Perhaps Macklemore said it best in his 2012 song "Thrift Shop": "I'm gonna pop some tags / I only got $20 in my pocket / I'm hunting, looking for a come-up" ... you know how it ends.
Zaneta Flowers, owner of Charlie Boy Boutique (2043 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-271-9223; www.charlieboynola.com), says Macklemore's song heralded the rise of thrifting as a pastime, especially for men. She opened Charlie Boy in 2013 as a men's resale boutique offering vintage clothing and accessories. The shop also takes clothing donations and consignments.
"(I wanted to create) a place where (men) can find a Brooks Brothers suit for $40, because women have that — we can shop anywhere," Flowers says. "We can go to Saks [Fifth Avenue], but we can also go to the thrift store, and no one would know the difference because we know how to pull things together, so I wanted to offer the same thing to guys."
In addition to vintage finds, Flowers stocks original clothing and accessories by designers such as New Orleans Grown, Sir Vincent Designs and NOLA Lapel Pins.
The boutique also hosts shows by local artists such as photographer Jose Cotto and painter Jessica Strahan, and offers a selection of the artists' works for purchase. Flowers frequently puts on events such as "Beats and Brushstrokes," which brings together visual artists, musicians and DJs, and "Tying the Knot," where attendees learn how to tie neckties and bow ties. There also are sip-and-shops and other mixers for the men and women of the Central City community and beyond.
"This used to be a barber shop, so we still have conversations about what's going on in the neighborhood," she says. "Guys still feel comfortable coming here. ... The environment is so welcoming to them. It's supposed to feel like their granddaddy's closet. It's supposed to feel like they can come in and talk ... and pick up a cool piece while they're at it."