Over the past two weeks, we have been celebrating some of the local businesses promoting sustainability whilst selling pre-loved and vintage fashion. Following the success of her online venture selling plus-size vintage wear, Roxanne Eloise Flynn set up The Vintage Boutique, the north’s first size-inclusive vintage shop. Operating from a cute, colourful building located outside Market Street West’s Once Was Lost Bar, Roxanne sells an array of beautiful vintage clothing to suit all sizes. We went to find out more.Advertisement
The Vintage Boutique launched just over two months ago with a catwalk event featuring real women of all sizes.
“It was fantastic,” said Roxanne. “I specialise in plus sizes in Plus Size Pin-Up Boutique, my online shop on Instagram, but I promote size inclusivity in my shop, carrying sizes from extra-small to size 22/24. I have also stocked bigger items.”
“I handpick everything that is stocked. The shop features a selection of sundresses from the 1990s but a majority of clothing is from the 1980s or earlier. I don’t stock sportswear but I do stock menswear, womenswear, and lots of gender-neutral items. I have a variety of patterned shirts which are great for the festival season, they can be worn open over vests, or buttoned up and some fabulous dresses.”
After starting her online boutique during lockdown Roxanne soon picked up a following of nearly two thousand followers keen to buy plus-size vintage clothing.
“I want to encourage freedom with fashion and clothing,” said Roxanne. “Especially for women with bigger bodies, you don’t have to hide or wear black. It’s about time we broke the fat fashion rules, like not wearing stripes.”
“It’s really important, though, that people feel comfortable, if you don’t it ruins your day. I set the boutique up so customers can come along, have a rummage, play around, try clothing on and find something unique that they wouldn’t have ordinarily worn but fits in with their wardrobe and style.”
“With vintage and pre-loved you have to invest the time to look. If you are just dipping your toe into vintage, maybe try swapping something that you would usually wear with a vintage item. So, if you are looking for a denim jacket, search in a vintage store rather than on the high street. You’ll find something unique that not everyone else is walking down the street wearing.”
Roxanne enjoys trying to help people feel confident in what they are wearing.
“A customer came to try on a dress she had seen online. She was feeling that her body had changed since having a baby, your body doesn’t just bounce back. Unfortunately, the dress was too big on her shoulders but I entertained her baby whilst she had the time and space to play around and try on some bits. She went away with two beautiful, unique dresses that she’ll wear over and over.”
As well as stocking clothing Roxanne also accessories such as sunglasses, starting at £5, with clothing starting at £15. High-end items such as leather jackets retail at around £60. As the seasons change, The Vintage Boutique’s stock also changes. Roxanne has plans to start an appointment service from September onwards, enabling customers to browse the shop privately.
The Vintage Boutique is open from 12pm – 6pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It is located along the cobbled alleyway running from Friargate, across the road from Town House Coffee Bar, up to Market Street West, outside Once Was Lost. Roxanne does also work outside the hours stated above, and if she is, she places her A board on Friargate.
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