The Apparel of Days Gone By: Vintage Shopping in Austin
by Amal Agha
Austinites treasure vintage items because of their unique background and mysterious histories. From vintage furniture to apparel, more and more local business have started to collect and sell vintage items as they become part of Austin’s culture.
Guadalupe Drive, or “The Drag” as Austinites call it, houses several stores that sell vintage clothing, such as Cream Vintage, Buffalo Exchange, and Sonny's Vintage. These local businesses depend on wholesalers and buyers all across the States to send them unique styles from various decades.
“There are so many different time periods, that you can dress however you want,” Cream Vintage employee Dazy Victoria says. “Vintage is original, and it gives us more freedom.”
Vintage clothing stores carry all kinds of T-shirts, jeans, dress shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, and even lingerie. Some items they carry are new: school bags, beanies, and jewelry are more difficult for stores to receive as vintage. And vintage jewelry carries a high price tag, so businesses tend to stock new jewelry.
Because vintage clothing is so diverse, one can never predict the kind of person to walk into the store next. Anyone can shop vintage because most stores, like Cream Vintage, have an in-house seamstress to alter clothing to your own size. Not only do they alter clothing, they re-design. Vintage tees that come in are cut up and patched to create new and trendy shirts, scarves are made into shirts and dresses, and jeans are made into skirts. Even men’s pants are altered to create women’s capri dress pants.
The possibilities are endless but can be pricey. Because vintage is classic and not able to be manufactured, the price reflects the time-honored item. Band T-shirts range from $40 to $50, and re-designed tees start at $30. A small charge is added for alterations, but in the end you have a piece of clothing that you can say no one else owns.
And while you're in the market for vintage... how about designer second clothing as well? Our local favorite for second hand clothing: Second Time Around offers name brand ladies clothing at a fraction of the price and is Austin’s premier consignment fashion boutique since 1974. It is Austin's Gorgeous, barely worn couture, designer, and better label clothing store. Awesome shoes, handbags, and the most exquisite jewelry collection of any consignment store anywhere. This store is a treasure for women who want to look like a million, but don’t want to spend a billion! Visit their store on Burnet Road in Austin.