It's no secret that Houston has some great vintage shopping. But what does "great" actually mean? For all you skeptics out there in your faux "distressed" tees, I decided to run a little experiment. Without announcing my journalistic presence, I dropped by the city’s thrift shop goldmine — aka Buffalo Exchange (Westheimer) —to extract from its many racks the finest in retrograde apparel.
Why BE, you ask? More so than any other vintage outlet, they offer clothing, shoes, and accessories in a variety of styles, whether that's vintage, mid to high level designer labels or something as recent as last season. Best of all, most of their items are reasonably priced. So what did I find in 30 minutes of shopping? Here's my grab bag:
1) J. Crew "Tippi Sweater" ($16)
In excellent condition. Perfect for a day at the office.
2) Nike Revolution 2 Running Shoes ($35)
Ideal for a trip to the gym after work. These have never been worn and are half as much as they would be at Finishline. The running shoes can be paired with the Nike Tempo shorts that BE has for $16.
3) Distressed crop top ($5)
With Free Press Summer Fest right around the corner, most will be in search of that perfect distressed tee or crop top, so here are a few options. American Apparel sells this vintage Chicago Bulls t-shirt and I found a vintage Houston Rockets tee in great shape for $30. As far as crop tops go, this exact top from Madewell was hiding in a clothing rack for $9, and Urban Outfitters is selling this distressed crop top for $49. I basically found the same thing at BE...for $44 less.
Keep in mind that thrift shopping is almost always a hit or miss. You have to be willing to search through racks on racks and stacks on stacks to find the cool pieces. But saving some money and walking out with a bag of thrifted treasures makes the search worthwhile. Bring your own bag though; Buffalo Exchange has joined the “bag-less” movement!