CITY OF TONAWANDA —
“Other than in the U.S., there are large groups of vintage, rockabilly style enthusiasts in England, Europe and Australia. In England and Europe there are several brands of clothing produced. We are not aware of any brands produced in Australia,” he said. “People in England and Europe buy locally produced product because shipping overseas is expensive. People in Australia have to pay shipping from anywhere, so they will often shop on best value alone or style they are looking for.”
For the uninitiated local customers, Julie Ann and Andrew say they are often asked about the difference between retro and vintage clothing. The idea behind retro is to update looks from the past to make them more modern, Julie Ann said.
“Older people will come in here and say, ‘I get the 40s and 50s (merchandise), but what’s with the skulls?’ We bring in the skulls because that’s the rockabilly end of it,” Julie Ann said. “To make a piece edgier, we make it in a weird pattern, make it a little bit different just to tweak it just a little bit.”
Retro clothing is also made in fabrics that contain a little bit more stretch. Vintage clothing often requires more delicate care and washing.
“What’s nice is that the retro fabrics are stretchy, where vintage clothes never had spandex. Some of our brands go up to 3X and 4X in modern sizing, so we can accommodate a larger size,” she said.
Many of the garments featured online and in-store are exclusive, made-to-order pieces designed by an unusual mix of names like Dolly Valentine, Lucky Mule, Lipstick Vogue and Zombie Kitten.
“A lot of the dress vendors will send me the style and I can pick out which fabric I want it in and they make it for us,” Julie Ann said. “Some designers we work directly with and tell them what we want, bounce ideas back and forth until we come up with a product that both of us love and are pleased with.”
The retro boutique offers both men and women’s apparel. Dresses typically range between $80 and $90 and men’s shirts are typically between $20 and $60. Many accessories are a steal at under $20.
Cats Like Us is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Monday and Tuesday by appointment.