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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vintage, Retro, Thrifty: Great Old Clothes

I used to love my vintage clothing stores in Salt Lake City and in Boston.  It was Grunts and Postures in SLC that finally reduced my dependence on my mother's closet and encouraged me to expand my vintage clothing collecting to stores beyond the Salvation Army and Deseret Industries.  Funky, cool, vintage, retro, new -- it had it all, and even though I didn't have much money, I loved what I found and could afford.
Later I moved to Massachusetts, and I found and was directed by other vintage clothing wearers to a number of second-hand stores and vintage clothing stores (included the ever-famous Garment District) to fuel my love of the classic and off-beat looks.  When I relocated to Western MA, however, I had a harder time tracking down the right shops.  Until last Friday.

Roz's Place was perhaps the easiest to find.  Right on Bridge Street in Northampton (where all of these stores are located), it's someplace I walk by monthly, at least.  It has a funky collection for men and women with some new and some old.  The collection rotates seasonally, and right now there is a whole rack of plaid flannel and wool shirts and another whole rack of leather coats.  Of course, there is also a large selection of skirts and dresses and men's and women's shirts and pants and shoes.

But just around the corner on Market Street, nearly hidden behind some other stores, is Uncle Margaret's, a good place for dressy and casual (I found a lovely 50s dress for a wedding I'm attending).  Jewelry, slips, skirts, dresses, men's & women's shirts and pants, clutches and purses, hats, shoes, and even some books. 
No pictures inside the store (that's almost what the sign says).

A couple of storefronts further down Market Street is Retro Genie, recommended to me by the owner of Uncle Margaret's.  Larger than UM's, it carries clothes and accessories, as well as home decor, small furniture, and interesting items.  Unfortunately, most of the clothing of interest hangs from the ceiling, requiring the help of a sales assistant for looking, sizing, browsing, and definitely trying.  However, there were some fabulous pieces hanging up there, if you're willing to ask about them.
Pretty sure this place is dog-friendly, since one of the employees had her adorable young dog (wheaten terrier, I believe) and a customer also brought in a dog.

Sid Vintage I did not have the opportunity to visit.  The store has just relocated from Crafts Avenue onto Main Street and anticipates its grand reopening this month.  Looks like fun, though, and I'm looking forward to getting there.

Just remember -- most vintage & used clothing stores do not accept returns -- so be sure to study your clothing carefully before deciding to purchase.  Look for stains, holes, tears, broken buttons & zippers; smell the underarms for lingering odors; check seams and hems.  Some shops may be willing to bargain down a price if you find a problem they weren't aware of when pricing the item.

If you have another favourite vintage clothing store in the area that I didn't mention here, please leave a comment!  (I'd love to have another store to check out!)

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