Jamie Lin Snider doesn’t just have a closet — she also has a spare room where she stores jam-packed racks of clothes and a tall shelf of shoes. She also has a sewing room where she keeps her original designs, and then there’s her King Street boutique, JLINSNIDER, where she stocks a whole lot of other clothes that, if she loves them enough, she ends up keeping for herself.
Vintage Queen. “For a while I was a TJ Maxx girl because that was all I could afford,” Snider says. “Then I got into designer, then I realized, oh my God, I don’t have the money for this, so now it’s a mixture of vintage and designer.” Her wardrobe, like her store, is made up of about 80 percent vintage clothes and accessories that she’s found in flea markets, thrift stores, and estate sales from across the country. Las Vegas, where she lived prior to moving to Charleston, is a frequent haunt; she visits several times a year on thrifting expeditions. “The old ladies are like, ‘I don’t want this 1960s Fendi,'” she laughs. “Well, I do!”
Bargain Hunter. Like a lot of vintage lovers, Snider thrives on the thrill of a good bargain. She shows us a 1970s Halston dress in impeccable condition that she snagged at a local thrift store for about $5; it’s worth closer to $2,000. Her best recent find was a Balenciaga purse she got at Goodwill-by-the-Pound for about 30 cents.
Storytellers. Every piece in Snider’s wardrobe has a story associated with it, whether because it was a great bargain or a memorable buying experience. There’s the pair of Gucci runway heels she received from an old boyfriend in Vegas, the swingy mink cape she inherited from her grandmother’s great aunt, and the purse made out of a taxidermied frog that she found in a Georgetown antique store. There’s even an overpriced T-shirt she had to buy at a downtown store when the zipper broke on her dress, something she’s still bitter about.
Daddy’s Girl. Snider’s best buyer is her father. “He knows his brands now,” she says. “He made me write down a list of all the good brands, so he knows those. He’s learned the styles I like just by bringing me stuff, and I say yes or no. Or I’ll tell him things I’m looking for and he’ll find them. And he won’t just find one, he’ll find like 15 pairs. Like these riding boots. When I thought they were going to be big I told him to go on the hunt for them. He came back with 20 pairs. Once I tell him what I need, he finds it.”
Forced into Flats. “I used to wear heels all the time, but now in Charleston I ruin them on the cobblestones, so I wear flats all the time because I walk everywhere. So most of the time they just sit here, which is a shame,” Snider says of her shoe collection. Even so, she has a heavy piggy bank on her dresser that’s meant for shoe money.
Pants Off. One thing you won’t find in Snider’s wardrobe? Pants. She says she only owns about two pairs.