Part of the fun of vintage clothes shopping is finding that diamond in the rough. But sometimes there’s a lot of “rough” to dig through. Fortunately, Shelby Lawson of Nouveau Vieux is happy to help. 

“I wanted to do vintage clothing that was more like high-end, second-hand shopping, where you don’t have to worry about filtering through a bunch of crappy stuff that’s in a lot of thrift stores. Plenty of my friends like vintage clothes but they don’t like having to dig through a bunch of old stained T-shirts to find something cute,” Lawson said. ”But I love doing it. So I just thought it was something I could do for the neighborhood I live in.”

The new shop is part of the steadily filling Loom mini-mall. It is small compared to most sprawling thrift stores, but the rich yellow walls and thoughtful displays make it feel downright cozy. At the opening, Lawson wore a dress that her mom wore in the seventies and proudly pointed to a picture on the wall of her wearing it.

“My mom was always dragging me around to thrift stores since I was tiny and now it’s like my favorite thing to do.” She has also gained experience working in thrift stores in her home state of Minnesota, as well as in Bushwick. 

So what does she see in an article of clothing that makes it boutique-worthy? “I definitely try to follow current fashion trends, because a lot of things are kind of throwbacks, styled a little differently. I look for name brands, and quality, CLEAN clothes are really important,” Lawson said.

“Oh, and I really try to stay away from gross polyesters that nobody wants to touch, let alone wear.”