Best Resale for a Cause
Kathy Tran

If we're gonna hoard clothes and shop compulsively, we might as well make it count, and we can't think of a better cause to take our money than the Genesis Women's Center, which supports victims of domestic violence. The issue intensified during the pandemic, as abuse soared while families were stuck at home, and one place that can always be counted on (going on two decades) is the Dallas nonprofit. The store also has an incredibly tasteful selection of clothing, furniture, shoes and jewelry. Neighbors are clearly donating great items. It's a win all around.

Best Boot Shop
Xochitl Gonzalez/KathyTran

Boots are made for walking, stomping, riding and dominatrixing, and in North Texas, they're made for two-stepping. Whatever your agenda, you'll find the right fit at Lucchese. With three North Texas locations, the store will complete your Marlboro Man look, and you don't even have to take up smoking. Their high-end cowboy boots pair well with daisy dukes, dresses and your sass. The shops also sell luggage and leather candles to finish off your dream cowgirl aesthetic. Lucchese is also the maker behind the official boots for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the brand has collaborated on a line with country queen Kacey Musgraves.

Located next to Murray Street Coffee and just down the street from Dated Faded Worn, Add Vintage has a quirky selection of newer and cheaper vintage. Sequined shoulder pad jackets, silk robes, ratty tees, hunting camo, baggy, ripped and faded denim and so on. What the store lacks in size it makes up for in diversity. Plenty of finds are priced between $20 and $40 — shockingly low prices for a self-described vintage store in the shopping mecca that is Dallas.

Not just vintage, not just thrift, Crossroads Trading offers used clothes both old and new at moderate prices. Sift through the racks of pants and skirts for fun finds, but above all go for the jewelry. Located in display cases by the cash register are pairs upon pairs of gold and silver earrings — snakes, swords, birds, beads, oh my. Rings, too, abound, in many colors. What makes Crossroads so great is the diversity and price. Jewelry pieces perfect for hipsters, goths, granolas and businesspeople await, all at reasonable prices. Located on Main Street next door to Vidorra and across from Merit Coffee, Crossroads is also a perfect beginning or ending for any Deep Ellum excursion.

Best Place to Buy a Unicycle
Courtesy of Don Johle's Bike World

Maybe you're just looking to learn a unique skill. Maybe you're aiming to get something to do with your pals while you're all tipping back cold ones. Or perhaps you're actually hoping to launch a new career in the circus arts. Either way, Don Johle's Bike World has you covered when it comes to unicycles. Located just north of Dallas, in Garland, Don Johle's offers a variety of unicycles that will cost you anywhere between $119 and $279, depending on your tastes. They carry three models of unicycles, all of which are made by Sun Bicycles: the classic, the flat top classic and the flat top extreme.

Best Place to Buy Used Books
Kathy Tran

From The Joy of Gay Sex, to Collected Poems of T.S. Eliot, to Gravity's Rainbow, to Capital: Volume One, you can find any and every title at Lucky Dog Books. The seemingly umpteenth new location of Lucky Dog, which husband-and-wife co-owners John and Marquetta Tilton founded as Paperbacks Plus in Mesquite in 1974, the Garland Road store just keeps going — rooms of literary fiction and kid's books open off into rooms of genre fiction; halls of vinyl empty into more rooms of spiritual texts, history books and sex manuals. Lose yourself for hours in the stacks; if you're lucky, you might just find one of the many vintage books sprinkled among the volumes.

Best Vinyl Record Store
Kathy Tran

This is a colorful collector's oasis and crate-digger's dream come true that's also a fantastic spot for younger music fans and new collectors to hangout as well. Row after row of new releases and used vinyl, 45s, cassette tapes and compact discs, as well as turntables, slipmats, speakers, T-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers and more, make it easy to lose track of time at Josey Records. Opening in 2014 at 15,000 square feet, Josey Records has since expanded to 25,000 square feet of retail space making it the biggest record store in Texas and one of the largest in the U.S. Also, in a move that brought peace to many collectors, Josey's owners acquired Bill's Records online store and the contents of Bill Wisener's Lamar Street store after Wisener died in January 2020. If they don't have it in their bins, they promise to "make an honest effort to find it or special order it for you."

Best Shop to Get Metaphysical
Courtesy of Bewitched Denton

The past year has been tough on everyone, but luckily, it also saw the arrival of Denton's most enchanted boutique. Bewitched Denton is a metaphysical paradise where spiritually inclined North Texans can select books, jewelry, candles and sparkling crystals to ramp up their ritual game. Need to work on your tarot card-reading skills? No problem. Grab yourself a new deck and get rollin'. This is the perfect spot to buy a gift for your woo-woo friend, and you'll be supporting an LGBTQ+-friendly business when you do. Trust us when we say Bewitched Denton is the black cat's meow.

Best Horror Store
Danny Gallagher

Nestled in the darkest part of Bedford's Retro Plaza lies something horrible, macabre and awesome. The Horror Freak store houses one of the most most impressive collection of horror collectibles. Founder Eric Dallof has been collecting stuff that scares, creeps and chills humanity's nerves since he was a kid; the shop may not have the floorspace of a Spirit Halloween, but he's amassed a much cooler collection. Horror Freak offers new and used horror movies and shows on DVD, Blu-Ray, VHS and those giant, heavy, plastic laserdiscs. He's got every kind of collectibles a horror hound could want like ultra rare action figure of hometown horror hero Joe Bob Briggs, original horror art from local artists, prints of classic horror comics and just about anything your twisted mind can conjure. If you dare to venture to the back of the store, you'll find Dallof's impressive collection of horrific tchotchkes like preserved bat skeleton specimens. If it makes weaker men and women shut their eyes, chances are that Horror Freak has it.

Thrift store shopping is already addicting, but when a video game cartridge worth $10,000 pops up at one of them, you'll need heavy chains and a crane to pull us away from them. Alex Juarez, an e-commerce item processor for Goodwill North Central Texas, came across an ultra rare copy of the Atari 2600 game Air Raid in a donation bin and immediately recognized the valuable item as gamer gold. The game is a classic shoot 'em up but its T-shaped cartridge makes it more recognizable than Pac-Man. Goodwill put the item up for a special sale on its website and it sold for more than $10,500, which is still a bargain, as other copies have sold as much as $30,000 per cartridge. The cartridge's new owner is unknown but the money they used to purchase it went to a worthy cause that provides housing services for the disabled, job placement for the homeless and education opportunities for at-risk youth.

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