Denton’s local stores offer secondhand glamour

Denton’s local stores offer secondhand glamour

Denton’s local stores offer secondhand glamour
September 03
09:30 2018

In a world dominated by fast fashion, thrift stores and vintage shops can slow the shopping experience down by offering a variety of clothing and decor options that often cannot be found anywhere else.

Denton’s own vintage shop, Circa 77, has been in town more than 10 years. Owner Janie Shoto and her daughter Christina Shoto opened the shop together while Christina was in college, and have been on the Square ever since.

“Everybody that comes in wants to be unique and that is why they do it,” Janie said. “They want to feel special — they want something different.”

Stepping into the store is like stepping into a time vault. There are articles of clothing, jewelry and shoes from every decade. The items on the racks along with the wedding dresses and classic band T-shirts displayed on shelves act as snapshots of styles in the past.

Because vintage stores tend to have niche size options, the Shotos offer custom-made clothing and alterations so customers of any size can enjoy their findings.

“The biggest size we carry is thirty in ladies — we have everything,” Janie said. “A lot of [vintage clothes] are small. That’s why we started the alterations. We would not have made it had not been for our alterations and our rentals.”

The bulk of Circa 77’s customers are musicians looking for personalized outfits for things like album covers, or college students who want something that makes them stand out on campus.

“I’d say probably eighty percent is college kids,” Janie said. “And we have a lot of older people that come in.”

Circa 77 has not just been a staple for secondhand shoppers within Denton. Through word of mouth and their online presence on Etsy, the store has gotten visitors from places like Connecticut, New York, and England.

Traveling for vintage clothing is a common practice among serious vintage shoppers. Some make seasonal trips to certain cities just to search through different shops.

“I have one girl from Australia [that] comes every summer,” Janie said. 

Janie feels that one of the beauties of vintage shopping is the fact that trends never truly go away.

“It always comes back. If you hold on to bell-bottoms long enough, they will be back,” Janie said. “Or a mini skirt — it will be back.”

Janie does not feel that there has been a boom of interest in thrifting and vintage. She views it as more of a discovery that people continue to make each year.

“When my daughter was going to school, there was always people here because of her friends, so they all wanted vintage,” Janie said. “Every year it happens — [there is the question], ‘Do you think it’s more popular now?’ It has been popular.”

There are more Circa 77 locations that are based worldwide and through online outlets. Customers travel internationally to see the store for themselves. Dimmagio Escobedo

Insta-vintage

A peach ‘70s flair jumpsuit, a color-blocked ’60s mod dress complete with white boots and a retro Barbie T-shirt are just a few of the vintage items makeup artist Christy Beck has featured on her Instagram account @myvintagevibez. Beck is an avid vintage shopper who regularly posts her new purchases from the various stores she visits.

Beck, a UNT alumna, is immersed in the culture of secondhand shopping now, but she happened upon it by accident.

“I wasn’t on the hunt for clothes at all — I was looking for fun little homeware items for my house and I stumbled upon a booth,” Beck said. “I never really looked through the clothes, but I saw this really neat little Hawaiian 1970s-looking wrap dress and it really caught my eye.”

It is easy to get distracted and spend much longer than planned on a shopping trip, so many people go into the store with an idea of what they want.

“I always used to start having a game plan and having something that I really wanted, because I have a list of vintage staples that I want to create in my closet based on Pinterest searches and my Pinterest boards,” Beck said. “Just certain things that I personally think any vintage clothes collector needs to have.”

Beck has stopped being specific in setting goals for shopping because a lot of the time she would not fulfill her expectations. Now, she takes a more organic approach.

“I started going out looking for just anything that catches my eye basically after that,” Beck said. “I found way more success just looking at the overall picture of the store and leaning toward maybe a cool print that I see, or a style or the sale rack.”

A self-described flower child, Beck’s favorite era of clothing to draw from is the ’70s.

“That will always be number one,” Beck said. “Next would be the ‘60s psychedelic and mod-type of clothes.”

Her love for the style of years past has not stopped her from embracing current trends. In fact, she combines the two when creating a complete look.

“I can recognize modern trends but for me, whenever I go vintage shopping, it is good to find something I can incorporate or layer with modern things so it’s actually wearable and I’m not just walking around looking like I stepped out of a Goodwill or something,” Beck said.

Beck feels she could spend hours in Circa 77, which is her favorite stop for vintage. Beck even worked there this summer and during her shifts, she would browse the new inventory.

Some of her other go-to locations are Lula B’s Antique Mall in Dallas and another vintage store, Dolly Python.

“It’s like the Dallas version of Circa,” Beck said. “It’s decorated really cool. Half of the store is clothes and then the other half is like a little tiny antique mall where they have booths that people rent and they fill it up with their vintage treasures.”

She still enjoys getting vintage home decor, but clothes have become her priority.

“My passion is clothes for sure because I can wear them out and they are seen and visible to others,” Beck said. “A lot of the time it is a cool conversation starter with friends or coworkers or random people.”

Beck credits TV shows centered on vintage and thrifting for what she feels is a rising interest in older clothing.

“I feel like there have been some people who have done it for a really long time,” Beck said. “But I feel like the trend and art of treasure hunting [has probably] grown a little bit more just due to some of the TV shows that are on, like ‘American Pickers’ and another show called ‘Market Flip.’ Maybe in the last decade, it has probably picked up more so than before. “

Criminal justice major and sophomore Dakota Zihuatanejo has been thrift shopping from a young age and worked at Thrift Giant’s Denton location in 2016.

The first time I went thrift shopping was about when I was eight or nine,” Zihuatanejo said. “My mom and dad took me and we went to Goodwill, and that is what got me into thrifting.”

She says she has been able to find items that are good quality and on-trend at Thrift Giant, some of which she has been able to wear for years.

“My brown Columbia jacket [is] super comfortable and I’ve had it for like three years,” Zihuatanejo said. “[When I got it], it was Halloween season and it was like eight bucks with my employee discount.”

The fact that thrifting is an affordable way to get clothes that are normally more expensive is part of what Zihuatanejo enjoys about it.

“It’s recyclable clothing that you can make your own,” Zihuatanejo said. “You could get the exact same material, the exact same work clothing [that retail stores have] — it could even be high end or more expensive like Columbia [jackets] or Nike.”

Featured Image: Circa 77 located in the Denton Square is the one stop shop for all things vintage. Circa 77 has called the Square its home for the past 15 years. Dimmagio Escobedo

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Nikki Johnson-Bolden

Nikki Johnson-Bolden

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