Most people get vintage clothing at either on-line retailers, thrift stores or vintage stores.
On-Line Retailers (shoes).
o DanceStore.com. Swing dance shoes and clothes; and other items, to include general dance attire, DVDs, etc. This web site sells Aris Allen shoes. These shoes come in lots of different styles and colors. For the men, Aris Allen has several styles with an all-leather sole & heel, which allows them to slide easily on the dance floor, and they have some models in a wide size. For the ladies, they make several styles of the early 1940’s wedge shoe.
o Re-Mix Shoe Company. Reproduction vintage style shoes.
Note: Re-Mix Shoe Company is often a vendor at national level weekend workshop events, i.e. All Balboa Weekend (ABW).
o Muffy’s. On-line source for Saddle Shoes.
o Classic Shoes for Men. This is an interesting web site, and even though the shoes on this site are expensive, there is some good info on the web site about antique and vintage shoes.
o Bleyers. Bleyers are made in Germany, specifically for swing dancers. Bleyers used to be much more popular among swing dancers, but I hardly ever see swing dancers wearing them these days, probably because of the introduction of Aris Allen shoes, changing tastes toward actual vintage shoes, other reproduction type shoes, and the exchange rate. If you search the web you can probably find a retailer that sells Bleyers. These shoes are lightweight, provide good shock absorption, but are a little deficient in lateral support. There are several different styles of Bleyers, i.e. two-tone spectator, saddle shoe, etc. for both men and women. They normally come with a synthetic type sole.
Thrift stores. Check out Goodwill or Salvation Army (there are at least 6 Goodwill Stores in the Lexington area). These type stores are generally better places for men to find clothing items than women. The cost for clothes is generally a good deal, if you can find what you’re looking for in your size, and in good condition. Note: before buying any item at a thrift store, always try it on and check it thoroughly for holes, tears, stains, etc.
Vintage stores. You can find some 1930’s/40’s style clothing in vintage stores, although a lot of vintage stores generally carry 1960’s, 1970’s and later styles of clothing (which is of course easier for the store to find). Clothing in vintage stores is normally in good or better condition, but generally the better the condition, the more the item will cost.
Local. I’m sorry to say that Lexington doesn’t have a really good vintage store. But there are a few places that do carry some vintage items:
Street Scene, 2757 Regency Rd., Lexington, KY; 859-260-1578. A variety of vintage items, not a lot of clothes, and what they carry is normally 1960’s, 70’s and later.
Feather Your Nest Antiques, 1317 West Main Street, Lexington, KY; 859-381-1505. I’ve found some nice vintage items at this store.
Fox House Vintage, 512 E. High St., Lexington, KY; 859-784-0537. A smaller shop, not a lot of earlier vintage items.
Pops Resale, 1423 Leestown Rd., Lexington, KY; 859-254-7677. Mostly vinyl records and such; some vintage clothes, although most of the clothes are 60’s/70’s.
A few other vintage stores of interest we’ve visited in our travels:
Talk of the Town, 9111 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH, 45215-3231; 513-563-8844.
Casablanca Vintage, 3944 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati, OH, 45223-2639; 513-541-6999.
Hi-Bred Vintage, 2807 Woodburn Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45206; 513-240-4664
Sweet Lorain, 7105 Lorain Road, Cleveland, OH; 216-281-1959.
Chelsea’s Vintage Clothing, 1412 W 116th St., Cleveland, OH 44102; 216-226-9147.
On-line retailers (mostly clothes). Here are a few of interest.
For the ladies:
o www.ModCloth.com. Lots of cool stuff for the ladies. This link also provides coupon and discount info for ModCloth.
o www.shabbyapple.com. Slightly expensive, but you can usually catch a few good sales.
Mostly for ladies, some stuff for guys:
o www.heydayonline.co.uk. A British vintage company that allows you to purchase vintage patterns made for your sizing.
o American Vintage Classics.
o Simon James Cathcart (SJC). A little pricey, but very high quality; when they introduce a new product it can sell out quickly. From their website: ” SJC is an apparel brand founded by Simon James Cathcart, it is supported by experienced collectors, buyers, designers and artists who share, develop and engage in the process of bringing the best garments we can to you. Our goal is not to copy vintage directly but to merge the finest aspects of several pieces into one to create the best example of that piece you could wish for.”
For guys and ladies: Ebay and Etsy – shoes, clothing, etc…most of us are familiar with those two sites. A big advantage to these sites is the search options.
On Etsy, a couple of shops I like are OverAttiredVintage and AmericanVintagePDX.
Tailor Services and Shoe Repair.
o Bluegrass Shoe Repair, 820 Lane Allen Rd., Ste. 136, Lexington, KY, 859-278-3031. A good place to get that hard leather (or chrome leather) affixed to the bottom of your shoes. They also have a nice selection of shoe polish and other shoe related items.
o Juliya’s Alterations, 109 Springdale Dr #2 (off Harrodsburg Road), Lexington, KY , 859-312-9663. An alterations shop that does good work at a good price.
o Alterations & Sew Much More, 820 Lane Allen Rd., Ste. 143, Lexington, KY, 859-276-0226. An alterations shop that does good work at a good price.