New Orleans is a city that loves to dress up, whether it’s for Halloween, Carnival, or just a random night out. Creative residents and visitors alike know that some of the most interesting outfits can be found at the city’s many thrift and vintage stores. While good bargains can be found at some of the city’s outposts of national secondhand chains like Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange, some of the most interesting and reasonably priced outfits—not to mention books, furniture, and housewares—can be found at New Orleans’s homegrown thrift and vintage outlets.
3200 Dauphine St.
This cavernous Bywater thrift store features deals on an eclectic, ever-changing selection of everything from men’s and women’s clothing to obscure books, vintage housewares, esoteric tools, and jewelry. Come in with an open mind and be prepared to dig. The store also offers a wide variety of local and Mexican art, including Day of the Dead merchandise.
GLUE Clothing Exchange
8206 Oak St.
A few blocks from Tulane and Loyola universities, this store with a college-town feel stocks an eclectic assortment of clothes, from Western and vintage hippie outfits to modern, name-brand outfits. Items with vibrant colors and patterns are common for both men and women. Winter clothes—perhaps exchanged by northern college students for the half-of-sale-price store credit that GLUE offers for trade-ins—are in good supply during the colder months. GLUE also sells and accepts trade-ins of guitars, amps, and other music equipment.
Le Garage Antiques and Clothing
1234 Decatur St.
This vintage store, found on a section of Decatur Street full of secondhand shops, offers a little bit of everything, haphazardly arranged in a space that feels surprisingly large and devoid of tourists for the French Quarter. A changing selection of costumes and novelties abounds, along with the kind of wall art you’d be likely to find in a roadside burger joint—but so do more practical outfits, knick-knacks, and miscellaneous items that are well worth digging for.
Goodwill Industries of Southeast Louisiana
3400 Tulane Ave, Ste 1000
Long recognized as a symbol of hope, Goodwill is the original social enterprise, established nationally on the premise of offering ‘a hand up, not a hand out’ to society’s most disadvantaged. This Goodwill location is absolutely huge as not only does it house quite possibly the largest amount of items for a thrift store in New Orleans, but this location also serves people with disabilities, low-wage workers, and other disadvantaged job seekers by providing education and career services, as well as literacy and work readiness training, job placement opportunities and post-employment support.
Pelican Furniture & Thrift
341 N. Hennessey St.
Tucked a few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of the Carrollton Avenue shopping centers is this sprawling warehouse of used furniture and housewares. Recent selections have ranged from the practical (mid-century dining room tables and cooking appliances) to the curious (a set of classic grade-school desks and chairs). The shop also has a surprisingly diverse assortment of used books, but it doesn’t sell clothes.
SisterHearts Thrift Store
7519 W Judge Perez Dr., Arabi
Just over the New Orleans city line, this large St. Bernard parish thrift store has won attention for providing employment and assistance to ex-offenders. For customers, it offers a large assortment of low-priced men’s and women’s clothing as well as an unusually sizable array of electronics. Plenty of books, household items, furniture, and other merchandise are also available, as are food selections like hot dogs and soda from an in-store snack bar. Donations are gladly accepted.
NO Fleas Market
4228 Magazine St.
Operated by the Louisiana SPCA, this store specializing in men’s and women’s clothing lets donors earmark donations for specific animal shelters and rescue groups to use for veterinary care at the SPCA clinic. Clothing items, from formal wear to novelty tee shirts, are well-curated, and prices are quite reasonable, particularly for this section of Magazine Street. Cats available for adoption are sometimes also on hand to meet and greet customers. Naturally, the store doesn’t accept donations of fur items.
2025 St. Claude Ave.
Restoration Thrift caters to and (thanks to donations) benefits from the eclectic tastes of the surrounding Marigny and St. Roch neighborhoods. Just a few blocks from the French Quarter, the store offers great deals and frequent discounts on clothing, from designer outfits to novelty tees, a wide assortment of books, and housewares, including seasonal decorations. Restoration Thrift is a project of the community development group Thrive New Orleans.
GinaWare Costumes and Clothing
4429 Bienville St.
This Mid-City costume and vintage store is easy to miss, especially since it’s generally only open the second Saturday of every month (and by appointment). A go-to stop before Carnival season and Halloween, some of the store’s offerings might be one-off wears—unless you’re inclined to wear a top hat or fascinator on a regular basis. But both women and men can also find everyday wear and flamboyant-but-practical going out clothes at reasonable prices. The proprietor is known to offer refreshments to shoppers, helping to create a festive atmosphere within the store itself.
3127 Magazine St.
With a mix of vintage items, costumes, and novelty wear—think tie-dyed dresses and men’s suits printed with scenes from Pac-Man and Tetris—this store is worth a visit during any stroll through the Magazine Street shopping district. It’s also a reliable source for costume wear, from wigs and feather boas to Hawaiian print shirts and hipster-friendly plaids. Novelty tees, many of them New Orleans-themed, are available to print on demand. Trade-ins are accepted.
Independence St. Vintage & Rare Finds
3700 St. Claude Ave.
This Bywater outpost delivers a neighborhood-appropriate mix of whimsical men’s and women’s clothing as well as plenty of hipstery home decor items, many with a distinct New Orleans flavor (think Professor Longhair wall art). Many items by local artists are also available, along with a decent selection of local records. Fabric is also for sale.