by Allegra Dimperio, Fashion Editor
“It’s vintage.” Those words can strike awe and envy in the heart of any inquiring soul. Vintage garments, when done correctly, do it all: they are timeless while being innovative, style-savvy while unique, and best of all, essentially one of a kind without the price tag of a tailor. Whether it’s a celeb wearing vintage haute couture or that girl in your Anthro class that rocks her mom’s sweaters, there is something about those that sport garments with history that gives fashionistas pause.
But that is only if done correctly. Unfortunately for all, not all vintage clothing is created equal, and finding pieces in the amazing category takes time, effort, and a certain amount of skill. There are no vintage clothing malls, and given the varied sizing among items, online vintage can be a gamble. So what’s a would-be vintageer in Madison to do?
The answer is put on your digging gloves. The vintage clothing scene in Madison couldn’t be described as optimal, and those on the quest for the perfect piece may have to use a bit of creativity to find it. Vintage seekers must turn to consignment stores, resale shops, and thrift stores. Luckily, Madison is in no short supply of places to look.
When searching for a vintage piece, a good place to start is the Good Style Shop at 402 E. Washington. While small, the store has a surprisingly diverse selection of high-quality vintage clothing and accessories for both men and women. While inventory changes frequently, you can always count on a variety of vintage tees and dresses. Prices vary from easily affordable to moderate (between $24 and $56 for a dress, for example), but for most, it is well worth it to spend a little more on a one-of-a-kind piece. The resale shop is not just for clothing, however, and shoppers can check out its selection of vinyl and cassettes. The Good Style Shop is open Tuesday – Friday from 12-6, Saturday from 11-6, and Sunday from 12-5.
If the Good Style Shop is just a little too hipster for you, ReThreads, at 410 State Street, offers some vintage pieces in a more low-key setting. Not specifically a vintage shop, ReThreads buys and sells clothing from whomever comes in. As a result, the store stocks mostly used contemporary clothing (think Abercrombie and Free People), but the occasional vintage piece makes its way on their racks. The shop stocks both men’s and women’s fashions, along with a selection of shoes and accessories. ReThreads is open Monday – Saturday from 10-7 and Sunday from 11-6.
Off campus, The Pink Poodle (6017 Odana Road) also offers a selection of both contemporary and vintage goods, but the store is decidedly more upscale than its on-campus counterparts. With vintage décor and furnishings (which they also sell), the shop is chock full of well-presented clothing, shoes, and accessories. Used designer clothing of all kinds fills the racks alongside vintage pieces such as hats, dresses, and coats. The clothing is beautiful, but the prices are a tad high. For the budget-conscious, the jewelry counter offers fun vintage pieces at much easier to swallow price tags. The Pink Poodle is open Monday-Saturday from 10-6 and Sunday from 12-5.
For vintageers looking for a bargain price who enjoy the thrill of the hunt, thrift stores are the way to go. With three Goodwills, two Savers, three Saint Vincent de Pauls and two Hospice Care Thrift Centers in Madison, shoppers likely have more options than they have time to explore them. However, if there is only enough time for one, the Saint Vincent de Paul at 1309 Williamson Street is the one to visit. The colorful store has arguably the best selection of used clothing in Madison for the price, and while finding a pristine vintage piece is not guaranteed, there is always something you simply can’t live without.
In Madison, the search for the perfect vintage piece can be a long one. But life is about the journey, and exploring the shops Madison has to offer can be fun in itself. If the above shops don’t do it for you, Ragstock at 327 State Street, Shoo at 109 State Street, and Lady Moxie at 6706 Odana Road also have selections of vintage clothing.
featured image from examiner.com