Second Chic: A Vintage Paradise
By Ava Green, Assistant Features Editor
This weekend I went shopping at Second Chic, a vintage store located on 810 Elmwood Ave. I was not sure what to expect going into the store, seeing that it is tucked further back than most of the other shops on Elmwood. But because of this, you feel like you have just entered some sort of uber-fashionable alternate reality that you never want to leave. I could have spent hours upon hours in this store, which is a pretty big deal as someone who basically has no attention span. In terms of basics, it’s pretty much a run-of-the-mill vintage/consignment shop, but Second Chic is easily the best one I have visited since becoming a Buffalonian this past summer.
As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by a wall of shoes on one side and rows of unique coats on the other. I was instantly blown away by the rich colors and beautiful textiles spanning across the store. I had to remember, though, that this was not a thrift store, and it shocked me at first to see clothes that were priced in the triple digits, as well as a pair of $800 Givenchy sneakers. I did not mind at all, though; it was very fun to get to pick through and try on some very nice garments. To balance out their selection of high-quality vintage clothing, they also have a wide array of moderately priced clothing that does not break the bank — and that's coming from a broke freshman. For example, I tried on a pair of $45 green slacks as well as a $18 vintage maxi-dress, a $10 t-shirt and a $70 sweater. There is truly something for everyone.
Even with the less expensive items, there is no fear that that means a lack of quality, because everything at Second Chic is carefully curated to appeal to a wide array of people while still matching the overall vibe of the store, which is high quality and eclectic. You can tell just by picking up one of their graphic tees that they are all chosen carefully and made out of good, quality fabrics. That is what makes stores like this one so appealing to me. Consignment shops usually have their employees go out and thrift to look for clothing to resell or upcycle; many stores, including Second Chic, also set up appointments for people to bring clothes in to be sold. As soon as I saw the way the employees dressed and had chatted with a few, I felt reassured that these were exactly the people whose hands I would put my fashion fate into. Each of them was dressed very well, wearing unique pieces with classic elements and amazing attention to detail, just like every item in the store.
Something that I noticed was that the clothing was not really split up based on gender. Most stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army have distinct men’s and women’s sections. Every item in the shop is so unique that putting any of its apparel into gendered boxes would take away from how bold, yet versatile they are. The sections are instead divided into different articles of clothing. There are sections of just dresses, sweaters, skirts, purses, hats, etc. The accessories selection was probably my favorite part. There were beautiful brooches that I just knew I would never be sophisticated enough to pull off, as well as funky earrings, unique clutches and wallets mixed in with some Michael Kors, and some of the most killer hats and shades I’ve ever seen.
Overall, the atmosphere in Second Chic is what has me wanting more. When you step out of the fitting room to look in the big mirror, the employees and even the patrons in the store immediately hype you up and are extremely accommodating. Everyone in there seems to genuinely care and love what they’re doing, which creates an amazing experience for the buyer. If you are interested in fashion or want to start trying to shop more ethically, I fully recommend that you check out this amazing store and, please, think of me fondly when you do.