A Fine Vintage

Hayley Bush, the woman behind Lula, is not just a retailer—she’s a fashion historian

Many consider Hayley Bush the queen of vintage fashion in the Twin Cities. When she began wearing vintage, she only found cliché bowling shirts and prom dresses. “I wanted stuff that I could wear every day,” she says of opening her shop. “I had no idea 18 years would transpire with Lula.” Here, her tips:

Don’t feel intimidated about buying vintage clothing. Chill. Be open. Try everything on. Ask for help.

Know your measurements! Chest, waist, and hips. Often clothes are marked with measurements rather than traditional sizes.

You will get more compliments on your vintage clothing than you will your new clothing. It’s an easy way to have an impact.

The Midwest has really nice, newer-condition vintagewear. We don’t wear things as much because we have a variety of seasons.

Every item of clothing represents something culturally. I want to know what they were thinking about when the item was made. That really compels me.

If you’re just starting out, get a belt, purse, or scarf. It’s a good jumping-off point. So are coats.

Vintage clothing isn’t necessarily fragile. The garments are usually made from better-quality fabrics and have built-in seam allowances for tailoring.

I know things will look good on someone because I’ve had a long-term relationship with the pieces already: I buy it, fix it, wash it, steam it, price it, and move it.

Sometimes people who sell to me have a hard time letting go. Maybe it’s the outfit they bought with their first paycheck. I tell them: Someone else will love this the way you do. This outfit will go on evening strolls again, instead of hanging in a closet.

At most vintage stores, sales are final.

Lula Vintage Wear, 1587 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-644-4110

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