“It’s relaxing, and you can stay as long as you’d like and try on as much as you’d like,” she said.
The ’40s- and ’50s-style clothing at Hempton’s Retro Threads is made by modern manufacturers but created to emulate retro trends. Having mass-produced items means Hempton’s can offer most pieces in modern-day sizes 2 to 20.
“In true vintage a lot of times it’s really limited to what’s still around, [which] is usually the least popular sizes,” she said.
What started as an online store that focused primarily on vintage-inspired lingerie grew into her and her husband’s retail storefront in July 2016. Running an online store for six years helped the couple hone their merchandising and marketing skills before opening a brick-and-mortar store, Hempton said. It also allowed them form relationships with local designers and customers who have a passion for vintage style.
“We definitely have benefited from [Austin] being more of a creative and music-oriented town and having more of an awareness of vintage style,” Hempton said.
Despite the store’s unconventional style, Hempton said she encourages potential customers to come in with an open mind.
“When [customers] come in and try something on that’s a little bit out of their comfort zone, [they] are surprised with how flattering this style of clothing can be,” Hempton said.
She said she wants a casual shopper to feel just as comfortable in her store as a vintage enthusiast.
“I wanted it to feel contemporary,” she said. “I didn’t want it to feel like you’re stuck in a time warp.”
Hempton’s Retro Threads
3511 Hyridge Drive, Austin
Hours: Tue.-Fri. noon-6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m., closed Mon.