Little girls who visit Vintage 416 boutique in Millvale often play dress up in one of the fitting rooms.
They try on the grown up’s clothing — gowns that are too long and necklaces that dangle to their knees and jackets that envelop their tiny bodies.
The store recently debuted the addition of young girl sizes to its collection, so now they can still play dress up, but will have items available in their size.
“I’ve always kept a small ‘dress-up’ stock in my backroom for girls to play with while their guardians are shopping,” said store owner Alayna Gallagher. “It didn’t take long for me to realize these joyful interactions needed to become a consistent occurrence at the shop.”
Courtesy of Alayna Gallagher
Astrid from Johnstown poses in a 1980s blue sparkly velvet dress from Vintage 416 in Millvale. She wore it to one of the Taylor Swift concerts in Pittsburgh.
Gallagher said adding the line has taken months of planning, sourcing and store layout reimagining to bring the items to the store and online shop.
Searching for inventory hasn’t been easy. She is starting to develop a connection with resources for the little girl’s merchandise similar to those she has for where to find women’s vintage clothing and accessories.
“It’s been tough, but I am ready for the challenge,” she said.
The name is “Laynie’s Collection,” vintage clothing for girls. Laynie is Gallagher’s nickname.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Girls’ jewelry is available at the boutique Vintage 416 in Millvale.
It features an array of clothing from the 1960s-’90s. It is mostly dresses, but skirts, blouses, jackets — in sizes 5-16 — and jewelry are included.
Gallagher is offering a buy-back policy where she will take the piece back if it is in good condition when the child has outgrown it and offer store credit for another item in the store — child or adult.
“I want to make this circular,” she said. “I know kids grow and this is a way to continue the life of a garment as well. When one child is done with it, another one can use it.”
The idea to get into fashion began when Gallagher worked at the children’s clothing store Limited Too. She studied fashion in college and did an internship at Limited Too. Gallagher said the clothing was cute and she enjoyed helping the little girls find their style.
“With vintage, each piece is unique,” she said. “It is so much fun finding little pieces.”
She said she wants to change stigma about second-hand clothing. She makes sure each piece is clean and there aren’t any buttons missing and the zippers work. Gallagher said she believes that vintage shopping is not only about developing personal style but also about sustainability and a way to help reduce waste and preserve the planet.
By adding young girl’s sizes to the store’s collection, she hopes to encourage a love for vintage fashion in young girls and inspire them to embrace a more sustainable and unique way of dressing.
“With the addition of young girl sizes, Vintage 416 is excited to continue being a go-to destination for vintage fashion lovers, offering unique and one-of-a-kind options for customers of all ages,” Gallagher said. “Our goal is to continue to provide fun fashionable pieces that empower our customers to express their individuality, and now we can extend that to young girls as well.”
Vintage 416 is located at 416 North Ave., Millvale. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Follow Laynie’s collection on Instagram @ laynies.collection.