Stumbling Across Some ‘Shopping Treats’

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

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Not gonna lie, I was pretty excited when I saw an Urban Outfitters in Ybor City today. I’ve bought a couple things from Urban Outfitters in the past — usually a funky handbag or jewelery — but I love just going in and looking at the different styles. Sometimes I wish I were more of a creative dresser. Walking into Urban Outfitters is like entering my friend Caitlin’s closet. She makes some of her own clothes/accessories — skirts out of jeans, hats out of knitted wool, sewn handbags — which are so good she could easily sell them. It seems some artists get inspiration from Urban Outfitters, too, which makes sense considering the crafty picture frames and furniture lining the shelves there.

Ybor also has some fun vintage shops that you can’t find at Channelside or other really commercialized areas. One of them, La France, was jam-packed with fur coats, flamenco-like dresses, shoes that my grandma wears but that have apparently come back in style, and ’40s-style hats like the kind that are buried in boxes in my grandma’s attic. Note to self: Save all your old clothes, even if they seem “so passee.” Nothing ever really goes out of style. Those silver pleather pants I wore my freshman year of high school when I used to call myself a rockstar? I’m convinced they’ll make a wild comeback in a couple years. (No lie, it’s always been my secret little dream to be a rockstar, and yes, I used to wear silver pants that I sadly sold in a yard sale. Guess some other girl will be lucky when they make their comeback.)

I didn’t try on any silvery, sparkling clothes today, but I sure as heck tried on some out-of-this world sunglasses at the vintage shop. There were sunglasses with martini glasses as the lenses, Mardi-Gras looking glasses, and glasses rimmed with colorful jewels. They’re what I like to call “shopping treats” — outlandish stuff you find when shopping, especially when window shopping. Urban Outfitter’s sunglasses weren’t quite as eye-appealing, and they were a bit more expensive. Maybe next time I hit up the Boston Urban Outfitter’s Bargain Basement, there’ll be a better, cheaper selection …

What shopping treats have you stumbled across recently?

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