Costume Shops: A few of Austin's biggest thrift stores, some specialty shops, and a few stores that make costumes their specialty.
Goodwill on 183
The largest Goodwill in town and the best-stocked, with a wide assortment of clothing in a variety of tastes and styles--it is the place where bridesmaids' dresses go to die. A good array of strange stuff and brick-a-brack, enough to build a good costume, but as thrift stores go a little pricy. Best during the early fall (when they put the winter coats out) and near Halloween. Found a trenchcoat that changes color here. Good store hours--open 9-9 Monday through Saturday, and 11-7 Sunday. (8965 Research, a block or two south of Burnet)
Salvation Army on South Lamar (512)443-7565
Halfway decent thrift store, with more "normal" clothing than most. Best reason to go to this store is the large number of stores around it--Savers, Blackmail, Flashback are all nearby on Lamar, and the shopping center has two or three good vintage stores--check out "Let's Dish" and Big Bertha's Bargain Boutique (1142 S. Lamar)
Savers Thrift Stores
A large "thrift mall" with aisles and aisles of clothes, some eccentric stuff--much better prices than Salvation Army or Goodwill. Check the glass cabinets for neat old stuff--ancient Kodak cameras and other interesting bits. (4001 S. Lamar Blvd)
Thrift Town (512)445-7200
A great shop in and of itself (picked up a military trenchcoat here for $5.00, if it's been worn before I can't tell--JVW). Excellent prices and selection. Good for any modern costuming. If you're on a serious thrift store run, swing by Thrift Town, then go to the Goodwill in the same center, then head up to Stassney and catch Thriftland (512 W. Stassney, another large thrift store) and the Salvation Army on South Congress near St. Elmo. (5726 Manchaca Rd.)
A good retro store, worth visiting for the Austin Powers experience. (2407 S. Lamar)
A nice, if pricey, vintage shop. Small selection (the shop's about the same size as a large kitchen). Some period Victorian clothes. Blackmail's Unique Selling Proposition is that most of its merchandise is black. Mmm, black victorian dresses. Blackmail seems to have moved from its purity of purpose (they had a lot of modern shirts in the men's section, less unique vintage clothing, over the few times I've visited--JVW) (2040 S. Lamar)
I'd love a review of Hog Wild, E. North Loop, and Flipnotics, Barton Springs road.
Year Round Costume Shoppe (512)476-6900
Never actually been to this one, but have heard nothing but praise for it. A more complete review would be appreciated. (713 E 6th Old Pecan St.)
Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds (512)444-2002
In the SoCo shopping strip along with Uncommon Objects and a half-dozen vintage/junk/antique/retro/toy stores. Primarily a costume rental store, and their prices reflect this, but they've got a good selection of costume jewelry (some "period" stuff) and accessories as well, and if you're shopping for ideas, it's a good place to visit. Decent historical costuming section, an easy store to get lost in. (1506 S. Congress)