Monday, November 20, 2017
Deals & Shopping

Hit Tampa's thrift shop trail for a great pair of vintage cowboy boots

RECOMMENDED READING


Long gone are the days when cowboy and riding boots were only meant for those with a horse. For decades, these two styles have become a fall staple, going from utilitarian to trendy.

Low-heeled and in a variety of lengths, these boots add a little bohemian flair, a masculine touch or, with the right outfit, can make for an elegantly casual cold-weather look.

Made entirely of genuine leather, they usually come with a hefty price tag; they take what seems like forever in a series of painful wears to get "broken in"; and in times of animal rights awareness, they pose a real ethical conundrum to some. So what's a girl living on a shoestring budget with a low tolerance for pain who just wants some cute shoes supposed to do?

As Carrie Bradshaw once said, "'One woman's trash is another woman's treasure." So I headed on a quest to find the perfect pair of vintage boots.

At first it seemed like an easy enough task — go to some thrift shops and find a size 9 pair of boots someone had donated. But after a few fruitless visits to Goodwills and Salvation Armies, the only success attained was at Second Image Thrift Store in Pinellas Park. The massive store has a whole section of the wall dedicated to boots at really affordable prices. While still vintage, these boots were newer, mainly from the '90s, like an ankle sienna pair with high heels and western flair a la Isabel Marant for $12.95.

My next stops were among the best known vintage shops in Tampa Bay, starting with Sherry's YesterDaze in Tampa. The store carries men's and women's vintage apparel and accessories and in the back there were a few riding boots. Some of them were ideal, like the brown ankle boots for $35 with slightly worn leather. But, as vintage shoppers are well aware, vintage shoes are narrower on the foot and calf, and a size 5 wasn't going to work.

At La France in Ybor City, the smaller sizes came to be an advantage as cowboy boots were only available in the men's section. Some in all leather, others with a silver tip, these men's sizes were perfect for a women's size 8 to 9.5. For about $49, the '60s and '70s pairs were definitely broken in, and with some more scuffs and character.

Across the bridge, at Little Brooklyn Vintage in downtown St. Petersburg, the choices were overwhelming. Shelves and shelves featured pairs from the '60s to the '90s, some clearly worn, others looking brand new, mostly in black and brown. Just up the road, at ARTpool, again I found a wide variety but of the most unique styles and color combinations. A '60s leather and alligator brown pair ($89), a black and white leather ankle pair of booties ($65) and mid-calf white fringe riding boots ($68) were just a few of the ones available.

In each of the stores all pairs were unique and one of a kind, which adds to the appeal of buying vintage instead of a new pair, but also means no color or size options in a specific style. The good news is that the inventory at vintage shops is, like the cowboy boots trend, always revolving, and a new old pair of boots in the right size, color and style might be there the next week.

Comments
Hyde Park Village adds new tenants and markets abound in St. Pete

Hyde Park Village adds new tenants and markets abound in St. Pete

GREAT TIMING: NEW AT HYDE PARK VILLAGETampa shopping destination Hyde Park Village is the trooper of all local retail, chugging steadily along even as road construction made it hard to access. They made it through all that, all the while adding new s...
Published: 11/16/17
5 under $5: Sand sculptors, free ice skating, Pinellas Trail performances

5 under $5: Sand sculptors, free ice skating, Pinellas Trail performances

1Sanding Ovations: This annual Treasure Island sand sculpting competition brings master sculptors working in 150 tons of sand. This year artists come from Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Russia, Lithuania, Canada and the United States. An adjac...
Published: 11/15/17
5 under $5: Festival of Reading, Florida Orchestra family concerts, Circus McGurkus returns

5 under $5: Festival of Reading, Florida Orchestra family concerts, Circus McGurkus returns

1. Ian Harvie: The actor who plays Dale on Amazon’s Transparent will give a free talk Tuesday as part of the University Lecture Series at USF’s Marshall Student Center. The comedian’s performance will demonstrate how laughter has no...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/10/17
5 things to do under $5: Snooty and Gregg Allman remembered, free tree climbing

5 things to do under $5: Snooty and Gregg Allman remembered, free tree climbing

1Festival of the Skeletons: Snooty the manatee and Gregg Allman, two much-loved local icons who died this year, will be honored with special Day of the Dead shrines at the Dia de los Muertos festival at Bradenton’s Village of the Arts. There wi...
Updated one month ago
Busch Gardens offers 2018 Fun Card early, with a free Adventure Island pass

Busch Gardens offers 2018 Fun Card early, with a free Adventure Island pass

Busch Gardens has put its 2018 Fun Card on sale early, meaning you can get two free months to visit the Tampa theme park for the rest of this year and a free Adventure Islands water park pass in 2018. This is the fifth year that Busch Gardens has of...
Updated one month ago
Bodhi Basics celebrates their new location and Halloween ComicFest comes to local shops

Bodhi Basics celebrates their new location and Halloween ComicFest comes to local shops

It's likely you've seen products from St. Petersburg-based personal care company Bodhi Basics around town. The line was established in 2011 as a pop-up shop, and the response to the natural products was so positive that owner Kim Vorperian,...
Updated one month ago
Splurge or save: Cozy home accessories for a designer-approved autumn refresh

Splurge or save: Cozy home accessories for a designer-approved autumn refresh

Summer is eternal in San Diego, much like Florida, but despite the year-round pleasant weather, interior designer Vanessa Matsalla still likes to decorate her home with cozy accessories for the fall."The autumn refresh is all about refinement using n...
Updated one month ago
These giant robots can pick strawberries. What does that mean for humans?

These giant robots can pick strawberries. What does that mean for humans?

DUETTE ó It stands in the dirt-floored barn. Its 16 arms, with fierce-looking spikes at the ends, emit pneumatic hisses as they punch downward. It is 30 feet wide, 12 feet long, 14 feet tall. Itís like Optimus Prime, if the Transformer became a majes...
Updated one month ago