The South Main Historic Arts District’s Red Velvet Vintage boutique celebrated their two-year anniversary in May 2016. This charming boutique is the sister store of Crazy Beautiful, located in Overton Square and well-loved by Memphis’ fashionistas. While Crazy Beautiful carries the latest trends, Red Velvet Vintage offers vintage and vintage-inspired new clothing and accessories in sizes up to 24. “We have something for every size and every budget,” explains Vera Stanfield, Red Velvet’s charming and effervescent manager who loves to help customers find that perfect, flattering outfit for any occasion.
Aside from their selection of one-of-a-kind vintage clothing, Red Velvet Vintage carries a wide array of new clothing that is vintage-inspired, from brands like New Orleans’ Trashy Diva, Voodoo Vixen from the UK and Esther Williams’ swimwear. What’s most impressive about Red Velvet’s selection is that everything is wearable and not costume-like. While you will find kitschy pieces, they carry a lot of classic pieces, as well. “About half of our customer base is women who love pin-up fashion and retro styles but the other half is professionals — doctors and lawyers who love style. So many of our pieces are modest and thus the perfect length and silhouette for the workplace,” says Vera.
Aside from appealing to a variety of tastes, the store’s dedication to carrying a wide range of sizes and prices ensures there is something for everybody. Vintage clothing typically runs very small, which is why Red Velvet Vintage carries new vintage-inspired clothing to appeal to a broad spectrum of sizes, from 2 to 24. “Women are often surprised that we carry clothes that fit them,” remarks Vera. “We have something flattering for every body shape.”
The store also carries Parisian perfume line Juliette Has a Gun, with unique scents including “Lady Vengeance” and “Not a Perfume.” “We’re the only place in the area to carry this line and it has quite the cult following,” says Vera. You can also get your lipstick fix with Besame Cosmetic’s lipstick line; all are replicas of classic vintage shades in gorgeous gold tubes.
The icing on this Red Velvet cake is the impeccable customer service — Vera and the rest of the staff strive to offer personalized service. “If you’re a customer who lives in Memphis and shops here regularly, odds are we will know your size and your tastes,” explains Vera. Being downtown attracts a lot of tourists from across the country and internationally, on top of their loyal local following. The boutique rotates stock frequently, so it’s definitely worth a trip whenever you’re in South Main. Plus, they hold later hours (and serve cocktails!) during the monthly neighborhood Trolley Nights, held on the last Friday of every month.
Red Velvet Vintage is located at 509 S. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Thanks to Micki Martin for the great photos of Vera and Red Velvet Vintage!