You might think that if we were going to drive two hours each way to visit a town, we'd make a whole day of it, but sometimes a single destination (or very nearly so) is reason enough to wear a little treed off the tires and embark on an exciting adventure.
This past November, while doing a spot of vintage shopping in Vernon, a chap at an antique (mostly furniture) shop casually mentioned that there was a store in Armstrong, B.C., a mere twenty minutes or so past Vernon itself (Vernon being 1.5 hours away from our town of Penticton), that sold vintage clothing. Hark!!! My ears perked up like a wolf's when he said this. I had not heard about this particular store, which the fellow didn't remember the name of, before but a quick Google search unearthed its name, and though it was too late in the day (nearly 4pm) that afternoon to make it to Armstrong before the shop closed, we vowed to head up that way lickety-split.
Jump ahead another couple of weeks and that is precisely what we did one very nippy, very damp late November Saturday (the same Saturday that we took the photos, indoors, for this fun poodle skirt filled outfit post).
Located towards the northern tip of the Okanagan Valley, Armstrong is a charming, history rich little town with roots, like much of the area, stretching back to the latter decades of the Victoria era. Named after one E.C. Heaton Armstrong, a banker for London, England who aided in financing local railroad and land development, this town of around 5,000 people is perhaps best known for its world famous cheese production, which has been lead for a good many years now by the eponymously named Armstrong Cheese company.
While it's not terribly far away from Penticton, I've honestly not been to Armstrong many times in my life. Typically it's merely been buzzed through en route to some further destination such as Prince George or Calgary, so it was especially nice to make a trip out there to visit an actual Armstrong destination itself. Located at 3450B Okanagan Street, Frugal Frocks is as as sweet and inviting a little store as the town of Armstrong itself is.
Online research hadn't unearthed too much about this shop, save for a Facebook page, so I was even more excited to see what it would hold in store once we arrived. On a day as grey as wet cement, we pulled into town and after visiting a couple of other small businesses in the same area, made a speedy beeline to Frugal Frocks.
Blending yesterday pieces with modern fashions, this welcoming vintage and consignment store - which also boasts a delightful cappuccino bar - is both well stocked and very well priced (a much appreciated change of pass from many Canadian secondhand and vintage clothing stores). Founded in 1992, Frugal Frocks is at the heart of the old downtown Armstrong and is bursting with charm, character and lovely pieces.
Though there wasn't a huge selection of 1940s and 50s offerings on the day that we visited, there were certainly numerous pieces from that era, as well as a few older and plenty of newer (1960s - 90s) vintage offerings as well (In addition to many modern consigned garments, shoes and accessories). In fact, the shop has a special area off to the left hand side that they've specifically set aside for many of their older vintage items, which I - and no doubt other mid-century fashion shoppers - certainly appreciated.
The day we were there, the shop was being helmed by the owner's daughter, Megan (I hope I'm spelling that right, I only heard her name, I didn't see it written - my apologies if you spell it differently, Megan), pictured below with me. A vivacious, friendly young lady with a head of to-die-for curls and top-notch customer service. The three of us chatted for several minutes and she very graciously permitted us to grab some iPhone snaps, which are the photos you see in today's post.
Several items in Frugal Frocks caught my eye, including their beautiful array of yesteryear jewelry, and while I didn't leave with too much clothing that day (save for one splendidly pretty light blue cropped bed jacket pictured on the counter in the first photo above), I did - no surprise here! :) - pick up several pieces of jewelry, including two basic solid coloured Bakelite bangles and two terrific c. 1930s metal brooches, as well as a gorgeously vibrant 1950s blue AB crystal necklace.
You've likely heard me say it before, but I'll repeat it again. There are not many stores in the Okanagan that sell vintage clothing, let alone ones with the kind of selection, wallet friendly prices, and wonderful customer service of Frugal Frocks, so it was one of the highlights of 2013 for me to discover this fantastic shop. As Armstrong is nearly a four hour road trip all total, this isn't the kind of journey my health will permit me to take very often, but when it does, I eagerly look forward to visiting my new favourite Okanagan vintage clothing shop and hopefully adding a more stellar pieces from Frugal Frocks to my wardrobe.
Should you happen to be in the area yourself, I highly recommend you pop in and say hello to Susan and Megan. Frugal Frocks (ph. 250-546-3448) is open daily from 9:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Saturday, and will greet you with an intoxicating aroma of freshly brewed java and yesteryear history the moment you step through its lovely threshold.