With COVID-19 cases trending down, the prospect of pool parties, outdoor outings, and all sorts of social events is returning to our collective summer agendas once again. Fort Worth’s small business owners are a trove of great advice for what’s trending in clothing and eyewear, so I reached out to vintage fashion maven Tiffany Ortez Parish and optician Mickey Bradley to see what clothing and eyewear fashion-minded locals will be sporting this summer.
Always in Style
Tiffany Ortez Parish, proprietor of Honeysuckle Rose Vintage, said several trends are motivating locals to give vintage clothing a try. The COVID-19 pandemic motivated shoppers to support local stores, she said, and there’s a growing awareness of the ecological costs of fast fashion.
What really sets her clothing options apart from area retail stores, she continued, is the “one-of-a-kind uniqueness” of her hand-picked shirts, dresses, and accessories.
“You are not going to find two of the same things here,” she said. “You will definitely stand out from the rest, and no one in town will match” with what you are wearing.
Parish’s River District store boasts hand-painted boots and scarves, purses, and seasonal outfits. For summer, the vintage clothing maven recommends “easy, breezy” clothes made from cotton or denim.
“Denim cutoffs” are a great summer option, she said. “I like to take Wrangler and Levi jeans and cut them into shorts. Every summer, I put them out after cutting them myself.”
One way to keep your outfits from getting too sweaty is to wear a vintage bathing suit under skirts or cutoff shorts, she said.
Besides fabric choices, Fort Worth’s fashion cognoscenti should consider patterns when summer shopping, Parish said. “Nature, greenery, and any patterns with lots of vibrancy are great for the summer. I definitely like to connect guys with Hawaiian shirts. It’s fun at parties.”
Parish snagged a nearby 1950s hand-embroidered dress with sunburst and moon patterns.
“In the 1950s, they probably would have paired this with high heels and a pillbox hat,” she said. “You can turn it into a more modern look by throwing in a cowgirl hat and cowgirl boots.”
For summer accessories, Parish recommends straw hats, cowboy boots, and scarves.
“We carry a lot of silk scarves,” she said. “Some are hand-painted. You can wear them around your neck, purse, and hair. You can even wear it as a facemask. It’s very stylish.”
Honeysuckle Rose Vintage carries clothing and attire from the 1950s to the 1980s, and the most popular decades for local shoppers are the ’50s and ’70s, Parish said. The boutique owner said she collects and buys vintage items that inspire her.
She doesn’t follow contemporary fashion trends, but she said her store offerings occasionally align with what’s going on in the big cities. While fast fashion eventually goes out of style, she said, vintage never will.
Follow Honeysuckle Vintage Rose on Instagram @HoneysuckleRoseVintage.
An Eye for Fashion
When it comes to eyewear, thick retro frames are in, along with 3D-printed and Earth-friendly, carbon-neutral glasses, said Mickey Bradley, optician and owner of Patrick Optical. While fashion is often on the mind of his customers, a proper fit and eye safety come first. Sometimes design and function work hand in hand, Bradley said.
“Good coverage is needed to prevent light from entering around the edges and from behind,” he said, referring to ideal shapes for sunglasses.
The light that does enter should be treated through polarized lenses and other lens treatments, he added. Many Texans wait until summer to sport shades, forgetting that the sun is always shining. Properly treated lenses can prevent cataracts and other degenerative eye conditions.
One of the first questions Bradley asks customers is about their lifestyle. An outdoorsman would need a different type of eye coverage than a bank teller, for example. Once the choices are narrowed between sporty glasses, dress wear, and other options, Bradley considers the individual’s facial features and skin tone. Even then, there’s a wide range of frame shapes to choose from.
French frame manufacturer Plein Les Mirettes offers bold, artsy glasses in very limited quantities. One curvy design with swirls of color that Bradley pulled from his case is one of fewer than 100 available in the world. The rarity of the glasses all but ensures that the wearer will never see another person with the same set of frames. The downside? Lost or broken glasses are nearly impossible to replace.
Bradley said the McLaren line of sunglasses is becoming popular. Named after the uber-fast sports cars, the 3D-printed frames are sleek, and the sides fold in like scissors, mimicking the vertically opening side doors of the McLaren line of exotic cars.
Follow Patrick Optical on Instagram @Patrick_Optical.