Walking into The Getup Vintage was like shifting through all the hustle and bustle of State Street and finding an unexpected diamond; exposed brick walls adorned with various pieces of art encased a homey space, with bright lines of racks of vibrant clothing shining out like beacons. The Getup Vintage is a beautiful cacophony of timeless designs. Like the clothing it sells, this shop is both modern and vintage: well-worn, framed paintings stand next to exquisitely vibrant hand-painted designs on the walls which, in turn, stand next to a chic and sophisticated sitting area. Like the clothing it sells, this shop has history.
“Initially, this store was started 12 years ago,” said Kaylan Mitchell, co-owner of The Getup Vintage. “A woman named Kelly ran it for the first 10 years … it started upstairs, actually, on the third floor, in the attic space. About six years ago, she fought with the landlord and got it moved downstairs.”
Mitchell and partner Lindsey Leyland are the current owners of The Getup Vintage. They had both been employees working for the previous owner when, a couple years ago, opportunity struck.
“(The previous owner) decided she wanted to retire about two, three years ago. Myself and my partner Lindsey were both working here and she was just like, ‘You gals want to keep it going?’ and we were like ‘Yeah, duh!’ ”
Mitchell’s excitement and passion for the store comes through in her words, in her bright smile as she explains the store’s history and especially through the actual store itself. Even though the layout is an eclectic conglomeration of clothing pieces with varying patterns, colors and styles, every object is placed with care and purposefulness. Different groups of clothing are meticulously labeled in curling font while various pieces of jewelry arranged in a pleasing composition bedazzle the register.
However, the arrangement of the store wasn’t always as it is today. When management traded hands to Mitchell and Leyland, they decided a complete makeover was in order.
“Since we took it over, we renovated,” Mitchell said. “We kind of put our own spin on things because it was a totally different vibe.”
Before Mitchell and Leyland took over, The Getup Vintage was more centered on antiques that you had to dig for to find what you desired. While quarrying for buried treasure can be entertaining, Mitchell decided she had a new vision for the shop: one that focused on a perfect melding of past and present.
“I wanted to have clothing that people like you and me would want to wear,” Mitchell said. “Things from the past that are trendy and affordable … a lot of designers take directly from vintage clothing. It’s like, OK, what colors are hot this season? Oh, that’s all 1970s.”
Her vision is apparent: throughout the store, retro jeans hold their own next to racks of beautiful vintage swing dresses while shoes of all different time periods look on from the sidelines. The only thing these varying styles and articles of clothing have in common is that they all are something you could wear today, casually walking down the street.
Mitchell and Leyland also decided to physically change the arrangement of the store itself once they became owners.
As Mitchell said, “There’s nothing left from before (except the jewelry case).”
It’s a beautiful room; one that radiates cordiality, openness and comfort through the layer of authenticity that covers the entire store like a warm blanket. The flowery designs etched over parts of the walls were all done by hand, courtesy of Mitchell and Leyland, and the arrangement of the various enduringly eccentric decorations seemed to have a great deal of thought behind the placements. In fact, it is this persistent sense of pride and enthusiasm that causes the store to feel so welcoming; you may not know exactly what you want to buy, but as soon as you step into The Getup Vintage, you know you’re going to find it there.
Which is what makes the shop so perfect for Halloween costume shopping.
“Either you can come in with an idea, ‘Oh, I want to be Daphne from Scooby Doo,’ and we can pull pieces that have that kind of a vibe. Or what’s kind of also really fun is just to come in here and look at what we have and see what inspires you,” Mitchell said.
The best part about costume shopping at The Getup Vintage is the fact that you are able to rework pieces of your costume into daily wardrobe essentials instead of shoving them to the back of the closet to collect dust; the pieces that this store offers are extremely versatile. How could they not be? The foundation of The Getup Vintage is built on recycling the old into the new and on reusing past favorites for current ensembles.
The store does get busier around Halloween every single year, with people rushing in the last few days before the 31st to try and find the perfect costume. Rather than let the sudden influx of customers under a time crunch stress her out, Mitchell seems to have fun with it.
“(Helping people with their costumes is) one of my favorite things because it’s like a hunt,” Mitchell said.
She narrated a story of a man who wanted to embody Prince for Halloween — a monumental task that ended in a success, as Mitchell found him a purple jumpsuit with leather fringe that came straight out of the 1980s. It was a classic Halloween tale: a costume fit for a prince, picked with care from the depths of a cozy vintage clothing store that treats its customers a lot like family.