Think Outside the Gift Box
Old is new this gift-giving season.
It’s that time of year again, but before you march to the mall, consider shopping the city’s resale retailers that make holiday gift giving easy on the eyes, and the wallet. Independent shops across town are offering a wide variety of vintage, antique and handmade gifts guaranteed to please even the pickiest of people on your holiday shopping list. So, shop happy this season, knowing your one-of-a-kind gift beats anything from The Gap—and then some.
Visions of vintage. Celebration aside, you can’t go wrong with a throwback this holiday season, and there’s no better place for vintage than the Delmar Loop. Stop by tag Timeless Authentic Garments for a wide variety of accessories for the good boys and girls on your holiday shopping list. Vintage cuff links and tees top the list for the men in your life, and women’s accessories, from handbags to belts, abound. “For someone who isn’t that comfortable with vintage, accessories are a great place to start; you can mix them into your everyday look and ease in slowly,” says tag owner Laney Stout. Remember that crazy family vacation in the late ’80s? Give your brother a nostalgic vintage tee to commemorate the occasion, or a retro St. Louis sports jersey for the fanatics in the family. Shopping for a pint-sized present? Vintage toys and classic superhero lunchboxes are a hit with the little ones, and are available at Retro 101/Cherry Bomb Vintage on Cherokee Antique Street. The store also has a great selection of women’s apparel and vintage house wares to transport mom back to a bygone era.
Antiques on Ice. Antique home décor makes the perfect housewarming or hostess gift this holiday season. The resurgence of antique and shabby-chic has hit the mainstream retailers in a major way, but why pay inflated prices for antique imitation when you can get the real deal for a steal? Your one-stop-shop for all things antique has to be Cherokee Antique Row on historic Cherokee Street. While shops like A Light Above, which focuses on antique chandeliers, has a very specific niche, the majority of shops offer a wide variety of antiques and collectibles. For the man’s man, check out Brent’s Antiques’ collection of firearms, knives and watches. The Purple Cow Antiques has a huge selection of Roy Rogers and Hopalong wallets, but it’s worth the trip just to check out the backyard garden, filled to the brim with antique hotel and gas station paraphernalia, complete with an airstream trailer. Off the beaten path, antique malls are known to contain their fair share of diamonds in the rough (check out South County and Eureka), and estate sales are always a great way to get some serious bang for your gift-giving buck.
Homemade for the Holidays. If you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind gift for that special someone, make your way to The White Rabbit on Manchester, where tons of local artisans showcase their handmade goods for adults and children alike. Leave that traditional “Baby’s First Christmas” gift to mom and grandma, and spring instead for a one-of-a-kind “What High School Are You Going to Go To?” onesie by Knollwood Lane. While you’re there, pick up some highly sought-after Diane Martin picture frames to showcase your holiday memories year round. If you’re searching for something a little more substantial, and sustainable, pop into Skif International on The Hill. Specializing in handmade knit sweaters, pants, dresses and winter accessories, the studio is always open to visitors. A full-service design lab, workshop and boutique, Skif (Sweaters Knitted in Freedom) is much more than a storefront— it’s a movement, making a Skif original the go-to gift for the do-gooders in your life.
Photo credit: Photos by Lily Liu