One person’s junk is another person’s treasure, right? In Providence, Rhode Island, a place known for its energy and originality, it’s unsurprising that the city’s ‘junk’ is often trendy and in great condition.
This is especially true of the city’s many resale and vintage shops, which can dazzle with pre-loved wares that could always use more love. Here are five vintage shops around town worth perusing.
Two-hundred-plus dealers pack the three floors of this impressive store. Located in the ever youthful and active Fox Point neighborhood, the shop boasts antiques and collectibles in pretty much every category imaginable. Clothing, jewelry or accessories? They have it. Comic books, art, and irresistibly unique bric-a-brac? Yes, they’re here too. Glassware, china and furniture? Of course! Whatever your shopping vice, anticipate to spend a sizable chunk of time here browsing. Once you’re satisfied looking into the past, try looking into the future by booking a tarot or astrological reading.
236 Wickenden Street
The Vault Collective
Providence’s denizens tend to be hip and well-dressed, and the quality of local resale shops reflects this poshness. Take The Vault Collective, which showcases vintage clothing and accessories from 11 vendors in a large, bright storefront downtown. Women’s clothing comprises the bulk of product here, and there’s a smaller section with men’s clothing as well. Available styles sprint across the decades, from comfy sweaters with bright ‘80s palettes to bohemian chic a la ‘60s counterculture. The Vault Collective is within a five minutes’ walk of Kennedy Plaza, Providence’s bus hub, as well as Providence Place, making it perfect for some additional post-mall shopping.
235 Westminster Street
White Buffalo sells a mix of vintage, crafty, and handmade goods. The shop is located up the street from Rocket to Mars, making it easy to visit both on a pleasant stroll down Broadway. There’s always a stimulating mix of artisan oddities here. Especially attractive are the old scientific illustrations and maps, which make for elegant and timeless art on one’s walls. Many of the items are new and not secondhand, but there’s definitely a classic vibe to the store’s offerings. You’re likely to find thoughtful, unexpected gifts here —for someone else or yourself.
Togs on Brook
Another store in Fox Point, online reviews for Togs on Brook suggest affordable pricing, a wide selection, and a generally well-maintained, clean store. This consignment store says it accepts only “durable, seasonal and trendy clothes,” meaning you won’t endure the endless thumbing through racks that’s typical of more corporate thrift stores. Brands obviously vary, but the store generally accepts known, popular names like Guess, Calvin Klein, Nike or Lacoste. People of all genders should be able to find something here. As for clothes that never catches anyone’s eye, the store donates them to charity after sixty days!
117 Brook Street
Rocket to Mars
Frequent travelers of Providence’s Broadway will likely be familiar with Rocket to Mars. This vintage shop sports captivating, unmissable window displays that speak to its fun inventory. Past customers have noted that prices vary and can run slightly high. You’ll find, however, that the items here are of exceptional quality —the kind of finds you’d have to dig for at a lesser thrift store. The shop is beautifully curated and aesthetically pleasing, sure to appeal to lovers of all things kitsch. The furniture and knickknacks are both notable categories. As for location, Rocket to Mars is a five-minute drive from downtown Providence, and within walking distance of Federal Hill.
By Alexander Castro