As soon as you touch down in the beautiful and chaotic metropolis that is Mexico City, you'll notice that its residents are impeccably dressed. From the sleek luxury of Polanco to the relaxed silhouettes and playful colors of Coyoacán, fashion here is anything but boring. Your itinerary probably already includes Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul (the "Blue House") and plenty of tacos, but exploring the city's incredible markets and vintage stores should be next on your list.
Over the past five years, sustainable fashion has exploded in Mexico. Alongside renowned local designers like Carla Fernández, secondhand shopping has emerged as an alternative to the fast fashion brands that previously dominated the market. Because of this shift, Mexico City is in the midst of a golden age of thrifting, and shoppers in the know can find incredible pieces at much lower prices than in the U.S. With this guide in your back pocket, you'll be flipping through the racks like a local in no time.
For starters, the best vintage and thrift stores are scattered around the chic neighborhood of Condesa and its slightly more bohemian (and affordable) sibling, Roma. With wide, tree-lined streets and Insta-worthy Art Deco buildings, this area of the city is an ideal base for checking out the city's coolest restaurants, boutiques and bars, too. Then, head downtown to visit the historic city center and La Ciudadela, a colorful market of artesanias and souvenirs, before hitting up the last couple of stores throughout the Mexican capital.
Located on a picturesque street in La Roma and surrounded by gorgeous early 20th-century townhouses, Vintage Hoe stocks a small but intriguing selection of affordable and unique pieces. You'll find everything from evening gowns to colorful culottes and denim basics that capture the city's eclectic style. A substantial range of shoes, jewelry and accessories, alongside a couple of vintage, handmade Mexican dresses, make the store one of the city's hidden pleasures.
Address: Jalapa 27, Roma
Rare find: A sparkly pink Betsey Johnson telephone purse.
Price range: $15-$130 U.S. dollars per item.
Vintrend is tiny, but it punches above its weight when it comes to value. Most items are priced below $10 and you'll find a couple of authentic vintage gems mixed in with last-season pieces. There's a great stock of patterned men's shirts and '80s bombers, as well as athletic gear and more feminine styles. Like Vintage Hoe, it's an easy walk from the Insurgentes metro station, so you can definitely hit both in an afternoon stroll around the Roma neighborhood.
Address: Calle Venecia 19, Roma
Rare find: A pair of hot pink parachute pants.
Price range: $3-$20 U.S. dollars per item.
Stepping down into Goodbye Folk is like entering a time portal to the '80s, as a wonderland of color and texture emerges in the basement-level store. Alongside authentic vintage pieces, you'll find sequined dresses, printed blouses and denim jackets that retain their old-school charm but have been updated to suit contemporary tastes. A huge array of high-quality, handmade leather boots and shoes at the back of the store will have you wishing you had more room in your suitcase.
Address: Córdoba 55, Roma
Rare find: A full-length kimono-style robe printed with navy blue antique maps.
Price range: $40-$150 U.S. dollars per item.
Void is the "It Girl" of Mexico City vintage; its vibe somehow manages to evoke both a hip nightclub and a museum. Curated across five rooms in a restored 1930s-era house in Condesa, its offerings range from Americana to up-and-coming designers to luxury brands like Chanel and Hermès (including a couple of Birkin bags). Even if the prices are a little outside your budget, it's definitely worth a visit to gawk at the collection and grab a coffee from the café in the back.
Address: Parral 5, Condesa
Rare find: A cropped suede jacket with fringe, made in Mexico and straight out of '60s western film.
Price range: $80-$2,000+ U.S. dollars per item.
Singular is the most centrally located store on this list, right next to Alameda Central Park and a couple of blocks from the historic center of the city. On the second floor of Barrio Alameda, a beautifully restored 1920s office building, you'll find a space packed with on-trend clothes and accessories. Here, the '90s dominates: ugly sweaters, ski jackets and maxi dresses galore. Upstairs, La Azotea is the perfect rooftop spot for a cocktail with stunning views of the city.
Address: Calle Dr Mora 9, Centro
Rare find: A navy blue top with tags, from Acapulco's glory days.
Price range: $15-$100 U.S. dollars per item.
Tianguis de Antigüedades de la Lagunilla
A tianguis, or open air market, is your best bet for pre-loved bargains in Mexico City. Vintage fans should head to La Lagunilla in particular, which only happens on Sundays and is not to be confused with the permanent covered market next to the La Lagunilla metro station.
With a history dating back 400 years, the market originally stocked only antiques and vintage but has evolved to encompass a huge selection of clothes, homewares and accessories. Whether you're after a fur coat or army surplus gear, you'll find it at La Lagunilla, plus some of the best street food in the city. Aim to arrive in the morning or be prepared for crowds of fellow shoppers.
Address: This one's off the grid, but you'll find it at the intersection of Avenida Paseo de la Reforma and Calle Ignacio Allende in El Centro. From there, the market stretches around the block, covering the streets of Libertad, González Bocanegra and Matamoros.
Rare find: Cheap Levi's (both bootleg and authentic).
Price range: $2-$50 U.S. dollars per item.