Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Vintage store brings unique flair downtown

Vintage store brings unique flair downtown

The world of vintage fashion has arrived in Tuscaloosa with the grand opening of Prose & Palaver Vintage last Saturday.

Owner Mandy Nelson said she strives to provide consumers merchandise that is out of the ordinary. When Nelson searches for merchandise for Prose & Palaver, only uncommon and unconventional items will do.

“[I look for] anything that looks unique, either it’s a unique print, a unique fabric, something you wouldn’t see at a typical retail store,” Nelson said.

Prose & Palaver also seeks to offer low prices compared with other vintage stores. The store has shirts ranging in price from $18 to $30 and dresses from $22 to $40. It also features sunglasses, bags, shoes and other accessories.

“I wanted to keep affordable prices,” she said. “That was definitely one of my goals: That it’s accessible to everyone. Because I’m finding my own clothing, it’s very easy to keep the prices lower.”

Graduate student Lindsay Smith said she agrees that the prices are very reasonable.

“I can’t think of a thing in the store that I picked up and couldn’t afford on a student’s salary,” Smith said.

In addition to offering diversity in its inventory, the store also offers more sizes than the typical vintage store.

“Often times, I’ll go into a vintage or antique store, find something cute only to find the entire clothing section is a size two,” Smith said. “Not the case at Prose & Palaver. I found plenty of things to fit, and better still it appears that the difference in sizes over the years has been taken into consideration.”

Prose & Palaver, palaver meaning “idle talk,” gets its name from the idea that the clothes have their own history. Every item in the store is at least 20 years old, including one pair of shoes previously owned by a woman who claimed to be a McCoy, of the Hatfield and McCoy feud.

“I like the idea that my clothes were telling a story because they all have such a past,” Nelson said. “Some dress a woman wore in the 50s to an event; the dress itself has a story behind it. ‘Prose’ is the story and ‘palaver’ is gossipy.”

After selling vintage clothes online, Nelson said she could realize her dream by opening an actual store and cater to the untapped markets in Tuscaloosa.

“I was ready to go out and do my own thing and this has really just been a dream and since Tuscaloosa didn’t have a store that was completely dedicated to vintage,” Nelson said. “I thought it would be a great place to open it.”

Some students are excited for the diversity that Prose & Palaver brings to Tuscaloosa, and that it gives shoppers a chance to express their style in a way that differs from typical campus fashion.

“[Prose & Palaver] is a nice departure from the run of the mill chains you find at University Mall and Midtown Village,” said Ian Michael Rogers, a graduate student studying history. “It definitely caters to a unique crowd but has a little bit of everything for many different types of people.”

Dana Alsen, a history graduate student, said she likes that the store brings a more metropolitan feel to Tuscaloosa.

“While T-town has some cute boutiques and dress stores, it has lacked a clothing store that has a more urban appeal,” Alsen said. “Obviously, as the first solely vintage clothing store in Tuscaloosa, it gives something to people who don’t always want to rock the tempo shorts and oversized tees.”

For online shoppers, Prose & Palaver is also on with a separate inventory from the actual store, although shoppers can also view in-store merchandise on their website.

Prose & Palaver is located at 2312-B 6th Street next to Burkhalter Jewelers. Store hours are Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit the store’s website,, or call 205-759-4422.


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