The Vintage Clothing Scene in Davis Square
Davis Square has a robust consignment shop and vintage clothing culture. Here, we look at some of the main players.
Opened in September 2011, Found is a consignment store that consists of high-end designer pieces and contemporary brands. Whether you’re looking for a retro flowery sundress or a vintage Chanel white tweed jacket, the store covers all price points. Prada, Ralph Lauren, Chanel and the ever-covetable Alaïa can be found in the front and center of the store. All other racks include, but are not limited to, brands such as Joie, Phillip Lim, Guess and Gap. While most of the clothes are for women, men are not forgotten and have a small section. There’s a great selection of ties and shirts for the office, while an assortment of loafers wait to be picked up for a casual Saturday afternoon.
A sales associate told Somerville Patch that shopping at Found is meant to be a high-end experience. Since there’s such a large selection of clothing and accessories, it’s worth it to take a chunk of time to dig through the racks. The layout of the clothing, organized by item, price and color, makes the digging a much smoother experience. The dressing rooms are spacious and well lit, which is a rare but welcome addition when it comes to consignment stores. Found is the store to get lucky and find that one piece you just can’t live without.
Found is located at 255 Elm Street.
Buffalo Exchange is a national chain that allows customers to bring in old clothes for cash or for a trade with items the store is currently selling. The layout consists of two floors with spring items such as dresses, skirts and shirts on the ground floor, while heavier clothing is set up in the basement level. Neatly organized, the clothing ranges from classic, modern styles to eclectic and retro. Most of the shoes are located in the basement, and there is a large assortment of styles and sizes.
The store fosters a hip vibe with carefully chosen music, and on a recent Saturday it was bustling with people buying and selling items. Judging by the traffic, this is definitely a store you want to come back to weekly to see what people are bringing in.
Buffalo Exchange is located at 238 Elm Street.
Artifaktori is a carefully curated shop on College Avenue. Though the store is on the smaller side, it packs a powerful punch. Amy Berkowitz, the owner of the store, said she opened it to combine all the things she thinks are cool and interesting: vintage clothing, antiques and art. Vinyl records, old housewares and retro dresses and accessories line the store. The clothing is a mix of vintage-inspired items and actual vintage, which Berkowitz picks up at auctions or buys from customers looking to sell. The costume jewelry selection is immense and boasts dainty rings and chunky necklaces. For men, there is a selection of plaid shirts, jackets and a few worn-in cowboy boots.
The layout of the store is lovingly disheveled, but in such a way that no item, whether it's pair of gloves, a set of teacups or a belt, is hidden from customers. Berkowitz manages to display everything out in the open, highlighting her appreciation for the products she sells.
Artifaktori is located at 22 College Avenue with a second location in Beacon Hill at 121 Charles Street.
For dedicated treasure hunters, Goodwill—a charity shop—offers a different sort of experience. Its two floors of clothing and home goods are packed with with items of widely varying quality. On weekends crowds of eagle-eyed shoppers sort through the massive collection with a sense of purpose and efficiency, looking for deals. Women's clothes are on the ground floor, and men's clothes are in the basement.
Shoppers hunt for diamonds in the rough, often hidden deep in the store. Women can sometimes stumble upon unique accessories, jackets and shoes. There are sizeable collections of jeans, blouses and skirts. Men can get good deals on pants, shirts and suits. Men and women have a resonable shot of finding office clothes at dirt-cheap prices. For men, we're talking J. Press suits for about $15 and Brooks Brothers shirts or Banana Republic pants, each for about $5. But you have to dig and search to find the good stuff. There's also a selection of electronics and home goods, including tapes, records and books that could reward a dedicated deal hunter.
Goodwill is located at 230 Elm St.