The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Vintage shop opens doors: beaucoup vintage

3 min read
Photo Courtesy of Megan Parry

Vintage fashion has found downtown Fredericksburg.

The new Beaucoup Vintage located at 208 William Street will open April 30.

The store will specialize in selling women’s fashions from the 50’s through the 80’s at affordable, student-friendly prices.

According to the store’s owner, UMW alum from the class of 2005 Megan Parry, most items will cost between $10 and $20.

Parry buys the clothes from various vintage wholesalers across the country as well as at Goodwill and other thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, and auctions. Although searching for quality vintage clothing can be an arduous process, it is all about “cultivating your eye,” according to Parry, who likens hunting for vintage items to studying art history, her major at UMW.

By paying attention to the various fabrics, prints, and silhouettes of each decade, Parry is able to correctly identify which decade an item is from and whether or not the garment is a quality vintage piece.

One of the best things about buying vintage, according to Parry, is how easy it is to update your wardrobe with just a few inexpensive pieces. Plus you’re sure to be wearing something unique. Shopping vintage is also an easy way to be eco-friendly because, as Parry puts it, “you’re actually recycling clothes.”

Vintage clothing can be frustrating at times too. Once you’ve found that perfect 80’s party dress, it might not fit properly. Frequently items need to be tailored for the wearer.

One of Parry’s long-term goals for her business is to offer in-house tailoring, but until then she’s glad to recommend local tailors so customers can be completely satisfied with the fit of their vintage pieces.

Being able to share her passion for clothing is one of the things that prompted Parry to open Beaucoup Vintage. It’s been a dream of hers since high school to open a store, but only in the past five years has she decided to specialize in selling vintage clothing.

She worked as the Visitor Services Coordinator in the UMW galleries for the past two years, but recently quit to focus on opening the store.

Parry is probably a little better off than many first-time small business owners, due to a convenient building and strong support network of friends and family, but opening Beaucoup Vintage has not been without complications.

“I’ve had to develop a whole new skill set,” Parry said.

On a day-to-day basis, she has to worry about licenses and permits with the city, taxes, setting up the store and getting it ready to open, but she also gets to do “the fun stuff” like hunting for clothes and getting them ready to sell.

Parry also operates the Website with a friend. The website is a mix of the writers’ opinions of various designer trends and beautiful pictures they take of their outfits in different places around downtown Fredericksburg.

The website showcases many ways to incorporate vintage pieces into your wardrobe. When asked for her best fashion tip, Parry said, “don’t be afraid to take a risk.”

“Putting thought into your clothes can be fun,” Parry said, who quipped, “It’s just as easy to put on a dress as it is to put on pajama pants.”

Opening the store is another risk, but it was “now or never” according to Parry who isn’t letting the failures of places like Vintage Jewelry by Cher’ree, another downtown store that closed recently, discourage her.

By working alongside the owner of another popular clothing store, Madeline Ruth, Parry hopes to draw a younger crowd to downtown Fredericksburg. The two plan to host events and stay open later on the weekends.

The first event Parry has planned is a preview of her store on April 18 at Kybecca Wine Bar. Tickets are $15 and available to anyone ages 21 and up. Vintage wines will be served while Parry and her friends model some of the clothes that will be sold at the store.

Although Beaucoup Vintage is opening just as the semester winds down, anyone still looking for a dress to wear to graduation or unique accessories to dress up your summer internship attire should definitely stop in. Beaucoup Vintage might just have exactly what you’re looking for.