Posts tagged Ragstock
By Laura Ulak
Most costumers have some experience in thrifting costume pieces at local Goodwill stores, Savers and other thrift stores that specialize not only in clothing, but in household goods as well. There is, however, another option: vintage clothing stores.
Although there is the perception that vintage clothing stores are more expensive than thrift stores, this is not necessarily true. The stores tend to run the gamut from just above garage sale pricing to expensive retail pricing. Vintage clothing stores also have something that a lot of thrift stores do not: new specialty items such as reproduction undergarments and top hats. Vintage stores also are usually clothing and accessory specific – no housewares.
Vintage stores are usually small and exclusive in nature, with carefully chosen items that are free of rips, stains or tears and fit within the store’s specialty eras. Because of their exclusivity, they often are not open late, and many are closed on Mondays.
Below you will find a short review of some area vintage shops and what you can expect to find there, as well as pricing guidelines. All of the shops cater to both men and women unless specifically stated.
MNSOC recommends Treasured Garment Restoration for cleaning your vintage items. Please share in the comments section any of your experiences with vintage shopping.
RAGSTOCK $ (various locations to include Lake & Hennepin and the Mall of America)
Ragstock is at the low end of cost for vintage shopping. Their idea of vintage also only goes back about 20 years. The earliest clothing you are likely to find these days is the occasional 70′s item labeled as “bohemian.” The days of Russian military uniforms and other such garments is pretty much over at Ragstock. They have recently embraced the resurgence of neon that is back in style, and can always be counted on for unique accessories such as satin Burlesque style top hats (Mall of America) and studded bracelets and necklaces (any stores). They have their own jewelry made for them, as well as some new lines of clothing that are on trend with what you would see in your local Forever 21. They still have vintage kimonos and obis. The salespeople I have encountered at the various stores have been friendly, but be prepared to battle teenagers for the dressing rooms.
TATTERS $-$$ (2928 Lyndale Ave. So., Minneapolis)
Tatters seems to have a love of polyester and cowboys right now. The women’s side of the room is filled with 1970’s and late 1960’s floral and poly fabulousness, and the men’s side is filled with cowboy boots, western shirts and belts. They do carry some new accessories such as tights, crinolines (for $38!) and fishnets for women, and are a great resource for the Steampunk Gentleman with their pocketwatches, new Scala top hats and derby hats and used vests and bowties. The pricing is reasonable and the sales people are very helpful. You can also stop next door at Herkimer’s for a pint if you get parched from all that shopping!
BUFFALO EXCHANGE $-$$$ (2727 Lyndale Ave. So., Minneapolis)
Buffalo Exchange is not so much vintage as it is trendy. It has vintage pieces (I saw a salesperson wearing gold stretch tights straight out of Flashdance) that are in excellent condition, but you may have to pay more for them. Mostly this is in the shoes, jewelry and other accessories areas. The clothing itself is mostly within the last 20 years, with brands from Mossimo to Lands End to some lovely dresses for $42.00 by Anna Sui. They seem to have an affair with the late 80’s to early 90’s going on right now. The salespeople are chatty and helpful and parking is easy. The store is also just down the street from Tatters, which makes it easy to hit a couple of stores in a day. I would recommend Buffalo more to teens and early 20’s who are looking for something more “recently” retro.
REWIND $$-$$$ (2829 Johnson St., Minneapolis & 4806 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis)
Rewind is the most colorful store I have ever been into. We hit the Johnson St. location (which is right next door to Crafty Planet) which has almost an entire room set aside for jewelry and shoes. They have a much larger women’s section than men’s, with clothing dating back to the late 60’s. I saw a large amount of Gunne Sax prairie dresses (great for Steampunk or modding for Victorian), mod skirts, and men’s shirts with wide collars. They had a great selection of Coach purses, and the best jewelry selection I have found at any area vintage store. However, you will pay more here than at the other stores. The items are carefully chosen in terms of condition, fit, era, etc., and are all in pristine condition. Most of it is what I would refer to as “classic” clothing. There is little neon to be seen here.
VIA’S VINTAGE $$-$$$$ (2408 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis)
Via’s is like stepping into a 1950’s clothing store. Filled with beautiful clothing mostly from the 40’s through the 70’s (as well as Victorian and Edwardian items on display), they also have all the accessories you could possibly need. There is an entire rack of gloves, racks of shoes, bowties, and counters full of vintage jewelry. There are some men’s items, but it is very limited. Via’s has some reproduction dresses (think Betty Page Store at MOA) and reproduction undergarments, which are GREAT. Most folks don’t have the proper undergarments for these sorts of dresses and modern ones don’t give the right look. Via’s also has vintage undergarments (mostly slips, girdles, and crinolines), blouses, pants and skirts. But their big draw is the racks of dresses. Sorted by waist size, they are easy to navigate. They go as low as 22 (they keep these in back – ask for them if you have a waist that size) and mostly go up to 38. The most common sizes are 24, 26 and 28. They do have a sale rack near the door, but be prepared to spend some money at Via’s – the dresses I saw ranged from $75-200. You will get excellent quality for your money, though. The sales people at Via’s are very friendly and quick with the measuring tape to help you find the right size as quickly as possible.
Other area vintage shops to check out:
by Ashley Walton
Hello and welcome to the adventures of Ashley Getting Creative (its a dangerous place to be – fair warning). Today I’m going to talk about how I decorated a tiny top hat for an upcoming costume.
I started with the basic top hat base (a basic Burlesque style) that I purchased a while back at Ragstock for $15-$20. My next move was to decide what decorations to use to cover half of the hat. I had a set color theme of purple, green and orange to work with, but I needed to make sure there were some Steampunk aspects to this as well.
I picked up flowers from JoAnn Fabrics. They were a little lighter green than I would have liked them to be, so I used an off-brand metallic permanent marker to color on the petals making them a richer darker green, and coloring the tips of some of the other flowers black.
Of course, one of my favorite sayings is “go big or go home”, so just flowers wouldn’t be enough. I’m not sure what type of feathers the curled feathers are but they were in the small feather section at the Edina JoAnn Fabrics. I followed the instructions on the back of the package and managed to curl the feathers the same way that you would curl the ribbons for wrapping presents- running a dull blade across them.
I used a narrow strip of black netting to tie a band around the base of the hat. Using orange silk and the black netting I started to fold the fabrics in on themselves, placing a stitch every once and awhile to hold all the pieces in place. This added a nice piece of volume with very little work. I also added a finding from the scrapbooking aisle of Joann’s to the back of the hat for a little extra Steampunkie goodness (because as the YouTube video says, all you need to do is glue some gears on it… right?).
Because I had a band around the hat, I could take two more feather accessories and tuck them inside of the band of fabric. Everything was snug enough I didn’t feel the need to stitch the feathers in place.
Using hot glue, I started to glue the flower I had previously taken apart back together and in place on the side of my hat.
Using some spare findings from my jewelry collection, I hot-glued some gears, a clock and some clock hands together for the center piece of my hat decor.
And there you have it, my tutorial on turning a blank hat into a very highly decorated hat with bright colors, and filled with AWESOME.