Hidden Gems: Vintage Socialite – Hillcrest thrift store offers cool duds at a cool price
Thrift stores are a tricky business in an environment that varies as much as our own. Larger chain outlets such as Goodwill and Savers aim to openly serve the needy, while smaller businesses take advantage of vintage chic that has become the face of college-age hipster sub-cultures. With the bigger stores dominating in sales and Paddywacks being a tad on the pricey side, Little Rock has only a few choices. But Vintage Socialite, a quality gently-used clothes shop, has all the style at affordable prices.
Situated in the same neighborhood as Gallery 26 and Cafe Bossa Nova, Vintage Socialite is right at home in the Hillcrest area. The store itself is filled top-to-bottom with merchandise and lives up to one’s usual expectation of a resale or consignment shop, all the way down to its trademark scent. But what really shines is its impressive collection, as the emphasis on quality is one that’s hard to find with competing establishments. From bright patterned dresses to Mary Janes that could have easily made an appearance in the film “Reality Bites,” it’s apparent that owner Solita Davis has very high standards regarding what she chooses to sell.
Davis, who also works as a real estate agent for Pulaski Heights Realty, has had a passion for vintage threads and accessories since she was a child. Fascinated by icons like James Dean and Elvis Presley, she later took her penchant for classicism across the country, gathering noteworthy pieces to create perfect ensembles. After years of diving into estate sales, her collection formed the foundation for her store, which officially opened in the summer of 2011.
“The concept for Vintage Socialite was a natural fit for me,” she said in an interview with the Arkansas Times. “The response has been unbelievable.”
One of the most endearing things about Vintage Socialite is the wide range of consumers that profit from the business. Instead of staying exclusive to a younger set that’s sick of rummaging through attics and closets for recycled trends, everyone from twenty-somethings to grandmothers seem to enjoy Vintage Socialite’s array of goods, which range from mod gogo boots to band T-shirts.
The store’s online presence has also exploded since its inception, with its Facebook and Yelp pages garnering nothing but positive reviews. Susan Gail Taylor, a blogger who runs a website known as “The Vegan Fashionista,” was particularly happy with her purchases. “Sigh… the finds at [Vintage Socialite] take my breath away,” she said. “I can’t wait to get home this summer and shop away!”
Whether you’re looking to create an exciting ensemble for a special occasion or merely looking to investigate the famous fashions of “Mad Men,” there’s a good chance Vintage Socialite harbors that perfect item -and for a perfect price.
Vintage Socialite is located at 2915 Kavanaugh Blvd. in the Hillcrest section of Little Rock. Directions, prices and inventory photos can be found at the store’s Facebook page.