la chua
Photo of: La Chua vintage

Looking for a one-of-a-kind graphic tee or your next go-to jean jacket? Finding reasonably priced yet stylish everyday looks for the average college student on a budget is easier than ever. Prove you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to stay on top of your fashion game by going on a shopping spree at these unique stores that will make you rethink taking a trip to The Oaks Mall.  

La Chua Vintage

A small, curated vintage shop rooted with an Old Florida mentality, La Chua Vintage draws inspiration from Florida’s natural environment and handmade, worn-out goods to give guests the sense of traveling back in time to a more organic, traditional Florida lifestyle. Jars of seashells, old suitcases and antique maps of the state of Florida are placed around the store ⎯ it’s like walking through a traveler’s studio. Shop owner, Sabrina Kaar, 33, is constantly on the hunt for a treasure-trove of valuables that will add quality and aesthetically pleasing style to La Chua Vintage. Kaar often travels to Georgia, North Carolina and South Florida to handpick items that she can’t find in Gainesville.

We were blown away by the wide selection of vibrant dresses ranging from casual maxis to sundresses. Kaar will be moving to a new space, located at 2031 NW Sixth St., with Zorka Rose, a store for vintage home décor, and Brave Space Design, specializing in Timber Line jewelry. The new shop, Auk Market, will have its grand opening Nov. 1. Kaar encourages customers to “allow yourself to step outside your comfort zone and try something on and don’t worry about what other people think about it. If you love it and you feel good in it then that’s all that matters.”

La Chua Vintage is currently located at 2029 NW Sixth St.

Future Perfeckt Vintage

Filled with iconic brands and known for best-seller denim like Calvin Klein, Guess, Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger and Gap, Future Perfeckt Vintage should be your next stop if you’re on the hunt for affordable, 90s inspired jeans that are customized specifically to give that distressed, grunge look. Ripped jean shorts, jeans, denim jackets, overalls and vests? It’s basically a denim lover’s paradise that’s only a few minutes away from campus. Other great products include handmade beaded bracelets, moonstone rings, graphic tees and vintage bomber jackets. The store itself is pleasantly inviting with its pale pink walls, pop artwork and vast windows. Customers are immediately welcomed by a friendly smile and great customer service. Prices for denim range from $15 to $20.

Future Perfeckt Vintage is located at 1001 NW Fifth Ave.

Urban Thread

If you’re searching for name-brand clothing like Urban Outfitters, Free People and Anthropologie, then Urban Thread is your next destination. Urban Thread offers popular brands and recycled vintage clothing at discounted prices. Vintage shopping can be stressful since some stores are so jam-packed with items that it makes the shopping experience overwhelming. Urban Thread stands out because the shop organizes all the racks by brand and size so customers can easily rummage through the sections with ease. Some areas are even color coordinated. Wooden shelves containing Supergas, Nike sneakers, colorful wedges and edgy booties decorate the light green concrete walls while a simple chandelier in the center adds atmospheric lighting. Clothing items range from cocktail dresses to statement skirts and classic blouses.

Urban Thread’s two locations in Gainesville are 1236 NW 21st Ave. and 802 W. University Ave.     

Flashbacks Recycled Fashions Inc.

After graduating from UF with a finance degree, Steve Nichtberger opened Flashbacks Recycled

Fashions Inc. in 1986 because he wanted to create a place where people could have fun while shopping and create lifelong connections with fellow customers. A hip store filled with style and character, Flashbacks is the place to go if you’re looking for retro and vintage furniture, artwork, clothing and antiques. The store has a unique system when it comes to the layout, but Flashbacks’ employees are eager to help shoppers with any questions. Half the fun at Flashbacks is just spending time browsing through the stands, whether it’s jewelry or collectable toys. Nichtberger cares deeply for his customers. “I have always realized that what I’m doing is going to make a lot of people who don’t have a whole lot of money able to get by,” Nichtberger said.

Flashbacks is located at 818 W. University Ave.