South Congress Shops
1522 S. Congress Ave., South Congress
While Allen's could be considered a bit touristy (you'll know it from the enormous red cowboy boot affixed to the front awning), there's nothing more fun than perusing their shelves, which are jam-packed with every style of boot imaginable. If you do decide to invest, they stock everything from shiny black Luccheses to Fryes with red leather and white stitching.
1400 S. Congress Ave., South Congress
ByGeorge opened in Austin 1979 but in 2015 the clothing and home store came under new ownership—it's now helmed by Austin restaurateur Larry McGuire (of Josephine House, among others). There are two locations in Austin: The Clarksville ByGeorge actually combines two shops next door to one another—a women's store and a men's store. On the women's side, you'll find designers like Chloé, Marni, Saint Laurent, and a good selection of bags and shoes; and on the men's, Brunello Cucinelli, Common Projects, and Levi's Vintage. The South Congress store carries clothing as well (A.P.C., FRAME, Outdoor Voices, Jenni Kayne, and more), but it's also known for its home goods and decor, furniture, ceramics, books, and great gift-y items.
1318 S. Congress Ave., South Congress
Just a stone’s throw from Hotel San Jose, the sprawling two-story Cove is a new kid on a much-loved block of South Congress. Here, University of Texas alum Rebecca Yanoff assembles a roster of brands “Austin women like to wear,” including Rebecca Taylor, Mara Hoffman, Sundry, and Current/Elliot in a light-filled setting accented with palm leaves. A highlight: there’s a wraparound patio with white mid-century Acapulco chairs so shoppers can socialize between fitting room deliberations.
1700B S. Congress Ave., South Congress
Along with Tex-Mex and live music, there's a big vintage scene in Austin. Aficionados will want to comb all of South Congress and South First Street, but if you're looking for a really great edit, go to Feathers. The shop, which has been open since 2005, is neatly organized, beautiful, and well-run (by two women, one of whom is a Texas native). It's worth a stop for vintage-virgins, too—the clothing and jewelry selection is very accessible, and there are always pieces here that are conveniently easy to work into an everyday, modern wardrobe.
1603 S. Congress Ave., South Congress
The Revival brand is considered one of the top hand-built motorcycle brands in the country, and they host an annual Handbuilt Motorcycle Show in Austin every spring. Their shop, which occupies a corner retail space at the South Congress Hotel with a spiral staircase and mezzanine overlooking the selection of bike-related product, from boots to helmets to gloves. Enthusiasts will drool over their museum-quality bikes, which they always have on display on the ground floor, but there are also plenty of cool graphic t-shirts and hipster accessories for non-riders.
1400 S. Congress Ave., South Congress
Service Menswear is a long-time tenant on South Congress, occupying their bright, clean-cut space for over a decade. Founder Kirk Haines' buy kind of epitomizes the straightforward, mildly hipster style that most Austin guys subscribe to, stocking Steven Alan shirts, Eastland boots, RVCA graphic tees, and plenty of Levis. He's also got a great selection of accessories (Steven Alan sunglasses, Nixon watches, Faribault blankets) and grooming products (Juniper Ridge, Marvis, etc.) to round things out.
South Congress Hotel, 1603 S. Congress Ave., South Congress
This sliver of a shop is right next door to tenoverten in the South Congress Hotel—which you'll realize, once you start sifting through the racks, is a bit dangerous. The owners are dedicated to young, independent designers, so you'll find a deep commitment to brands like Golondrina, Cypress Label, and Solid & Striped, plus a few fan favorites like Karen Walker and Assembly.
1602 Fortview Rd., South Lamar
Religious paraphernalia, old scientific posters, cowboy boots, turquoise jewelry, Mexican striped blankets, horseshoes, and a good amount of taxidermy, give this antique curiosity shop a particularly Southwestern feel. The seemingly endless, happenstance groupings and displays that line every nook and cranny of this quirky old shop mean you'll likely feel a bit lost.
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