FADER online editor Naomi Zeichner crosses boroughs, counties and states to find us fine thrifted and vintage pieces on the cheap for the column, Thrintage. This week in Portland, Oregon, she checked out vintage boutique Rad Summer. Read her thoughts and peep the steals after the jump.
Rad Summer is a unisex vintage but not-costume boutique in the neighborhood on the equator of Portland’s east side that brings folks from zones further north and south together to do karaoke, eat pigeon, and shop. It’s been open about two years, but is well-shopped enough that the girls who work there call merchandising the store “crop rotation”, a cultivation and then carefully curated harvest of fortunes found at Portland’s bins and estate sales. You’ll pay a lot more for something at Rad Summer that is from a thrift store than you’ll pay for it at that thrift store, but you won’t have to dig. Everything in the store is luxuriously durable, weird but easy to wear and it’s a pleasure to browse the stock, organized by color mood and fabric weight.
This floral shoulder bag is like a LeSportSac but silk. The woven dyed-straw bag looked like a west coast privilege, all vacuum and beachy. But it had a zipper and an interior pocket that make it a great bag for city Sundays, roomy enough for a gym towel, market veggies and bodega beers.
These sweater lined ankle boots are the perfect shade of milk and coffee. They’ll match most types of dried mud and are not too femme or fussy. Just smart clean lines, mid-fat laces, and a sole that’s sturdy without getting clunky.
I’m not comfortable going out in leggings-as-pants in New York, but when I lived in Portland, that’s all I wore. I’m happy to get actually dressed these days, but would still pair these with an oversize black pocket tee and some clogs if the crowd was right.
The real reason I went to Rad Summer was to find a shirt that I could wear to show my support for the only sports team that matters. One time I embroidered a Blazers logo onto a plain black Polo tee, and I wear that, but a handmade one-of-a-kind is sort of anti-togetherness. None of these team players fit, but it’s as good a spread as you’ll find anywhere, spanning multiple eras and colorways.
Silk Floral Shoulder Bag: $28.00
Woven Dyed-Straw Bag: $34.00
Sweater Lined Ankle Boots: $22.00
Dog Leggings: $16.00
Blazers Tees: $12-$15.00
Below, hear employee Valentine talk about the rush of being a professional castoff gold miner and the danger of wearing clothes that have experienced bad vibes before in the video interview she did with Portland film crew Into The Woods last year.