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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

As a newly initiated college freshman at the University of Colorado Boulder, I’ve had enough time to create a typical routine for my day-to-day schedule. But no matter how often I glance around the classroom, the fashion never fails to take my breath away! I was born and raised in a small, predictable city in Louisiana, so the fashion scene wasn’t exactly intense. In the time I’ve been here, I feel like every day is a fashion show. Whether it be on my way to my 8 a.m., to the rec center, or going out, someone is always wearing the most Pinterest-worthy outfit I’ve ever seen. For weeks, the question has been floating around in my brain: “Where are they getting these clothes from?” If you’ve ever wondered about anything similar–and you’re a student at CU–you’re in luck! For this edition, I visited three vintage shops in downtown Boulder and curated a chic directory to navigate them. Welcome to the official style guide of the (self-appointed) most stylish person in Boulder! 

Before we get right into it, I want to preface that my style is…different. For lack of better wording, I say I look best in ugly clothes. Despite its negative connotations, from my fashionable perspective, the word ugly means to be misunderstood, and I embrace the ‘ugly’ aspects of my outfits. After years of trying out different looks and styles, I’ve learned I possess the superhuman ability to make every outfit I wear a statement. When it comes to clothes–ugly or not–I always make it work! My dad randomly described me as “eccentrically flamboyant” and to this day, that is the best description of myself and my fashion. 

Heady Bauer

The first stop on my journey to fashion fierceness was a vintage store called Heady Bauer. From the moment I walked in, I was graciously greeted by the employees and the beautiful, eclectic rugs that seemed to cover the walls. The first rack I saw contained patterned button-ups, colorful jumpsuits, and the softest flannel I’ve ever touched. As I wandered around the shop, overwhelmed by my happiness, I made my way to the stairs. Once I got to the second floor, I saw an open music lounge free for all customers to play. From an electric guitar to the maracas, they had every musical instrument I could name. I walked into this shop thinking it would only contain clothes, but to my delight, there was handmade jewelry, vintage books, and even decor. Back on the topic of clothes, as a girl with Southern blood, I was not naturally built for the Colorado winters, so I was searching for something cute and warm. After looking through nearly every piece of clothing, my eyes met with the most beautiful and ugliest sweater I’d ever witnessed. Suddenly, the lights dimmed and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” began to play. The only thing I could see was my sweater.

It was an orange, short-sleeved, button-up cardigan, tastefully decorated with multicolored embroidered fish and sequins. Not to be dramatic, but I think I screamed when I saw it. I knew I was only there to review the place, but I had to purchase the sweater to determine its credibility. Now, as I sit and write this in the comfort of my lovely fish cardigan, I can attest that it was the correct decision. Though Heady Bauer is a bit expensive, you do pay for the quality you receive. When I would ask an employee how much an item costs, they would always respond with the price and an immediate reason. Whether it was made of faux fur or something else that I can’t remember (whatever it was, it sounded expensive), each item placed onto a rack was hand-curated for shoppers of all shapes, sizes, and genders. Overall, this store is one that I could never forget, and next time I receive a paycheck,Heady Bauerwill be its main recipient.


The second stop on my quest was a store called Umba. Upon entering, I was struck with a ‘bohemian hammock-loving nature enthusiast ’ vibe. Similar to that of one of my favorite stores of all time:Earthbound. The clothing was comparable to Earthbound’s, as there were plenty of delicate flowy skirts, tight-fitting tops, and colorful flare pants. The garments seemed to be targeted at festival-goers and those who refer to themselves as ‘free spirits.’ Tie-dye and fringe encapsulated the store in the best way possible. 

Though this store felt a bit too familiar for me, my friend decided she couldn’t get enough of this style. She tried on several outfits, all of which fit her perfectly. The first one she tried on was a sage green jumpsuit with cutouts all along the backside. When I asked her how she felt about the outfit, she responded, “Like I’m ready to take a guided meditation class.” The second outfit was a teal-colored set consisting of a laced-up halter bralette and a pair of ruffled pants with a stunning slit on each leg. She stepped out of the dressing room and twirled like a careless fairy in the middle of a field. The last thing she tried on was a deep purple hooded v-neck dress. The fabric was so incredibly soft and light that my friend said it felt like she was barely wearing clothes. On its own, the dress was already phenomenal, but in combination with a similar colored belt, I would have bought it that second. Unfortunately, I did not purchase an item from this shop, but there is no doubt that I–and my friend, who seems obsessed– will be visitingUmba again.


The third and final stop on my claim to style supremacy was a highly recommended thrift shop called Apocalypse. As soon as I walked in, the sheer sight of the amount of clothes on each rack made me gasp. All the sections were filled with funky knitted tops, compelling animal prints, and two-piece sets for every possible customer. The first thing I saw was the clearance rack, and my hands magically happened to graze this fabulous black faux fur coat for a whopping ten dollars! It was bedazzled all along the sleeves with silver sparkly gems placed carefully on particular strands of fur. Alas, I did not take the coat home with me because I am a typical penniless college student, but if my dad is reading this, you know my Venmo!

I continued farther into the store, interacting with every brightly colored thing I saw. When I found the outerwear section, there were name-brand coats alongside hand-painted jackets. Amidst the variety, I spotted something miraculous. It was a multicolored 80s-style patchwork jacket decorated with hearts, stars, and cute little patterns. The jacket reminded me of something my grandmother would have worn, so instantly, I knew it belonged to me. I added the stunning button-up to my collection and kept moving towards the back. Finally, I made it to the holy grail of all thrift stores: the bottoms. At first, I was overstimulated because there were so many different options. To help quiet my brain, I ran my finger across all the bottoms until something in my soul told me to stop. My genius finger landed on a pair of bright green high-rise Arie flare leggings. Normally, when I go shopping, I find one or two gems (if I’m lucky) and call it quits, but today, the thrift gods blessed me. Immediately I grabbed the leggings, held them close to my heart, and kept searching. As I was beginning to think my time at this store was ending, I spotted the final addition to my cart. I grabbed the stunning orange maxi skirt, with white detailing all along the side, and just like my new leggings, held them tighter than a pair of shrunken jeans. After I had amassed enough clothes to give my mom a proper Facetime haul, I felt satisfied. Apocalypse has, without a doubt, earned the title of one of my favorite shops in Boulder.

Despite the negative charges to my bank account, I’d say it was a successful shopping day. Though these stores tended to be in a higher price range for someone of my stature, I would 100% recommend each one to anyone fashion-oriented. If you’re like me and you enjoy all types of clothes, those labeled as ‘ugly’ and the stereotypical beautiful ones too, tune in for the next edition of Style, Spice, & Everything Nice!

Maddie Spicer

CU Boulder '27

Maddie Spicer is a staff writer at the Her Campus Chapter at the University of Colorado at Boulder. As she joined in August 2023, her duties include researching and writing articles and features to be published. At the University of Colorado Boulder, she is a freshman majoring in Journalism with plans to minor in Graphic Design. She initiated her writing career in high school as a team writer for her school newspaper, The Yahoo!. In the two years she wrote for the paper, Maddie advanced from an entry-level writer to the Assistant Editor and public relations manager. In 2022, she was an attendant at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC) hosted at George Mason University. During this week-long program, she met students, faculty, and speakers from all over the United States, and Maddie recognized her fondness for journalism. Outside of school, Maddie is a relentless shopper and a self-titled fashion critic. She has established harmony between her passion for fashion and journalism through her articles: "Style, Spice, and Everything Nice." Maddie believes Taylor Swift and Megan Thee Stallion are her best friends and always has them on repeat. As an avid concert-goer, she devotes most of her finances to purchasing tickets of some variety. When Maddie is nowhere to be found, she is hanging out with her friends, eating chocolate chips, watching BoJack Horseman, or a strange yet typical combination of all three.