This post is coming out way later than I’d planned because…life got in the way. But we still have this and one other post about our trip to Austin to both recap our trip and help out any of y’all that might be visiting Austin. Y’all is Southern/Texan for the plural version of “you”. In case you didn’t know. Anyway, we stayed at the Hotel San Jose is in South Congress, which is a really funky, cool spot south of downtown with great food and some really cool boutiques. Since we didn’t have a car and the weather couldn’t decide between rain or shine, we decided to spend our first full day together exploring the boutiques. I highly recommend that if you have the time, you should do the same. I’d also hit up Torchy’s Tacos for a delicious lunch to refuel because there are a LOT of shops on South Congress. You can read more on that in the Restaurants to Try in Austin post.
We tried to go into every store, even the really random ones, from bookstores to a butcher’s shop to try some deer jerky. The shops on South Congress have a really unique mix of antiques, vintage clothes, and then full on hipster stuff. Almost none of the shops were just one thing, and that’s really cool. Overall I think this was our most memorable day in Austin, just the two of us exploring the quirky stores, finding a lot of interesting antiques and clothes, even trying on some pieces we really liked. Here are five of our favorite shops from our day of exploring SoCo.
Where to Shop on Austin’s South Congress Avenue
I love this store. The aesthetic is perfection. And it knows it. You know what I mean? Where you walk into a store and it knows it’s just so cool but like low-key cool. Not in your face cool. At the register they had a little bar set up with beer and champagne. That’s how cool they are. And it kills me. Only because I wanted to buy everything in here. Including these amazing round chairs that Dan hates but I love. Plus a teeny weeny gorgeous red bikini. And all of the jeans and jean shorts. Designer, of course. But what I love even more is that it has men’s clothing, women’s clothing, and home decor and accessories, all together in one perfectly styled place. Relationship goals? Yeah…spending lots of money together on clothes and home decor is always fun.
2. The Gypsy Wagon
The Gypsy Wagon is like Anthropologie and Free People but Austin style. So basically the best store. They had so many cute products, including a ton of stuff from ban.do! I hadn’t seen ban.do products in person until this moment and when I did I knew I liked this place. They also had massive blow-up pool toys, a pineapple drink dispenser, and the coolest pom-pom lace up sandals I’ve ever seen. I’m not doing The Gypsy Wagon justice and I should have taken photos but it was our last stop and we were both hot and tired. This is the place to buy someone a gift. They had a ton of cute cards and stuff for besties.
3. Service Menswear
This store smelled like leather. Delicious leather. It’s a teeny tiny cute little shop that was jam-packed with quality menswear. We’re talking shirts, shoes, shorts, sport coats, jeans, and a whole lot of watches and shaving accoutrements. We only stopped in for a little while but this place set the tone for the other excellent menswear stores on South Congress.
Classy hipster skater chic is how I’d describe this place. Think sneakers, short sleeve button downs, and linen shorts for dudes. In fact this was probably Dan’s favorite store to just walk around and touch everything. And I can’t blame him, there were a lot of cuuuute pieces in there for dudes. And a couple pairs of joggers I wouldn’t mind owning myself. I recommend stopping in here for menswear. It’s a really cool spot.
Need a cool t-shirt? Go here. They had a ton of graphic t-shirts. Co-Star is an awesome mix of trendy, high quality menswear and womenswear in the front, but they have an amazing vintage section in back which is awesome and organized. While Dan joked about me wearing some seriously bedecked 80s dresses, which I find so fun, I loved their Chanel section. So much tweed. So many Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis vibes.
images via: By George South Congress Austin TX | photo by Adam Ottke, The Gypsy Wagon Austin, TX’s Facebook, Service Menswear, Stag, Co-Star