PHOTOS BY HEATHER ZINGER
We'd like to publicly thank Jebus for Frank James. No, not the less-famous outlaw and brother of Jesse, but Frank James the PDX store. Opened last fall, the boutique for men and women exclusively carries indie labels like Plastic Island and Mink Pink.
What really makes Frank James our pint of PBR are the shop's owners, 24-year-old Alison Hawley and her partner in crime, Victoria Gomez, 25. In addition to their stellar style sense, these two recessionistas are ridiculously upfront about opening shop during this stinkfest of an economy. They're open to alternative forms of commerce—like bartering, say, or offering 50 percent off if you bring them a bottle of gin.
They were the perfect girls to show us the ropes at Milwaukie's buy-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet, a.k.a. "The Bins." It's a trek, but in addition to being cheap, the Bins are ground zero for finding true wardrobe gems. Many vintage stores find their scores here. Plus, it's Goodwill's last stop before sending everything off to be recycled. So, here's the deal: We'll share their tips, and you check out Frank James. It's a win-win situation.
Look for details: current textures (think plaid flannel) and colors. The ladies found a fluorescent fuchsia turtleneck.
Look for shape: Right now, the Frank James girls are all about oversized sweaters, vests and men's shirts that could be worn as minis with tights and boots.
"[You] have to be in the right mood," says Alison (on the right), plunging her hand into a blue bin. Do not go hungover—this frigid warehouse is packed with far too much junk and junk seekers. Or if you are, prep for the trip with mimosas and smokes.
"When you hit a stopping point, stop," cautions Alison. Getting grumpy, grossed out or overwhelmed? Walk away. That's the best thing about the Bins. They're not going anywhere.
"Have no fear," says Victoria, triumphantly grabbing a knee-high Bins find. "It's like a one-night stand; just take a good shower afterward."
Frank James, 729 E Burnside St., 239-3959, frankjamesclothing.com. Goodwill Outlet, 1740 SE Ochoco St., 230-2076.