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Smaller Online Vintage Inspired Boutiques (Like ModCloth)

Recent ModCloth outfit that I LOVE.  I'm not saying DON'T shop there!!  Shop the shirt HERE and the skirt HERE!  (Both XS for measure.)

Timing is a very weird thing sometimes.  In early March I started to draft this post.  As a style blogger, I feel it's important to occasionally do non-outfit posts and promote shopping tips and showcase stores that one's readers may like but do not know about yet. I wanted to do a "Stores Like ModCloth" post years ago upon finding out it was a very popular Google search, but was still kind of novice when it came to quirky shopping online.  I sat with the idea for a while, forgot about it at times, and then in March of 2017 I finally decided it was time to do a post like this!

Well, then the storm broke within less than a week after I started this draft.  A friend posted this Jezebel story on my Facebook wall.  I had just pulled into my parking garage and immediately read the whole thing before getting out of my car to go inside as I was kind of blown away.  For those who have not heard, ModCloth was bought out by, which is a company owned by Walmart.  People are freaking out because Walmart has a less than stellar track record when it comes to multiple platforms of human rights and humanity in general, while ModCloth has marketed themselves to be a company that is pro-women and pro-every size is beautiful (both issues that Walmart have been destructive towards).  People are boycotting and are very angry.  I almost put this post out a week after the events, as intended, but I decided to sit with it a while, let things die down a tad, and then come back with a new intro.

At the bottom of this post, I do express my opinions on what happened.  They're murky, as I'm not proud of the merger but I'm also not partaking in a boycott just yet either.  I explain that at length at the end of this post if you are so inclined to read.  Otherwise, here is a list of stores that I love, have had success with when searching for items that have sold out in my size at ModCloth, and are comparable to ModCloth, all in it's original and intended glory (read: I'm just being educational and not telling anyone where or where not to shop).  I hope you enjoy!

Very Similar to ModCloth

Unique Vintage 
This store may be the most obvious to experienced vintage shoppers, but in case you're newer to online/vintage shopping this is the most similar store to ModCloth out there.  It differs somewhat in that some brands are carried that ModCloth no longer carries (like Bernie Dexter) and is more specific to vintage style clothing than the mix of vintage meets quirky that ModCloth embodies.  But they carry A LOT of the same stuff (specifically brands like Hell Bunny, Emily and Fin, Folter, Tatyana, etc) and even also have their own house brand.

Le Bomb Shop
This is an oldie but goodie, as to my knowledge they've been around for years.  If you are just starting to get a wardrobe started in the pinup/vintage style this a great resource for you.  There's tons of mid-century items and Le Bomb Shop probably has the best prices on the market.  To my knowledge, they don't carry too many (if any) big brands but they have great equivalents.  Though I haven't shopped there in a minute, I've always been impressed with the quality, so fear not at the lower price points!

Lovely in Lilac 
This is a newer store from only the past year or so.  Currently they mostly carry Folter/Retrolicious dresses/skirts alongside a few other brands, plus novelty items (hair bows, purses, etc).  When they contacted me in the fall of 2016 to do a collaboration I thought I died and went to heaven because they had a lot of pieces that I had wanted for forever and seemed sold out everywhere else!  This is definitely a must-check out store!

A Classic Paradise  
Formally named Shop VDM, this gem of a store seems to get better with age.  They used to have a lot of generic brand pinup staples along with a LOT of Hell Bunny, but now they have so many more brands in the fold, including gorgeous pieces from Bernie Dexter, Unique Vintage's house brand, and Retrospec'd.  

Doll Me Up Darling
This store carries a little bit of all coveted pinup brands.  I'd also dare to say this is best  store for sales from a smaller boutique.  There's frequent 15% site wide sales and occasionally bigger sales pop up for various selections on the site. shipping!  Bernie Dexter, Tatyana, Heart of Haute, and the Unique Vintage house brand are my favorite clothing brands on the site.  They also carry a lot of Deer Arrow brooches too, FYI!

Vintage Inspired + Gothic
ModCloth is home to a lot of skull prints, steam punk genre outfits, and tons of other goodies for the goth girl at heart.  Here is a selection where you can find similar outfits elsewhere.

Angry, Young, and Poor
I actually haven't shopped here yet, but I've perused it dozens upon dozens of times.  It's a punky clothing store with a lot of brands that they style is famous for and the site also has a music section.  Definitely worth checking out if that's your style!!

Vixens and Angels/Fashionation
Apologies as I'm a little unclear about the name!  This is a store based in Denver and their storefront says Fashionation, but their shop-able online site says Vixens and Angels.  Regardless, this is a great resource!  I can attest because I had been searching in vain for the above Folter dress for a year.  I found out via online that Fashionation had what I believed to be the last one in my size available anywhere (and on sale!) so I drove to the store and picked it up!  They carry most of the punk/goth brands you can think of, and bonus points if you're in Denver as the store is located just a little bit south of I-25 on Broadway!
Hot Topic  
I know, I am in my 30s and not an angry 16 year old walking high school hallways.  That said, the store Hot Topic has changed through the decades and while it's still punk/gothic leaning, they also carry a lot of rockabilly themed dresses from Hell Bunny and similar brands.  Depending on what you're searching for, this well known store may be the stone you forgot to uncover.  I have yet to shop there since I was, like, 22, but I have used this site as a resource many times while searching in vain for an item.  I've found the items I was looking for, but sadly not in my size, otherwise this blurb would also have an outfit photo attached!  But again, it is worth checking out!

International Stores

I recently shopped here over the holidays to get some new Retrolicious dresses on sale.  Retroglam is a Canadian store, but shipping to the US isn't bad, especially if you get stuff on sale.  Bernie Dexter and Trashy Diva are also carried here, which is amazing as those brands are not always stocked in boutiques.

Tiger Milly
Tiger Milly is a UK store and I recently had amazing luck tracking down this safari Hell Bunny dress!  There's tons upon tons of brands and countless selections, so this is a great resource for finding what you're looking for!
Thunder Egg 
I was desperate to find the swimmers Emily and Fin print in the Hannah dress after it sold out and I somehow stumbled upon this site.  Now I check it regularly.  They carry Emily and Fin dresses (my new obsession) as well as a ton of quirky brands that I'm starting to educate myself about.  They also have a great brooch selection, and one of my favorite brands for necklaces: Punky Pins.  Based out of the UK, this is simultaneously both a great store to check for things out of stock elsewhere and discover new fun items and brands.

WHAT STORES DID I MISS??  There were a few others I wanted to include but they only fit in a "I haven't tried them yet" category so I opted to not include them, despite my awareness of them.  But if I missed a goodie that you're super familiar with, please sound off in the comments!

About That ModCloth Buyout... Honestly, like everyone else, I'm shocked.  Not only that they were having money troubles enough to be bought out, but because they were bought out by a company that seemed to be their polar opposite.  Cards on the table: I am socially very liberal, so I have a number of issues with the ethics behind the Walmart corporation.   But I think boycotting can be a complicated issue, and I'll explain why in this instance I'm just not on board with doing so (yet?). 

I always attempt to see all sides of the issue.  I'm stuck slightly, because I honestly don't know what walls ModCloth was backed up against.  Business is very complicated.  I'm disappointed in the choice to sell to a company that does not seem to represent the MO of the company, but I don't know what other choices were available either.  It sucks that money from ModCloth purchases are going to a less than stellar corporation in regards to human rights, and not only is that not lost on me but I don't blame people for walking away.  I'm not judging ANYONE in this equation.  That said, I believe it has yet to be written how visible ModCloth will continue to be with their body positive campaigns and general advocacy for feminism.  If that goes away, well, yeah, I will likely change my tune.  It's possible that by ModCloth "making a deal with the devil" that they will have more resources to spread their mission.  Remember recording artist, Moby?  I saw an interview with him in the early 2000s saying that car brands kept hounding him to license out his songs for car commercials, which he was initially against because he is an environmentalist and the car brands approaching him he believed to not be green friendly.  But then he gave it a second thought and realized that he could take the big bucks from licensing his songs and donate them to causes he found worthy and even helped with pollution.  I don't know if ModCloth has the same intent, nor am I pretending to know what will happen.  But it is something to think about.  Objects in mirrors aren't always what they seem, I suppose.  I read most of Susan Gregg Koger's tweets and Instagram message threads, and from I can deduce, ModCloth owners did not get rich off of the deal.  It seems like the buyout kept the company afloat and prevented more people from losing their jobs.  And perhaps by getting to keep the company they will find a way to bounce back and promote causes they believe in?  Right or wrong, agree or disagree, I think ModCloth was in-between a rock and a hard place, and likely were going to lose in some respect either way.

The world is very complicated.  I'm not trying to glorify a weird and very possibly bad business decision as much as I'm pointing out that most things aren't black and white.  I strive to pragmatic and not let emotions cloud my logic.  Again, I'm less than thrilled about this buyout.  Between this and how atrocious the new website is plus how customer service has been slipping for a year or two, this is a bit of a third strike for me.  But I'm allowing at least a fourth strike to possibly happening before calling it.  Why?  Well for one, ModCloth is the biggest factor in what inspired me to be a blogger and was a total gateway drug to what my personal style has become.  That counts for something, and I'm not the only one to say that (check out my friend Lindsey's post to read a similar sentiment in a similar post).  Also, ModCloth has been really kind to me.  I was asked to host the ModCloth IRL event in Denver last August and I was also asked to write a blog post about Denver for ModCloth's blog in the weeks leading up to the event.  That also counts for something.  And, I met a lot of wonderful ladies who work for ModCloth during the opening weekend festivities and I am a fan of theirs.  Their jobs were at stake if ModCloth did not sell and their jobs are still at stake if ModCloth fails.  That also counts for something.  ModCloth may be at three strikes but they've also earned 3 home runs by my count, so the game is far from over.  At least, for me.

Again, I am not judging anyone who is done with ModCloth nor am I telling you which way to swing.  I just wanted to point out that I see a lot of grey matter and I'm going to hold my breath for until it's very clear where the cards fall.  This is just my two cents.  To each their own!  I hope everyone is having a lovely week!  

~Lauren-Blair Donovan



  1. Such cute outfits dear!



  2. You look amazing in all of these outfits Lauren!

  3. I like hearing your take on the Modcloth buy out. I was definitely taken aback when I first heard the news a while ago though not as upset as many of their fans. It was kind of neutral territory for me as I do actually already shop at Walmart and my spending at Modcloth had already gone way down. For me they where already losing me because their shipping is soooooo slow, most of the time I placed orders I'd end up with sold out notifications, and it just seemed in general their style was changing to match what the popular in fashion mainstream big shop stores were carrying. I do still keep an eye out on their website every now and then but it just seems like their style changed. Love reading your list of alternative places to shop though! It's always great to have more options. Some of these places are one's I've shopped at before and some are totally new to me. Angry young and poor is awesome! And Retro glam is one of my favorites!


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