Balancing on 2-inch 1920s style pumps, college student Amy Leigh models a bright orange sundress with built-in buckle. “I was a vintage clothing virgin until I shopped at Circa 77 and Time Bandits,” she says. She stocked up on a weekend’s worth of one-of-a-kind clothing, plus a stack of records for her parents.
“I have never seen such a selection from clothes to accessories galore.”
The current economy has everyone tightening their belts, and like Amy, seeking creative alternatives where they can find cool clothes for less cash. One option? Vintage resale shopping in downtown Denton. Circa 77, Time Bandits, 2nd Street and Twice as Nice Resale show customers how to be trendy and original while saving money. The stores are clustered near each other, which makes parking and walking a breeze.
Step into Circa 77, past the costumes and the collage of photographs by the doorway, to find a treasure trove of costume jewelry, old-fashioned heels and pumps, quirky hats, buttons and belts from days gone by, and clothing made to fit. “The fact that we do custom alteration and [costume] renting is what makes us,” says Christina Shoto, who co-owns Circa 77 with her seamstress mom Janie Shoto.
Clad in a classy aqua green dress, Christina stands still as a statue while her mother measures and pins, shortening the hem. Its new owner will be back this afternoon to get the dress, custom tailored to fit her perfectly. Amy, meanwhile, flits about looking at vintage pieces dating back to the 1900s and World War II.
Time Bandits, another of Amy’s favorite haunts, located diagonally across the street from Circa 77, is an explosion of color with vintage flair. Here, the racks of clothes are arranged like rainbows; sizes are organized in color families rather than styles. Baskets and bins tempt shoppers with odds and ends. A section in the back features old records for collectors. As the owner changes out music on the record player, customers flip through the albums and clothing.
Twice as Nice offers more than vintage. It mentors and helps women facing life-changing circumstances from pregnancy. Shoppers get a great deal on new and gently used clothing, accessories, household items and books while the completely volunteer staff gets a fantastic feel-good as they help customers find that just-right item. Money generated at Twice as Nice supports Woman to Woman, a pregnancy resource center for the Denton community.
The newest vintage shop in Denton, on the Square, offers a variety of urban vintage clothes for both genders. John Ellis steps out of 2nd Street, sporting True Religion jeans, a pearl-snap shirt and real original leather cowboy boots. “The good thing about 2nd Street is that I can relate to the style. It’s urban country,” he says, undoubtedly stirring images of hip country rockers like Keith Urban among customers passing by. “It’s a great place for guys to shop for a reasonable price, especially now with the money crunch,” he adds with a smile.
Vintage shopping isn’t new. Seasoned experts like Amy and John already know the treasures hidden within downtown Denton’s vintage boutiques, but more and more newbies are poking their heads into the shops. Young and old, men and women, the idea these days is not to pay out hundreds for designer togs. Vintage and resale are the vogue way to go.