Growing up, Amanda Valentine’s mother made a lot of the clothing she and her four siblings wore. Fascinated by the art form, she asked her mom to begin teaching her to sew, and by the time she was in junior high school, Amanda could follow patterns and make her own clothes. When it was time to begin thinking about college, her path was clear: she would go to school to study fashion design. After earning her degree, Amanda moved to Los Angeles and learned the ropes of wardrobe styling, which she still does here in Nashville. When she’s not busy with production work (she often creates custom designs for the various photo shoots, commercials and television productions she works on), Amanda focuses on her women’s ready-to-wear line, Valentine Valentine, which she’s shown at both Nashville and Cincinnati Fashion Weeks.
In addition to her work as a wardrobe stylist and designer, Amanda is also
an avid collector of vintage clothing and has amassed an enviable collection over the
years. Wondering where Amanda likes to shop in Nashville? We were, too.
Lucky for you, we got her to spill the beans:
Her Top Five Spots for Shopping
SCOUT: If you could visit five Nashville thrift/vintage stores in a single day,
where would you go and why?
AMANDA: Hip Zipper: This is a mecca for “real”
vintage. Owner Trisha Brantley has amassed an impressive (understatement)
collection of anything you would want—dresses, jackets, skirts, tops, and even
shoes and glasses. Her men’s vintage is more expansive than I ever see for men
(poor guys always get left out— but not here!). There are absolute gems here.
Rivergate Goodwill: I adore Goodwill. I think they are clean and well
organized and I love their hiring practices. The Rivergate store is a newer
Goodwill and it is gigantic. They have a wall of dresses and several rows of
Charlotte Goodwill: This one was just remodeled (yes, I keep up on all
this). They have a huge clothing selection and I always have great luck with
shoes and vintage fabric (both of which can be tough).
Gas Lamp Antiques: I could easily
spend a day winding through this amazing spot attached to the Staples in 100
Oaks. Different vendors set up different booths, so you can find anything from
clothing and jewelry to furniture and art.
Local Honey/Tidwell and Perryman: This spot across from Belmont University
is a dream. It's essentially cool kids doing all the hard work for you and still
keeping prices fair. Shea Steele and Kevin Perryman have that eye for vintage
that is rare and special. They carry great accessories and local designers as well.
Her Advice for First-Timers
SCOUT: What advice would you give to someone who might be venturing into
the world of thrift store/vintage shopping for the first time?
AMANDA: You’ve got to be ready to dig. Some people think they don’t have the
thrifting “luck”, but the only luck to it is persistence. When I’m really on
a thrifting binge, I check the same stores each week. It’s handy to ask the
employees when their big shipment days are and pay attention to sales. You can
get insane deals if you keep up with their schedules (Goodwill prints a monthly
calendar you can take home). Also, pay attention to fabrics. If something is
already pilling/pulling/warped/stretched, it’s only going to get worse. Quality
fabrics hold up and don’t fade.
Her Best Vintage Find Ever
SCOUT: What’s the one thrift/vintage find you’re most proud of?
AMANDA: I just purchased a vintage Levi’s denim jacket—super classic, dark denim—
and I have not been able to take it off. I also found a pair of blonde leather Big
Thunder boots that look just like Frye's ($200-$600 boots) for $5. I've had them
for 10 years!