A VINTAGE BOUTIQUE THAT BLURS BOUNDARY
Where: Harbour Deck, Princes Quay, Hull.
It sells: High-end vintage clothing.
Open: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm, Sunday 10.30am to 4.30pm.
Contact: Visit www.poor-boy.co.uk or www.facebook.com/poorboyonline
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C onsidering just how many vintage and customised clothing stores there are out there, it is still unusual to find any in a central shopping centre.
Poorboy Boutique, however, breaks the mould in many ways.
This week, Shop Spy visited the Hull store that is building an international reputation.
To be quite honest, you could be forgiven for failing to realise that Poorboy is a vintage store at first, because it is so far removed from the standard-looking vintage outlet.
The lighting is bright, the design artful and the windows dressed in a professional manner.
Bare bricks and a polished wooden floor evoke a loft-living feel, while a vintage furniture setting just inside the door not only sets the scene but would also be a handy place to park non-shoppers while you browse.
The line that separates the vintage shoppers from the non-vintage is usually quite clear and – in general terms – it is also a truth universally understood that never the twain shall meet. Well, Poorboy is the vintage store that blurs the distinction.
If you have never shopped vintage before then this may just be the store that will change your mind.
There is no "vintage" George at Asda from two years ago here and none of your so-called designer rails that turn out to be just clothing from the more expensive end of the high street.
The clothes here are truly hand-picked stylish pieces with labels from the very top end of the designer spectrum. Stalwart English labels such as Belstaff and Barbour rub up against preppy Ralph Lauren and vintage baseball shirts.
Interestingly, as this is often not the case, the men's department is particularly strong, with a very distinct style-consciousness: quintessentially English man at play – jeans, leather jacket (of one type or another) or wax jacket and nice checked shirt.
You won't get many protests from me.
In the women's department, there is a really nice variety of grunge girl and elegant chic – pussy bow blouses next to camouflage jackets and cut-off denim shorts hanging by Burberry trench coats.
Price-wise, things are pretty reasonable: tweed jackets come in around the £50 mark, while vintage Barbour seemed to hover around the £70 price tag. Leather handbags were about £30, shirts and jumpers (both male and female) about £20 to £30. Prices vary, depending on condition and desirability.
Poorboy also indulges in a little up-cycling and customising. The items that have had attention tend to come in a bit heftier on the price tag – say £140 for a remade coat emblazoned with some peace and love symbols.
You are paying for a one-off, however, so this is not really surprising.
Did I buy?
Vintage shopping really needs plenty of time and a good browse and, as I was pushed to get to a meeting this time around, I decided I would savour my next visit. I have no doubt I will be going home with something new, however.
Staff and service
Friendly and polite.
Friends had told me about Poorboy Boutique before I went, so I was expecting something pretty special, but I was still surprised at the quality and variety on offer.
This is a Hull-based shop with a strong online presence. It has a growing reputation and it is easy to see why.
Special offers and deals are worth looking out for – Orange Wednesday sees discounts on orange dotted items – so if you are a fan of vintage it is worth joining the store's online community either through Facebook or Twitter.
Even if you have never been a vintage fan before, I would recommend a little browse. You may be surprised at how quickly you change your mind.