Rare Finds: Look no further than Tempe for the best vintage and retro shopping
What’s better than finding a perfect, new-to-you apparel item to add to your vacation ‘fit check? Whether your interests include browsing, wearing, reselling or collecting vintage, retro, consignment, thrift, custom or limited-edition items, Tempe is a hotspot for shops that curate accessories, sneakers, sports gear, the latest fashion trends, Western-inspired lewks and exceptional one-of-a-kind pieces.
Kick off your next resale/retail therapy experience by checking out a few of our favorites on your quest to freshen up the wardrobe with truly unique finds.
227 W. University Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-2557
Buffalo Exchange originally got its start in Tucson, Arizona, in 1974. Since then, it has become the place to buy hand-selected secondhand clothing. It’s also a great place to sell your clothes for cash or trade on the spot. Shop current trends, designer, everyday styles, vintage and one-of-a-kind fashion, including shoes, hats and accessories.
2240 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 101, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 572-1683
Cory Martinez, owner of Luxie Vintage, has been selling vintage clothing since 2006. From ’60s psychedelia to ’90s babydoll dresses, you can find bright and unique vintage clothing in-store or online. Shop by size, decade, season or some of their expertly curated min drops. This boutique also buys vintage clothing (from any decade that is pre-2000s era) locally and remotely.
Nowadays Creative Lab
414 S. Mill Ave., Suite 120, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (520) 780-3371
This Mill Avenue shop is comprised of equal parts sneakerhead heaven, custom design lab and vintage, streetwear and lifestyle curator. Upstairs, Tempe Toes buys, sells and trades apparel and shoes, ranging from timeless throwbacks to the latest limited-edition drops. We’re seeing a lot of vintage sports and music themes emerging this season, but there’s always new inventory to browse. Downstairs is the Nowadays Creative Lab operation, where just about any idea comes to life. Follow them on Instagram for various pop-ups, ranging from the Tempe Festival of the Arts to hosting Rhude founder Rhuigi Villaseñor ahead of his 2022 collaboration with the Arizona Coyotes.
Plato’s Closet – Tempe
1840 E. Warner Road, Suite 131, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 478-8111
For anyone looking to buy and/or sell gently used clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories, Plato’s Closet is just the place. Here, shoppers can expect name brands and styles at up to 70% less than regular retail prices — including a wide variety of Sun Devils gear. If you’re looking for highly coveted or true vintage pieces, you’ll have to bring your keen eye, your fashion savvy eye and check back often — fresh inventory is added every single day.
Rare Lion Antiques & Jewelry
403 W. University Drive, Suite 102, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-6074
Rare Lion Antiques & Jewelry has been operating in Tempe since 1981. While there’s definitely more of an emphasis on antiques, artwork, glass, crystal, porcelain, pottery and furniture at this shop, it made this list for its impressive collection of jewelry — this finishing touch on any great look. From Victorian era necklaces and Tahitian pearls to 19th century rings and art deco bar pins, we hope you enjoy this ever-changing collection as much as we do.
Rocket A Go-Go
15 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 434-4433
If your style includes punk, rockabilly, pinup, alternative or retro, you’ll love Rocket A Go-Go. Co-owned by RoseAna Dodge and Stormy Love, this shop touts itself as an alternative fashion emporium — but don’t take our word for it. Check out the ever-changing collection of gently loved and new stock of clothing, shoes and accessories. New items are added to the inventory daily.
1876 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 648-4083
Located just a mile from ASU, Tempe Throwbacks specializes in retro sports gear, with a heavy emphasis on Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Coyotes and ASU Sun Devils. However, that’s not to say you won’t find merch repping other teams here. Expect hats, jackets, basketball and football jerseys — including the most-coveted limited editions — from the ’80s to today. If you’re looking for something specific, let shop owner David know, and keep an eye out for new arrivals on @tempe_throwbacks Instagram account.
But, wait, there’s more. We think you might also like:
Casey Moore’s Back Alley Market
850 S. Ash Ave., Tempe, Arizona 85281 | 480-968-9935
From time to time, Casey Moore’s Oyster House hosts its infamous Back Alley Market, which showcases local, handmade, vintage goods and more — from over 25 different vendors! Be among the first in the know when another market will pop up by following @caeymoores9thandash on Instagram.
Little Cholla Market
2025 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, Arizona 85281 | 480-210-6004
Every Thursday from fall to spring, Little Cholla Market pops up at Culdesac Tempe from 6 to 9 p.m. As a celebration of all things local, this market brings together small business vendors, micro-retailers, food trucks, art and music to the first car-free neighborhood in the country. Arrive via alternative mobility and receive a $5 rebate token. Check out @littlecholla on Instagram for upcoming activations.
1425 E. University Drive, Suite B-104, Tempe, AZ 85281
OXDX is a Tempe-based fashion label that specializes in digital art, “cut’n’sew” apparel and collaborations as an ongoing project to bring Indigenous stories to the forefront. Behind the brand is artist Jared Kee Yazzie, a Diné self-taught graphic designer and print maker, and Allie, a textile artist and weaver. Together, they bring a rotating lineup limited-edition designs as well as pop-up events to this Tempe storefront — tap into both by following @oxdxclothing on Instagram.
Western Works Market at Yucca Tap Room
29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282
This Tempe landmark, has showcased live music in an intimate setting for over 40 years. And every so often, they also host the Western Works Market — a pop-up event of 20 to 25 vendors that collectively identifies as “A jumble of makers, collectors and artists.” Follow @western_works_market on Instagram for a heads up on the next event.
To find more shops in Tempe, visit our full list of shopping options.