Two shoppers/wannabe influencers walk into a resale store. One is new to the thrill of the thrift; the other is in her happy place. Here is what happens when they are asked to review Austin’s newest resale store, Pavement.
Thrifting has always been far more in Ellen’s wheelhouse than mine. She has an eye for style and an encyclopedic knowledge of labels dating back for decades. I grew up shopping the secondhand market, but more consignment than thrifting. My childhood days yard sale shopping in East Texas aside, I am used to more of a curated selection from my resale stores. Pavement is at the intersection of those two avenues. It has a combo of Decades in LA and your best friend’s closet.
Pavement is big. Ok, it is massive, but it is so well organized that it never felt overwhelming. I browsed rack after rack, from the front of the store to the back, picking up patterns and textures that jumped out of the sea of clothing. I did not feel my usual FOMO when it comes to thrifting. From the décor to the music to the selection of items, Pavement was just fun. I am sure I missed finding quite a few gems, but what I found was so my style and at such good prices that I did not care. Ellen and I had a ball playing dress up. I even found a few vintage items I loved.
While Ellen is drawn more to the 80s vibe, with all its puffed sleeves, shoulder pads, and florals, I am a child of the 70s channeling my inner Bianca Jagger with tie-neck blouses, flowy skirts, and hats. I loved the little chambray A-line dress with white topstitching as it is straight off my mother’s sewing machine and McCall’s pattern book at Walmart where I spent many a Saturday with her as a child in East Texas. I am fairly sure she had this exact pattern and probably made it for me more than once. I would have donned it over a white turtleneck with some brown knee boots and tights – and I would still wear it that way, but I love it here with the Kork-ease clogs I found at Pavement.
My favorite item is probably the Gunne Sax inspired shirt dress with ruffled front styled with a pair of booties I found. All this dress needs is a boho hat and a poncho belt. I managed to find some more modern pieces as well, including this amazing floaty red number with a rope belt that is a dupe of the best-selling, the Rhodes Resort Ella Dress. Searches for this designer dress show that it is A) practically sold out everywhere and B) costs about $275 and up. The Pavement option was $45.
Let me start by saying that I agree with Jennifer’s assessment of Pavement. I would add that it is rather similar to Buffalo Exchange, but it appreciates the value of vintage more. For our fellow Austinites, the fact that Pavement is close to Moss and Garment is a good thing as the markets complement each other more than they compete. There is a Pavement location in Houston too.
For this post, I decided to concentrate on putting together a few outfits that are not what you would typically think of when you think of a store like Pavement. It would come as absolutely no shock to anyone that we were able to find fun and funky items at this store. They have the cutest vintage skirts, multiple racks of original band tees, and a fashion museum’s worth of dresses from practically every era because, of course they do. Therefore, many of the outfits I styled up are more professional or put together in a way that you would never guess came from a thrift store.
I want to appeal to those who say that resale shopping just is not their thing. Many times it is a bit of intimidation – hey, I get it, those racks can be overwhelming – but often times it is because they are not the fun and funky type (or they are, but they do not dress that way) and they honestly think they won’t find anything that fits their life or style. They think that since they are not into an “80s vibe with all its puffed sleeves and shoulder pads” or “channeling my inner Bianca Jagger,” why bother?
I am not saying that shopping should always be about the label – goodness no – but for ease of describing the styles that are available at Pavement in a blog post, I am going to refer to a lot of brands: J. Crew, Banana Republic, Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer, Nordstrom brands aplenty, Ann Taylor, Madewell, Free People, Max Mara, Eileen Fisher, BCBG, and many more. There were many items that are currently in the stores and even New with Tags. Gotta love #NWT
They also have higher-end items such as Staud, Ganni, Louboutin, Manolo, Fendi, and Gucci. They even had the best Lack of Color hat that I am still kicking myself I did not buy for $40 (regularly around $150). In one outfit, I am wearing a modern bronze satin DVF blouse with vintage linen pink trousers and next to new Saludos shoes (new price over $100. Pavement price $35.). The entire outfit would have cost me less than $75 and included two very well-known current brands. I also paired the Diane von Furstenberg blouse with a vintage Pendleton plaid circle skirt and a pair of retro, square-toe leopard print kitten heels. This version of the outfit would have run about $60.
My last work outfit was a professional yet fun vintage blouse paired with a pair of modern Madewell linen, wide-leg trousers. I finished off this outfit with my new BANGS Shoes – check our Instagram for more on our Ambassadorship with this awesome, local shoe company that uses the profits from every sale to support entrepreneurs around the world. I feel confident that I could wear any of these outfits to work and nobody would know they were “resale” or “thrifted.”
But I did need to indulge in a few fun and funky pieces because of course I did. This Janis tee was super soft, and I loved it paired with an oversized blazer and vintage flare Levi’s jeans. I also styled my BANGS Shoes with one of the aforementioned 80s floral dresses and I loved how they looked together. Lastly, I found the 1980s Dynasty jacket of my dreams in a purple plaid Rafaella number with suede trim, gaudy gold buttons, and shoulder pads the size of Texas.
So far everything I have purchased at Pavement was acquired on consignment. They have a generous payout program giving you 50% in credit or 35% in cash on the spot. There is no waiting for your items to sell. This coupled with the more than fair pricing of Pavement’s items means you can clean out your closet and acquire new (to you) pieces in a way that is great for the environment and your wallet.
Overall expect to find great prices, an enormous selection, and thrift-newbie friendly atmosphere at Pavement. We look forward to shopping and reselling there in the future! And thank you to the fabulous team at Pavement for taking such great care of us that day and to Breakaway PR for asking us to review the store, as well as understanding the vision of A Fashionating Life. For more info on Pavement, click here.
Images by C. Endo Photography & Film