There's more to this town than just music and food! Austin has an excellent shopping scene you won't want to tune out, with hip boutiques, great vintage and a super-innovative rare-books store.
Birds Barbershop—a chain of five salons in Austin—does its part to keep Austin weird: Disco balls, screen-printed walls and video games abound; there are plenty of hipster haircuts and not many Texas-size blowouts; and best of all, the salon’s new care line, Verb, is free of parabens and sulfates, and everything costs the same—12 bucks.
These independently owned South Lamar shops share a space but offer two very distinctive aesthetics. Spartan features handmade giftables, like feathered dream catchers and delicate heart pendant necklaces; its sister stocks utilitarian-cool Relwen jackets and Chimala overalls.
This eight-year-old contemporary clothing boutique covers both ends of the investment-worthy spectrum: Acne jeans and Rachel Comey booties to have forever, and Jesse Kamm triangle-print dresses and locally designed salt stone Growing necklaces to have before anyone else.
The fun of a slumber party is packed into this tiny East Austin house turned co-op. Sample false eyelashes and Reba McEntire wigs at Coco Coquette cosmetics, play dress-up with shimmery ’70s disco dresses at Charm School Vintage, and have your hair styled at the unpretentious Salon d’Etoile.
2109 Cesar Chavez St. E., 512-344-9173
Performers who live on nearby “musicians’ row” frequent this saloon-inspired boutique for black satin shorts ($28), studded leather belts ($14) and graphic-print tees ($32) bold enough for the stage, affordable enough for artists on the cusp.
At her boutique on the Drag, former Alexander Wang sales associate Star Lee updates thrifted goods—like floral button-downs and ’80s cutoffs with edgy touches like oversize metal spikes and A-line hems—and sells them alongside contemporary Mink Pink dresses and Osborn Guatemalan-print oxfords.
Follow the dusty driveway past the creaky woodworker’s shed to this barnlike gallery of fresh works—playful landscapes, painterly abstracts, edgy photographs and mixed-media collages—by up-and-coming local talents, all priced between $10 and $2,000.
Innovative shops, like this graphic art gallery/rare books store, are turning once-dodgy East Austin into a destination. Venture beyond the back wall of literary journals to visit Busy-Being, a new handmade-accessories spot tucked into a closet-size space.
A Western, bohemian vibe dominates this beloved organized-
spot. We shopped the rainbow and found a toffee ’70s prairie skirt on the desert-hued rack, an orange ’60s caftan in the sunset-colored section and an emerald paisley scarf among the jewel tones.