Dress Like A Rockstar: Hidden Gems In The QC To Elevate Your Fashion Game - The Echo

With Alternating Currents in one week, it’s time to lock down what awesome looks you’re going to wear! And what better opportunity is there than a major local festival featuring the Quad Cities’ finest to go find the best hidden gem thrift and boutique shops in the QC to elevate your fashion game? Everyone secretly (or not-so-secretly) wishes to dress like a rockstar, so I stepped out with BTDT  (Formerly Been There Done That) on a tour of local thrift shops and boutiques to see what QC rockstars wear! Come with us to help you find the best local shopping spot to create YOUR Alternating Currents style!

1. Trash Can Annie

Downtown Davenport, Iowa

“Oh Ava CANNOT see this, she’ll have to buy it”, says Izzy, laughing and hiding a gorgeous hand-beaded Stevie Nicks-esque shawl back in the rack.

“SHOW ME”, says Ava, before promptly falling completely in love and buying said shawl.

Trash Can Annie on 2nd street in downtown Davenport is more than just a store… It’s an experience. The music and decor is fun, lively, and obviously vintage, and it shares a space with Ragged Records making it an awesome place for a musically-oriented fashionista! With a full section each of mens, womens, and childrens clothing, a stunning selection of incredible accessories, and a multitude of styles stretching at least a century, you WILL find something to make your unique look really shine. Laura, the owner, is a stylist in addition to running Trash Can Annie, and she very clearly knows what she’s doing, and loves it. She is available either when she is in-store, or by appointment, to personally measure customers and help them find their dream outfit. Carson, Ava, and Izzy each got measured and Laura picked out pieces to fit their size and her take on their personal styles! 

Laura showing us her table of selections for each of the band members.

Trash Can Annie works with bands and performers frequently, and even keeps a book on file of the sizes and personal preferences of any customer who would be interested in her putting aside future finds for them when she comes across garments in their size and style. This store can be on the pricier side depending on what you’re looking to wear, because the store’s selection includes a lot of really lovely and high-quality vintage clothes, but keep an eye out for clothing with a high heel punched out of the tag, because there are some amazing sales! 

Carson being styled by Laura.

2. abernathy’s

Downtown Davenport, Iowa

The girls were discussing whether or not Izzy could have a display of a small creature’s skeleton (sold at Abernathy’s) in their living space when the two rockstars become roommates.

Part quirky boutique, part vintage thrift store, Abernathy’s on W 3rd St. in Downtown Davenport is a hella-cool place to shop. The content of the front of the store has boutique clothing and accessories that mix colorful, unexpected prints with vintage sillouettes, stylish jewelry with fandom and pop culture references, and an overall vibe of silliness that trends toward gothic. In the back, there are racks of genuine vintage clothes with items like 50s housedresses, cool jackets, even old wedding dresses! My favorite in the vintage section was their rack of pinup outfits. Tell me an “I-probably-killed-my-husband” silky pinup negligee wouldn’t be an amazing addition to a performance look for a jazzy lead singer. 

Ava amongst the miscellany of funky patterns.

Carson looking to add to his already mostly-teeshirt wardrobe.

Izzy showing off a gorgeous headscarf she is about to buy.

Just as their wall sign and stickers say, Abernathy’s is a great place to get a little “weird”, whether you’re looking for alien abduction earrings, a fruit salad dress, funny printed tees, or real bones to incorporate into your look… however you see fit to do that. This place is Rockstar Approved.

3. Wind Dancer Boutique

Village of East Davenport, Iowa

The Wind Dancer Boutique is tucked in to the Village of East Davenport right next to 11th Street Precinct Bar & Grill, and has a great vibe in addition to a wonderful mission. As we explored the shop we found a bohemian, free-flowing style present in the hand-made jewelry and clothing. Every article of clothing you could imagine is tie-dyed, beaded, woven, or some combination of all three. The loose and relaxed sillouettes found in especially the floor-length skirts, flowy pants, and comfortable boho tops seems like a perfect fit for a musician who takes inspiration from nature, a variety of cultures, and the elements in ways you might not expect. Because that’s exactly what these clothes and accessories do!

According to the sign inside the store, Wind Dancer was founded to honor the passing of Julie “Wind” Anne Kazmierski, the goal being to create a space of healing for Julie’s family and her community, and to “give back to others in the same way she gave to the world.” 2% of all of the boutique’s profits are donated to Family Resources Survivor Services, making it a place where you can not only find and express yourself and your style, but also a place to have a positive impact on the people of our community! 

Though the purpose of our visit was fashion for local musicians, we found more for musicians than we bargained for, as Wind Dancer also had some cool instruments! One such instrument was a rain stick, which BTDT drummer, Carson, was fiddling with, ever the percussionist.

“Have you ever seen a rain drum?”, Carson asked.

Bassist Izzy jumped in- “No, rain doesn’t have hands.”

Two thirds of the band members present on the shopping trip would like the reader to know no one laughed.


4. Fred & Ethel’s

rock island, Illinois

Laila (the author) checking out the rack of vintage pink fashion in the Barbie display at the front of the store.

A shop that exudes its style and charm from the inside out, top to bottom, is Fred & Ethel’s on 30th street in Rock Island. The 1950s sparkle and quirk is apparent from the front window (which had an adorable vintage Barbie display in honor of the recent Barbie movie) and follows you through your shopping experience. To say the store is packed is an understatement- I am confident that whatever you need to complete your look, Fred & Ethel’s has it, even if you have to look behind or under things to find it. Fabulous fur coats, jewelry ranging from simple and classic to flamboyant and odd, a whole corner of military and work uniforms, tons of gloves and hats, and racks of cool feminine and masculine outfits from all over the scale of both time and fashion on floor-to-ceiling racks… They’ve got it all. 

The owner, Jennifer, was great to chat with and had a wealth of information and enthusiasm! As I inquired about the store and explored the variety of style options, she quipped “I get to shop for a living!” and said she “gets things here, there, and everywhere.” The variety makes for a good spot for any musician to shop for their personal performance look, as Rockstars, like this store, cannot be contained. 

Fred & Ethel’s has worked with local artists on an individual basis to find specific fashion pieces for their performances and projects! Just recently, Jennifer helped find particular suits for performers in the opening of Davenport’s Capitol Theatre! It’s great to know that if you have a Rockstar dream-look in your imagination, there is DEFINITELY a cool Quad Cities stylist who can help you make it happen, even if the items you need aren’t already in their stores.

5. honorable mentions

We didn’t make it to all of the cool and interesting places for rockstars to shop in the QC (an impossible task, the QC is FULL of cool and interesting places), so here’s a rapid fire round of a few more on our list that we think you should check out, even if we didn’t get a chance to stop in this time around:

Arsenal Attic in Rock Island, Illinois – A thrift shop on the Rock Island Arsenal which raises money for Community Grants in the Quad Cities and provides scholarships for family members associated with the Rock Island Arsenal!

Sourced Boutique in Davenport, Iowa – A boutique in the village that specializes in a style that would be perfect for a midwestern musician with style and sass!

Sassy Seconds in Moline, Illinois – A little local consignment store on the Avenue where you never know what you might find!

Iron & Grain Boutiques in East Moline, Illinois – Home to multiple local boutiques (over 20 than you can shop from in this single location) with a variety of options!

Check these local spots out and enjoy finding your style, supporting your community, and of course- Enjoy Alternating Currents! Remember to tag #theechoqc in your music moments and festival fashion on Facebook and Instagram!



Trash Can Annie:

Instagram | Facebook | Website



Instagram | Facebook | Website


Wind Dancer Boutique:

Instagram | Facebook | Website


Fred & Ethel’s:

Instagram | Facebook 


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