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Re-tread Threads: Top Five Vintage Clothing Shops in Denver

Dive Bars, Home Ec, Vintage Furniture

Sure, new clothes are fun, but vintage items have that certain cachet, that provenance, a story to tell. Whether it’s a skirt your mom made in home-ec class in the sixties or a pair of cowboy boots that fit too perfectly to leave at the store, secondhand clothes have a much better and more interesting background than anything you’ll find at the mall.Denver’s

hipster crowd has created a demand for vintage shops, and the city has done a fine job of answering that call. The best places in town are located primarliy along Broadway and in the tucked-away neighborhoods of Capitol Hill. Though the city offers old standards like Salvation Army and ARC, there are also some great boutique-type shops that offer the vintage shopper a banquet of historical and timeless finds:

1. Rare Bird, 1215 E. 13th Ave.

Rare Bird is a tiny shop located between Gabor’s and Cricket on the Hill, two of the Hill’s most venerable dive bars. The store features some great vintage selections, including a good variety of men’s clothing and handmade tees and bags from local designers. The inventory changes frequently, and the front of the shop is always cluttered with promo CDs and fliers for local and indie bands. A hip little neighborhood location with good hunting grounds.

2. Boss, 18 S. Broadway (www.bossvintage.com)

A Denver institution, Boss is a mid-sized vintage shop, packed to the gills with clothes dating from the forties to the nineties. The shop also features a wide variety of vintage fabrics, jewelry and accessories. In addition to the classic clothes, Boss also stocks newer wigs in candy colors and towering heights. While Boss offers a very large inventory, the shop is well organized and the staff is very helpful.

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3. All American Vogue, 10 S. Broadway

All-American Vogue is much more than just a vintage shop. The store also offers chic new clothing, plenty of unabashedly liberal political tees, buttons and stickers and tons of campy, risqué gift items like nudie playing cards and naughty refrigerator magnets. But the vintage selection is truly amazing- from a rack full of 1950s and 1960s Annette Funnicello swimsuits to men’s western snap shirts, there is something for everyone at All American Vogue.

4. The Five and Dime, 616 E. 13th Ave. (www.510vintage.net/templates/page.jsp)

Looking for that AC/DC T-shirt from the 1984 tour? Check out the Five and Dime. What this little shop in Capitol Hill lacks in square footage, it makes up for in style. The Five and Dime specializes in retro concert and tourist tees but offers a large selection of other specialty vintage items, such as vintage custom cowboy boots, Colorado-centric items like Hunter S. Thompson campaign memorabilia and ski-culture souvenirs and band merchandise.

5. Celebrity Vintage Clothing, 1866 S. Broadway

A crazy mix of vintage and show business, Celebrity Vintage was founded by Robert Lecher, an eccentric local personality with a deep and, well, slightly disturbing love for singer Stevie Nicks. The shop is stocked with every kind of vintage clothing as well as items for celebrity impersonators and drag queens. Celebrity also offers vintage furniture items, tons of celebrity memorabilia and costume rentals.