Let’s do the Time Warp: Vintage Shopping in Santiago

You, a vintage clothing hound, are in a massive cosmopolitan city searching through its scant selection of vintage stores. In your recycled clothing hunt, you also find that, in Santiago, there are a few extra hurdles to jump:

Conundrum 1: Clothes are piled knee-deep and with no semblance of order. You're instantly overwhelmed at your first whiff of that all-too-familiar musty old clothes smell.

Conundrum 2: The few clothes that are remotely wearable are simultaneously ill-fitting on your particularly curvaceous shape.

Conundrum 3: Ever since vintage became the new hot pink, the few treasures you do scrounge up are as expensive as in those high end, wannabe-vintage boutiques on Bellavista near Patronato. You could have just bypassed the whole rummaging process.

Santiago Chile Vintage Shopping
Photo by Ana Topoleanu

Conundrums aside, one visit to Bandera Street will leave you astounded at the abundance of stores, the array of sizes and options and low, low prices. You might even question whether you accidentally took a time machine back 20-something years to a street stuck in that era of feathered hair, spandex, bell bottoms and ponytail scrunchies.

Santiago Chile Vintage Shopping
Photo by Ana Topoleanu

That's a good thing, though, if you need a smashing new outfit for the Madonna: Sticky and Sweet concert--check out two nameless corner stores at the intersection of Bandera and San Pablo. They have glorious high-waisted, straight-legged jeans for CP$1,000 to $2,000 (US$1.50 to $3.00) per pair. Or, try out the golden puffy sleeved, sequined dress (which screams 1984) for CP$3,500.

To the blaring '80s tunes of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller," you can snag a high-waisted leopard print skirt for CP$2,000 at Orange Blue, a nectarine and navy blue shop at Bandera 530.

As a final stop, don’t miss Nostalgic at Bandera 271. You'll be overwhelmed--but in the best way possible--by the medley of dresses, from Little House on the Prairie-like dresses to modish black-and-white kimonos. A polyester Marcia Brady-esque dress for CP$5,000 will have you more than ready for a Brady Bunch reunion.

And, on the retro treasure trove of Bandera Street, it shouldn’t be hard to track down some groovy go-go boots to accompany whatever far-out outfit you forage.

The Vintage/retro section begins at the intersection of General Mackenna and Bandera, and continues south along Bandera to Agustinas. Nearest Metro: Puente Cal y Canto

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