It’s always fun to get to use alliteration in a title. But it’s more fun to find a place worth alliterifying. Alliterifying? Okay.
Anyway, if you love women’s fashions, and lighting upon a real find — not just the racks and racks of predictable clothing at either the malls or the big brand stores — then you’re gonna love Forage Consignment & Vintage on William Street in the heart of bustling downtown Fredericksburg (known in hashtag land as #FXBG or #LoveFXBG).
Some dear readers may know about my clothing fast this year, but for others the scoop is this:
In an effort to be locally-focused even more than before, my hubby and I vowed to buy no new clothing this year unless A) It was truly locally made (from the slow-clothes movement, or by a local designer/weaver/dyer, etc.), or B) was from a consignment or thrift shop and ergo was not “creating new demand,” in the troublesome worldwide fashion industry.
That may sound cray cray to the average ear, but we’re trying to walk our talk on the environmental and climate front and that inevitably means making willing and conscious sacrifices.
Which is why places like Forage are so ding-dang awesome. Getting to shop for something that we are allowing ourselves is, frankly, retail therapy, and I’m all for it. (Maybe more so than hubby who seems to be very content to go without!)
I found another consignment shop on the way to FXBG called Hey Gorgeous Boutique in Louisa, and it’s worth a look, too, if you’re passing through that region of Virginia. But the stark difference between Hey Gorgeous and Forage is curation.
Hey Gorgeous has tons of stock, fair prices (which lower over time), and a great concept — renaming sizes in fun, female-affirming titles — as well as contributing significantly to their local community through donations and relationships with worthy causes. And a big plus here was a that they had plenty of larger sizes for women of all shapes.
The downside was that they had SO MUCH stock, in so many styles, that it was harder to get a glean on where to begin — unless you like combing through racks and racks, which some people do, in order to score a find. But the store doesn’t have one curated vibe per se.
Some people think more is more, but I fall into the camp that feels less is more, so Hey Gorgeous was more difficult for me. To each her own.
I did find an orange and pink felted wool Kate Spade bag that my hubby was inclined to get for me but I passed, even though I loved it, so it may still be there. Go see!
By all means, give them a try, and hit up Floozie’s Pie Shop next door when you do. Here’s a photo collage I made of Hey Gorgeous Boutique and its super-sweet workers that day.
A focused Forage
By contrast, Forage appears highly curated, with an emphasis on eliciting a clean yet hip shop style and vibe that adds significantly to the overall shopping experience. And while things could be pricey, it was simply because some items were either extraordinarily unique, or a designer rarity.
And the vintage? To die for, girl! Too bad they don’t have a Website, which is a real bummer, because there’s no online explanation for their consignment policies. Here’s their Facebook, though.
Forage is expertly arranged, with great displays, a funky feel, and creativity oozing out of the walls. At the same time it was neat as a pin, and with a more limited but more selective stock that made shopping more worth it — less to look at, but better choices overall.
If you love unique women’s clothing, whether flirty-preppie or minx-y or boho or laid-back elegance you’re going to find something that is a “must have.” So get it — and keep shopping local, including the good re-use works of curated vintage and up-cycled shops like Forage. (And if you visit, you might take some things in to consign, too, but call them first for that info. See contact below.)
My recent trip to FXBG included visiting breweries and the local distillery, farm-to-table as well was dive dining, historic sites, walks, and shopping local. Check out my other reviews by searching Fredericksburg or #FXBG on my site.
— Lindsay Curren, Girl Goes Virginia