Third floor hide-away at The Blue Door. | Credit: Anika Duncan

In the past decade, demand for old and used goods has skyrocketed; some want to lessen their carbon footprint and move away from fast-fashion consumer culture, and others want to support small businesses and shop locally, most probably just want to look cool and have interesting things. And it is cool — wearing something vintage feels like donning a little piece of art, one that you’ll never see anywhere else. Filling your house with niche antique wares that you found yourself is gratifying in the age of new, new, and new again. Plus, let’s face it, things were better made “back in the day,” so they last a lot longer. 

Even if you’re not buying, taking time to meander through a vintage store is a treat in itself. Sometimes chaotic, always different, and ever-changing, these shops are a place to slow down and follow your fascinations. Luckily, Santa Barbara has no shortage of amazing vintage shopping, and some of the best are listed below.

Lazy Eye

The pleasing simpleness of the selection at Lazy Eye. | Credit: Anika Duncan

Right next to Old Town Coffee in Goleta lives the bright and airy Lazy Eye women’s and men’s vintage clothing shop. This recent addition is delightfully small and minimalistic, but there’s no loss of charm: Bright color-coded racks, bamboo furniture, and pothos plants make the store more bubbly boho than chic. There’s no need to spend hours sifting through racks of disorganized clothing at Lazy Eye; the inventory is small, but clearly picked with care, and you’ll be surprised by how many great pieces you find with ease. Even more surprising — they won’t break the bank (often the case with highly curated vintage stores), as most of the pieces are well under $100. There’s less of a focus on name brands than there is on age and uniqueness. The styles skew toward hippie — think ‘70s and ‘80s — so don’t be surprised if you walk away wearing clogs and a floral headscarf. (5879 Hollister Ave., Goleta;

If you’re itching for more retro clothing, try Punch Vintage (1223 State St.; [805] 770-3921).

The Blue Door

You didn’t realize you wanted a giant wooden swan until you saw it at The Blue Door. | Credit: Anika Duncan

A Funk Zone staple, the Blue Door gets its name from the large cerulean doors that mark the entrance. An asymmetrical layout, exposed brick, and a multitude of stories all contribute to an enchanting experience while meandering through this store. The ground floor holds mostly furniture, art, and other household decorations. If you’ve been salivating over mid-century-modern style like the rest of us, look no further: The Blue Door has it going on. Just make sure to keep your wits about you; the displays are put together so nicely that you may find yourself buying a set of dining table chairs for a dining room you don’t have. If you’re not ready to commit to a new couch, head upstairs to find makers’ wares and funky vintage clothes. Some say that the third floor of the Blue Door is one of the best hangout spots in town. (4 E. Yanonali St., [805] 364-5144;

Head to SBMidMod to truly relish in mid-century modern style (223 Anacapa St.; [805] 364-2447;

Faitell Attractions

A slice of cant-colored heaven at Faitell Attractions. | Credit: Anika Duncan

Faitell Attractions looks more like a modern art museum than a vintage store. Filled with bright and neon colors, groovy designs, and fun patterns, this shop offers up some serious eye candy. Right off of State Street, this shop is a great place to come to find interesting statement pieces outside of your comfort zone and draw inspiration from the eclectic design. A vibrant collection of women’s dresses fits right in with the rest of the store; Faitell Attractions isn’t afraid to have fun. If you have an event coming up, or simply love vintage clothes, book an appointment with their stylist and you’ll get access to the hidden room in the back that’s full of great finds. (127 W. Canon Perdido St.; [805] 770-3163)

Another beautifully designed store is Westward General, a beachy, western take on thoughtful curation (160 W. Alamar Ave.; [805] 869-6350;

S.B. Urban Flea Market

Whatever is happening here at S.B. Urban Flea Market, it’s good. | Credit: Anika Duncan

You’ll be surprised how many twists and turns you take at S.B. Urban Flea Market; the store is full of hideaways and little rooms to explore. Just when you think you’ve found every rack of leather jackets, another will appear. There’s no rhyme or reason to this store, and that’s a big part of the fun. It also makes it a great place to find gifts or trinkets; the variety here means there’s something for all tastes. Make your way to the back for the main clothing section, which boasts a plethora of items from different time periods, styles, and price points — acquired from various small vendors. Far more than just clothing, this indoor flea market houses jewelry, collectibles, paintings, and much more. (729 State St.; [805] 869-2008;

Antique Alley

Everything, everywhere, all at once, at Antique Alley. | Credit: Anika Duncan

If you’re looking for a classic antique store with minimal floor space and a million things to ponder, head to Antique Alley on State Street. Treasure hunting is the name of the game, and you’re bound to find a steal on something special, or at least have a good time pouring over the never-ending merchandise. There’s old Time magazines, random figurines, suspicious looking dolls, and everything in between. This is a great place for finding vintage decorations to adorn your walls and shelves on a budget. (706 State St., [805] 403-5678;

For an even larger collection of antiques, check out the Antique Center Mall (4434 Hollister Ave.; [805] 967-5700;

Mujeres Makers Market

The Mujeres Makers Market under the Santa Barbara sun. | Credit: Jun Starkey

To really go back in time, head to the Presidio on the third Sunday of the month, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported into a bustling old-western market. Vendors’ stalls sit in a courtyard atop dusty sand, backdropped by the white adobe walls of the Casa de la Guerra. There’s vintage clothing merchants, antique sellers, and a wide variety of makers’ and artists’ goods. Even if you’re not looking to spend, strolling through the Mujeres Makers Market is a great way to spend your Sunday afternoon. (123 E. Canon Perdido St., ■


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.