I love in person vintage shopping. It's thrilling, it's cheap, and you can brag about a thrift find in a way that would be gauche with a new item -- especially an expensive one. Also, it is environmentally responsible. But the opportunities for in-person thrift are often lacking where I live, and it requires leaving the house in this weather (well over 90F), which I refuse to do for non-work reasons. Thankfully, there's online shopping -- eBay comes to mind, but nothing beats vintage on Etsy.
It's not quite as thrifty as in person kind, but on the upside it doesn't require digging through poorly organized racks of itchy synthetics to find something perfect that doesn't quite fit, and trying to wriggle in or out of it a non air-conditioned dressing room (if there IS a dressing room). Instead, you can browse online, check the measurements and fabric content, and possibly score something awesome.
So here are some of my favorite vintage shops to browse. Disclaimer: I haven't bought something from all of them; most just have stuff I like.
1. RetroThings. A nice selection of vintage scarves, silk and otherwise, very well priced. I love scarves, and Retro Things has a well-edited selection of the bright and unusual ones.
2. Becky Drolen. Relatively new on my radar, but has a lovely collection of bags, shoes and clothes. Especially noteworthy are the classic full-skirted 50's dresses.
3. Jewel Box Treasures. This store is great for boots and bags. Everything is very well priced. There are also quite a few clothing pieces, as well as an interesting variety of housewares.
4. Artfunkles Vintage carries the fancier stuff, much of it designer and in great condition. A great place to find a mint vintage Valentino -- but priced accordingly.
5. Fancy Pants Vintage is in that happy territory where the pieces are not too expensive, but quite wonderful. Carries a great selection of unique and strong pieces -- including opera coats, 50's cocktail dresses and designer jackets.
6. Skin and Wood -- an excellent selection of shoes and bags. Priced from low to high, with plenty of great finds. There's a beautiful Coach bag there I just adore.
7. The Ruby Kitten offers a comprehensive selection of everything. A really good example of why browsing Etsy vintage outlets is such a pleasure -- everything is a joy to look at.
8. Tharp Stout. Mostly clothing, in a range of styles and sizes, with an occasional designer piece (including Ungaro).
9. Anne Marie Austin has a ton of vintage accessories and jewelry, as well as wonderful and weird items -- like 19th century kitchen scales, porcelain sculptures, and antique first communion books. All of it is very affordable, and this shop is very much like a real antiques store -- fun to poke around in, and full of surprising stuff.
10. And finally, not quite vintage but vintage-y, Soldering Sisters make a variety of charming necklaces -- mostly soldered silver pendants with a variety of antique images.
OK, this is all that comes to mind at the moment. Feel free to share your favorites in comments!