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Have your style, and make it too, with Shop Slow

Rethink the way you shop and consume with custom-made fashion made with items you love to perfectly fit your style and body type.

Rebecca Wright holds her chore coat, a green and white coat made from a vintage quilt, to her left.

Owner + designer Rebecca Wright taught herself to sew at the age of 16 with the hopes of creating her own fashion.

Photo by ATXtoday

When it comes to what you wear, fashion studio Shop Slow wants you to do just that: shop slow.

The upcycling-centered, approachable studio de couture opened in October, just in time for ACL Fest. Since then, the shop has made threads for the likes of producer Benny Blanco, musician Leon Bridges, and SNL comedian Sarah Sherman.

We visited Shop Slow, located at 2058 S. Lamar Blvd., to check out the studio and discuss its vision with owner + designer Rebecca Wright and creative director Mikaela Friedman.

What is “slow fashion?”

A quilted chair sitting in front of a screen adorned with hats and bags, and a mannequin wearing a bandanna dress.

City Editor Figi sat in this very chair, also made by the crew, while speaking with Wright and Friedman.

Photo by ATXtoday

In essence, it’s the opposite of fast fashion. Slow fashion is built around a few principles: sustainability, mindful consumption, and respect to both the designer and wearer. Furthermore, a piece of slow fashion is often tailor-made and meant to be worn for years to come.

“Slow fashion is not about shopping really, it’s like anti-shopping almost — buying with quality in mind, not quantity,” Wright said. “You’re supporting your community.”

Friedman said they’re trying to foster a space where there are fewer barriers to entry into shopping slow, but also help create fashion that helps you feel good about your unique body.

“You are kind of told what you should be wearing through fast fashion and you don’t really get a choice,” Friedman said. “Whereas with custom [clothes], you really get autonomy over your wardrobe, you get to actually pick things and your body becomes yours again.”

Shop Slow also puts emphasis on breathing new life into your existing fashion, which is why it hosts mending workshops out of their studio.

Enter Psychic Outlaw

A fabric sign that reads "Psychic Outlaw" on the wall, with stacks of textiles to the left, a stained glass window to the right, and an iron, ironing board, and sewing machine in front.

Psychic Outlaw’s studio inside Shop Slow is filled to the brim with textiles that will soon become the next fashion design.

Photo by ATXtoday

A seamstress by trade, Wright started sewing at the age of 16, when she bought her first sewing machine. After a few years of working as a seamstress for different brands, Wright created her own, called Psychic Outlaw.

“It’s my creative baby,” Wright said.

Shop Slow was originally intended to be a studio space, but the extra room made for the perfect opportunity to try out a retail storefront.

How does Shop Slow work?

Mikaela stands behind a circular, peach-colored desk with scrunchies and a camera on top, plus a painting of flowers in the background.

Have a question about the process? Friedman would be more than happy to help you find something in your style or teach you about how the store works.

Photo by ATXtoday

There are two ways to shop from the boutique: either pick out one of the pre-made designs on display in the store or order something to be custom made to your body.

Ordering a custom design has a few stipulations — here’s how it works:

  • Customers bring (or mail) in a pre-loved material — like a quilt or a bunch of bandannas — or choose from the store’s available textiles.
  • Then, customers choose one of Psychic Outlaw’s patterns. Sometimes, the store can make custom patterns from a pre-existing piece of clothing.
  • Next, seamstresses at the shop will take your measurements (or you can enter them into Psychic Outlaw’s website) to ensure the perfect fit.
  • A few weeks later, your item of clothing will be ready to be loved for a lifetime.

Plus, having something custom made doesn’t necessarily cost more. Shop Slow doesn’t charge a “finder’s fee” for materials you bring in, so you’ll most likely pay a similar price for a custom design as you would for something that’s already pre-made by Psychic Outlaw.

As for the price...

You’re not going to find a $20, $50, or even $75 top at Shop Slow, but there’s a good reason for it. About a third of the price covers materials (which are often vintage or antique textiles), a third goes toward labor costs, and a third is invested back into the business.

“I also pay a livable wage for the people that work for me and that isn’t cheap in Austin or anywhere, really,” Wright said. “I’ve been in their shoes, so I try to pay them what I think I would want to be paid for it.”

Can’t afford the clothes? Peruse the shop for giant scrunchies, fanny packs, hats, and cute little mushroom ornaments that may be closer to your price range. Shop Slow is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

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