In the midst of recession, saving money is trendy. Secondhand clothing stores have been on the rise in the Phoenix area to capitalize on this trend by making vintage both fashionable and affordable!
“I just see so many things,” said Nielsen, who gathers merchandise in the Phoenix area from dealers, estate sales and “just a lot of shopping.” Some notable pieces of her collection include poodle skirts, record players and birdcages.
Nielsen even has a book where customers can write down items they are looking for, and she will try to find them. It once took her two years to find a pink tape dispenser for a customer.
In three years of business, Nielsen has noticed that people have become more aware of quality and buying locally.
At Retro Ranch, an array of items means an array of prices. Nielsen carries “little bobbles” for $1 to occasionally pieces over $1,000, including a $1,200 wrap-around bar with six stools. However, most of her items fall into a $12 to $25 price range.
Co-owners Annamarie Sanchez and Sarah Bingham have been buying vintage clothing since they were kids. After years of collecting, Antique Sugar is their dream come true. It has been voted Best Vintage Clothing Store by the Phoenix New Times for the two years it has been open.
“We look for things that stand out to us,” Sanchez said. “Wearable stuff, but definitely avant-garde sort of costume things too.”
Sanchez and Bingham buy, sell and trade clothing from the 20s to the 80s at estate sales, thrift stores, flea markets and by traveling.
Most clothing ranges from $10 to $100, according to Bingham. Some of the store’s more expensive items include men’s suits ranging from $60 to $200, fur coats at about $100, and prom dresses from $150 to $300. Men’s pants, jackets and T-shirts and women’s dresses, shoes, shirts and scarves are less expensive on the store’s pricing scale. Antique Sugar is located at 724 W. Indian School Road in the back of Zinnia’s at Melrose.
The vintage store is open Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It can be reached at (607) 277-5765 or on Facebook.
“Probably 95 percent of it I thrift, mostly in state,” Powers said. “I sell vintage clothing so its pretty much anything that catches my eye.”
As an experienced thrifter, Powers looks for merchandise that’s at least 20 years old and pays close attention to fabrics, stitch and detail.
She considers her clothing to be reasonably priced with tops starting at $16 and dresses starting at $27. Sweaters range from $15 to $40, shirts at about $20, and men’s sports coats from $40 to $80.
LollyPOP Vintage is located at 4804 N. 7th Avenue and is open Thursday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Photo Credits: Audrey Weil and Clarissa Cooper