan and Haight & Masonic are a hotbed of tourism, either way—for some reason there are a ton of vintage stores on Haight Street. Deciding where to stop first can be challenging, as they all start to look the same after a while. Enter Wasteland: amongst the drawl of navy blue and other neutral colored buildings on the block, Wasteland is a bright fire engine red with one of the block’s more colorful window displays. Behind the racks of vintage t-shirts (bet you didn’t know you needed a Bon Jovi tour t-shirt from 1989), dresses and coats there is an insane selection of men’s and women’s shoes taking up the whole back portion of the store. Need appropriately worn in Dr. Martens? Platform booties? Gently used sneakers? They have them all.
Wasteland, 1600 Haight St. San Francisco, CA, USA +1 (415) 863-3150
Also on Haight Street is Held Over, a towering building with a neon sign boasting its name. From the outside the store can look a little intimidating, but on the inside is a fashion wonderland. Held Over is home to clothes from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and you’re likely to find the perfect piece for a themed party there—everything is organized by style and decade. If theme parties are not your thing, they have more low-key items like denim jackets and skirts you can work into your everyday wardrobe.
Held Over, 1543 Haight St. San Francisco, CA, USA +1 (415) 864-0818
Located in the Mission (there’s also a store in Oakland if you ever find yourself across the Bay) is the Pretty Penny. The store’s owner, Sarah Dunbar, has spent over a decade buying vintage clothes for companies in the Bay Area and New York, and her expertise makes the Pretty Penny the spot to go to if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind party dresses, cute shoes or accessories. The company has a carefully curated Instagram, where you can pick items from their feed to purchase online if you don’t have time to stop by the store.
Pretty Penny, 1201 A Guerrero St. San Francisco, CA USA +1 (415) 401-6616
A list about vintage shops in San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without a nod to Thrift Town. On the corner of Mission St. and 17th St, pilgrimages to Thrift Town are essential for any one looking to build the stamina and patience required of thrift store shopping. The store is organized by style, and not much else. But if you put in the work you will definitely come out with some killer previously owned duds. Pro tip: go early in the morning before other clothing aficionados have had time to pick through the clothing.
Thrift Town, 2101 Mission St. San Francisco, CA USA +1 (415) 861-1132
Wondering just where in the City to get a 50s style dress, shoes, and a wig to match? Mission Thrift is probably your best bet. The store is equal parts thrift store and costume shop and has everything you could ever need to get you through virtually every kind of theme party you can think of. Music fans can also rejoice: Mission Thrift has a large selection of hard to find band buttons and other lapel pins.
By Ivane Lund-Soyombo