GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. – I have a clothing “situation.” It’s not what you’re thinking, I’m not a compulsive spender, I don’t shop online because I am a locavore (yes, I said it), and I don’t have a closet that is bulging with clothing. My situation is that I love clothing and I never have enough cash to buy the clothes I covet. And I do mean covet. On days when I’m feeling uninspired a quick trip to the Chanel website gets me hopping (and wishing I owned at least a vintage jacket).
I think my situation has resolved itself, thanks to the Boho Exchange.
The shop is on Main Street, upstairs from Yellow House Books (another one of my “situations” for another blog). Ascending the stairs, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the many upstairs “apartment” stores in Manhattan which carry the vintage clothing gems of the city.
The store is simple, even sparse. White walls showcase seasonal outfits (gray is the new black, by the way) and the racks are constructed of piping, giving the place an industrial feel. In an environment like this, one cannot help but focus on the clothes.
So many clothes. Within the first five minutes I’d already located a green velvet J.Crew blazer, a black Banana Republic military jacket and an entire rack of bright, sexy Barcelona sweaters. It was heavenly, and so are the prices. Most items were under $20. The secret; Boho Exchange specializes in used clothing. Buy, sell or trade is the name of the game according to co-owner January Sarno (in cahoots with Kelley Keefner). People who come in hoping to sell clothes are offered a percentage of what Boho can get on the floor for it. The rest is made up in trade; no consignment.
“We’re trying to cater more to local customers,” Sarno told me. “We’d like to have Chanel suits, but who around here can afford them?”
But we can dream. Who needs a Chanel suit when you can throw together some vintage caramel cords with a chunky black Ann Taylor sweater and call it a day?
Needless to say, I did not leave the place empty-handed. One tiny black cowl neck and a fabulous (even gutsy) pink Zebra print Guess Collection skirt later, I am out the door with a new outfit and a new favorite store. The damage was $22.
Boho Exchange is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Tuesdays and Sundays. They take only cash and checks, so leave your plastic in your purse. For more information call 413.528.4500 or visit them on Facebook.