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Nostalgic Fashion at Bygones
Vintage Fashion on Cary Street
By Julie DiNisio
In historic Richmond, Virginia, the past is always in communion with the present. Just take a drive down Monument Avenue or a visit to Hollywood Cemetery and it should be obvious. However, a relationship with a richly historic past doesn’t necessarily have to involve monuments to the dead– Bygones Vintage Clothing bridges the gap between past and present with fashion.
By Christine Stoddard
Bygones is located in Richmond, VA's famous Carytown, renowned as a fashionable shopping and dining district. The store is properly placed next to the Byrd Theatre, a landmark dating back to 1928 and home of the cheapest and most unique movie going experience in town. A Cary Street passerby’s first sight of Bygones will be the enormous store front window, always cleverly themed and showcasing the store’s best vintage clothing and accessories.
Unlike many vintage shops, Bygones is both well-organized and aesthetically pleasing. The shop’s three rooms hold vintage sunglasses, jewelry, hats, dresses, and menswear. The immense amount of stock, especially the women’s clothing, is organized by decade; the price tags tell the item’s decade of origin and size. In the back, old but beautifully kept wedding dresses are in the hundred dollar price range. Bygones also specializes in vintage reproductions which mimic women’s styles from the 1920’s onward. Most of the stock is housed in impressive armoires, giving Bygones a homey feel. Currently, Bygones buys men’s and women’s clothing and accessories dating from 1900 to 1965.
Bygones Vintage Clothing was opened in 1979, thirty-two years ago, by a woman named Maynee Cayton. Cayton, who usually goes by May, still owns Bygones today and can be seen behind the counter on Sundays and Mondays. Cayton, a connoisseur of vintage fashion, said that her favorite part of owning the store is what she calls the “treasure hunt” that shoppers experience. She also enjoys “getting to see other people’s treasures.”
Since Bygones opened in 1979, it hasn’t undergone any drastic changes. However, Cayton said, “I’m currently selling a lot more menswear and vintage jewelry. And I’m doing several lines of reproductions.” These vintage reproductions make Bygones different from other vintage stores in Richmond. To this, Cayton added, “I also have older stuff – the bulk of my clothes range from 1900 to 1965. Most vintage clothing stores’ items are from the 1970’s and 80’s.”
The city of Richmond offers a variety of ways to join the past and present, and this store adds vintage clothing to that list. Take a visit to Bygones Vintage Clothing and experience a “treasure hunt” through the ages of fashion.
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