Does Alt-Wear Even Exist in Madison?

Ever pass by a cool alternative-dressed person on the street and wonder where in the heck in Madison can you find clothes just like them? Or interested in changing your look so you can stand out from the sea of Bucky merch and athleisure on campus? Well, I’m here to help introduce you to a few spots in Madison where you can piece together the alternative wardrobe of your dreams.


Ragstock should be your #1 go to. Located right on State Street, Ragstock is constantly updating their stock showcasing everything from basic pieces, loud and edgy tees, super cute dresses and skirts, vintage, and accessories! Make sure you check the basement for clearance!

Photo of Ragstock's storefront in Madison, WI
Ragstock is an amazing option for all your costuming needs too! [Source: TripAdvisor]

Hot Topic

If you’re willing to hop on the Metro to the East or West Towne Mall, Hot Topic will be there for you as the ever-consistent tried and true. Here you can find more edgy tees, anime and band merch, gothic and even “cottagecore” pieces. Don’t forget to check the jewelry spinners for the perfect accessories.

Interior of a Hot Topic store.
Hot Topic has something for almost any alternative fandom. [Source: Business Insider]


Here is where the search gets the most fun! There are a handful of thrift and resale shops in Madison that you can dig through to find those hidden treasures. Check out St. Vinny’s on Willy Street, ReThreads on State, or Plato’s Closet on the East or West side for some pre-loved pieces you won’t be able to find anywhere else. A quick Google search will return even more thrift shops in the area. Make a fun friends day out of thrifting and visit as many as you can!

Woman is looking at shoes in a thrift store.
I consider finding little treasures in thrift stores one of the finest parts of life. [Source: Best Things Wisconsin]

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