Portland, Maine is the best place to shop for vintage. Hands down. I’ve thrifted everywhere from San Francisco to New York City, but the best pieces in my closet have come from this fine city. Since there is so much abundance, I’m devoting two shopping guides for where to get your vintage on.
Goodwill (Maine Mall Road): This place is no longer secret. When this Goodwill mecca opened it’s doors, I knew it was game over for my old lady sequin collection (proof below). It’s affordable, it’s abundant and hey, you’re supporting a good cause. Win, win.
Find (16 Free Street/465 Payne Road): I love to shop at Find for many reasons. Mainly because I trust owner Laura Kerr’s eyes. She doesn’t have a shop full of vintage but the pieces she does have really stand out. Go right to the dress rack if you’re a girl and right to the shirts for dudes if you want to see her best stuff.
Encore (521 Congress Street): I’ve professed my love before, but this place is special. If you can figure out it’s often confusing store hours, all the better. But once you do make it in, plan on staying for awhile. You can shop by decade, size, department. This is a true diamond in the rough.
Portland Flea-for-All (125 Kennebec Street): The small vendors have really made a home for themselves at our new favorite spot, the Portland Flea. Shop some strong selections from Lucille’s, Alley Oop Vintage and Proper Vintage (to name a few). The best part? It’s a flea so you never know what you’ll come home with. Our hope is that some of our favorite local etsy sellers start to set up shop here.
Ferdinand (243 Congress Street): Hey Diane Toepfer. You’re a goddess. Not only do you have vintage skirts that are already hemmed to the perfect length, but your other vintage artifacts never cease to amaze me. Plus, she was doing the vintage thing before anyone else. Kudos.
Material Objects (500 Congress Street): Walk into the door, proceed to the back. Be amazed. I’ve found some of my kookier pieces here - a blanket cape, a polyester jumpsuit - so it’s perfect for the vintage guy or gal that isn’t afraid of some true old-school trends.
Little Ghost Vintage (477 Congress Street): A newbie to the vintage world, but sources tell me it’s a good one. I’ve only been in once so far but was impressed by the stock. I’d highly recommend this place to guys: great selection of perfectly broken-in tees and cool ties.
Catholic Charities Thrift Store (244 St. John Street): My secret weapon in Portland. I’ve found really nice silk blouses and perfectly kept dresses from the 60’s here. It’s a bit hit or miss, but if you’re a frequent thrifter, I’d check in often. After all, patience is a virtue.
UP NEXT: Part II of the vintage guide - the local etsy edition.