Thrifty Cities: The Best US Vintage Clothing Hot Spots


By Nasty Gal


At the start of the year, we often think of ways we can better ourselves, our lives and the world around us. For most, this usually entails some sort of resolution to save money. From eating out less (note to self: there’s food at home) to reviewing the ever-growing list of online subscription services, we all try to scramble for ways to repair some of the damage December has done to our bank accounts.

Nasty Gal started out in 2006 as a vintage reseller brand and a lot of our designs continue to pay homage to vintage style and eras. So, we’ve decided to discover the top vintage thrifting hotspots in the US. 


The Top 5 Thriftiest States

Ranking the US vintage thrifting hotspots, we looked at the search volume for popular thrift shops and the number of vintage stores within the most populated city of that state. So, which states are the biggest thrifters?


1. New York

1. New York

New York has come out as the thriftiest state in the US. From sight-seeing and walks in Central Park to watching a show on Broadway, New York has it all, including thrifting.

New York City is home to 239 thrift stores and over 11,606 (for every 100,000) New Yorkers searched for popular pre-owned clothing sites – so, it seems the Big Apple is also a fan of a big saving.

The Thrifty Hog, located in Manhattan is home to carefully curated vintage clothing, whilst providing jobs for homeless moms – a true must-visit.

2. Oregon

2. Oregon

Thanks to a huge 240 thrift stores in the most populated city, Portland, and over 1 in 10 people searching for popular thrift apps, Oregon takes silver in our ranking of the thriftiest cities.

Lovers of all things vintage can explore an abundance of pre-loved clothing stores in Portland. Our study found that Oregonian’s favorite fashion era is Y2K (the 2000s), so fans of the noughties trends are sure to find the perfect piece.

3. California

3. California

Californians seem to love a bargain, as the most populous city LA is home to a staggering 240 thrift stores.

Must-visit vintage stores include SquaresVille located on North Vermount Avenue, where you can not only discover statement pieces, you can also sell or trade items you already have!

The true beauty of thrifting in California? Not only will you stumble across ultra-stylish pieces and designer discounts, but some items may also even have been previously owned by a celeb…

4. Wyoming

4. Wyoming

Nearly 4/10 people in Wyoming searched for ‘eBay’ last year, the highest search volume of all 50 US states and Wyomingites were also the top searchers for ‘thrift shop’.

This love of pre-owned fashion and vintage eras is clear to see in most populated city, Cheyenne, as you can visit a number of thrift stores such as Plato’s Closet.

Priding themselves on affordable style, any lover of vintage and bargain clothing should take a trip.

5. Massachusetts

5. Massachusetts

The state may be small but they are mighty, as Massachusetts makes the top five when it comes to loving vintage.

Massachusetts had the fifth-highest average search volume for ‘thrift shop’ in our study, showing that The Bay State loves a pre-owned style steal.

Alongside 9,736 (out of every 100,000) searching for popular pre-owned clothing sites online. The most populated city, Boston, is home to 129 thrift stores – now that’s a whole lot of bargain-hunting to be had!

The Three Most Popular Vintage Eras


1. Y2K (2000s)

It may be hard to believe that the 2000s is now considered vintage, but the era of low-rise jeans, velour, crop tops and bold prints is America’s most popular trend. 21 US states have Y2K as their favored era. These statement looks are a blend of noughties pop-culture, alongside the optimism of a new century, allowing creativity to flourish. Shop Nasty Gal’s Y2K Outfits here.

2. 90s

The 90s was now over 30+ years ago (scary, we know), but the fashion trends are still as dominant as ever. Characterized by nylon, platforms, bright colors, and pairing tighter tops with bell-bottoms, this was the second most popular vintage era. The 90s was the favored style period for eight US states, including Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

3. 80s

It was acceptable in the 80s and it’s still acceptable now, particularly if you live in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana or Delaware. From shell suits and high-waisted jeans to spandex and neon, the 80s is a defining style era that continues to be popular today. Although, perhaps we should leave the leg warmers back where we found them…



Data collected was based on search volume for different thrift shops including Vinted, Depop, eBay, Vestiaire, and the search terms: ‘thrift stores’ and ‘vintage shops’. This allowed us to see which states were creating the most demand via search. We also looked at the number of thrift/vintage stores within the most populated city of each state. The ranking was out of 50 for each metric, combined to create an overall rank.  Search volume data has been calculated per 100,000 of the state’s population to ensure data is not skewed by larger populated states.