Best Vintage Clothing Store - Best of Lawrence: 2013 - Retail

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Lawrence Journal-World

Mike Yoder/Journal-World Photo. Wild Man Vintage employees Holly and Paul model some of their wild collection of holiday sweaters at the store, 939 Massachusetts.

Wild Man Vintage

939 Massachusetts St. • 785-856-0303

The merchandise at Wild Man Vintage might be older, but it doesn’t sit on the shelves for long. Owner Phil Chiles says he spends a lot of time searching for and buying clothes for the Massachusetts Street store.

“We’re always looking for stuff and trying to figure out what our customers are wanting and bringing more of it,” Chiles said.

Chiles says the store has three main groups of customers: people looking for daily street wear, people with themed parties who are looking for specific pieces and collectors of vintage clothing.

That’s why Chiles keeps a wide range of merchandise at Wild Man. The store carries everything from belt buckles and sunglasses to formal dresses. Most of the clothing dates from 1960 to 1980, but there is also stuff from the ’90s.

“There’s an idea that vintage is crazy loud polyester stuff ... in reality it’s just stuff you didn’t see the first time around,” Chiles said.

Part of what keeps Wildman Vintage stocked with different merchandise is that Chiles is one of the most aggressive buyers of vintage clothing in Kansas. He also works on collecting items that tend to be in high demand.

During winter when other resale stores were sold out of Christmas sweaters, Wildman stayed fully stocked; Wild Man had been collecting the holiday sweaters since July to prepare for the ugly- sweater party season.

“We’re pretty responsive to what people want,” Chiles said.

—Meagan Thomas mthomas@ljworld.com

Runners Up

  • ArizonaTrading Company
  • Lawrence Antique Mall

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