I've rounded up some of my vacation outfits to share with you guys, along with some stuff I discovered to aid you in your shopping while there! I really loved getting to wear southwest-inspired vintage that looks a bit out of place in my home in Missouri. (Although that doesn't stop me from wearing them, make no mistake!) I also found a really great deal on this kid-sized Mexican tourist jacket, and I bought it special for the trip!
As far as shopping goes, here were my top favorite places:
Native American Arts Program at the Palace of the Governors
In front of this building, there is a program for Native artisans to display and sell their wares. I liked shopping here because there are regulations that require all items to be Native-made and made of precious metals and semiprecious stones. (Nearly everything being sold there is jewelry, although there are a few other small trinkets like magnets and hair clips.) You won't be sold fakes or knock offs. However, one of the sellers told us that the selling slots are given out by lottery each day, so if you see a piece you like, buy it. That seller may not be there the next day. You will also find it useful to bring cash because not all vendors have the ability to accept cards. (You'll also be able to negotiate lower prices with it.)
Vintage Trading Post
This was the only officially vintage store I found in the area, but be prepared for high prices. They have mostly older Western, Native, and Mexican pieces that are incredible as well as a smattering of some regular vintage pieces. I didn't buy anything there, though, as a 1930s silk, knee-length dress was priced at $300. If you have particular holy grail Western brands or pieces you're looking for, though, this may be a good place to check.
My best clothing purchases were found at a couple antique shops: Early Street Antiques and Flea Market @Valdes. Early Street is smaller and had racks of clothing and accessories (mostly 1930s and later) stuffed into a small room in the back. They gave me a bit of a discount as well. @Valdes is more of a typical antique mall and is larger. I found hats, clothing, and accessories scattered about, including a booth that had Edwardian corsets, 1920s silk stockings, a waist cincher, and antique pieces. (I had to refrain from breaking the bank, but it was DIFFICULT.)
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
This museum in nearby Albuquerque has a lovely shop with lots of Native-made pieces available including gorgeous pottery, jewelry, tourist items, and handmade clothing. The prices are fair for fine art, and you get a certificate of authenticity with art pieces. We bought a Hopi wedding vase here. (If you're looking at pottery, expect to spend at least $200.) The museum itself is really awesome too, and the food we got at the restaurant was to die for. SO GOOD. My mouth is watering thinking about it.
This famous store is right on the Plaza in Santa Fe. It has been around for several decades, and the selection is amazing! The store sells jewelry hand crafted by dozens of different artists. I especially loved how they are all traditionally-inspired, but each artist puts their own spin on the squash blossom and beaded aesthetics. Very pretty stuff, and you can expect to spend in the hundreds, for this is real jewelry made with real precious metals and stones.
Double Take Consignment Shop
This is a giant secondhand consignment store, and when I first walked in, I was underwhelmed. It looked like a big thrift store, nothing special. HOWEVER, all the good stuff is in the back! They have racks upon racks of vintage Western wear, Mexican skirts, jewelry, hats, boots, etc. The vintage section has a huge collection of bakelite for sale and some newer name brand vintage. The upstairs holds homewares and decor. It's a surprisingly good store for finding vintage! (They also have an online shop.)