Feeling Fancy at Big Bertha’s Bargain Basement

By Natalie Garza

Located at 1050 South Lamar in Austin, Texas. Photo by Natalie Garza

Although it’s the name of the store, Big Bertha’s is not a basement and most of the clothing isn’t at a price that I’d normally consider a bargain. But I can say that this store is like a fashion museum. If you’re ever looking for something special, I’d definitely recommend heading to Big Bertha’s.

Henry described his store as a collection of recycled designer clothing, which I couldn’t agree with more.  He’s been collecting vintage clothing for more than 20 years and opened Big Bertha’s in 1996. Henry buys the clothing from vintage trade shows around the country and only buys what he considers the “best of the best”.

As I walked around the store, I was in awe at everything on the racks and on the shelves. It’s obvious that Henry has great taste,which is a key quality in owning and running a vintage store. I found at least five or six items that I absolutely loved and had to force myself not to try on. I’m not exactly rolling in the dough right now and everything I picked up was between $38 and $100.

Bette O’ Callaghan, recently featured on the cover of Tribeza, was shopping in Big Bertha’s while I was there. She’s considered somewhat of a celebrity in Austin. We only exchanged a few words, but by far, the best thing that came out of her mouth was “There is no such thing as being too fabulous.”

Jane Aldridge, the style icon behind the fashion blog Sea of Shoes, is another one of his many loyal customers. Henry said she’s one of his favorite clients because she often features clothing from his store on her blog.

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2 responses to “Feeling Fancy at Big Bertha’s Bargain Basement

  1. I’ve known about Big Bertha’s for awhile but I’ve never been because Yelp reviewers say it’s so pricey. I think if I ever need a killer dress for a special event or something, maybe I’ll go try to find a really unique piece that I’ll be able to wear for awhile. Now that I think about it, I do have to a wedding to attend in May. . . .Hmmm.

  2. Bette O'Callaghan

    Cheers for the mention, although I think celebrity is rather a strong word.
    For those of you who think the prices are high, consider what you are getting for the price. Compared to other vintage shops, Henry’s prices can be quite reasonable. Just to put this in context, I live on part-time wages so if I can afford to shop there, anyone can. I moved to Austin from London, a fabulous place to shop and Big Bertha’s is the only shop in Austin to compare to what’s on offer in London.

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