Wanna Dress Vintage Like a Rock Star? Ask One Yourself

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But before I could, my wife approached and asked whether some multicolored Chucks she'd found for $8 seemed like a good buy.

"Hell yeah," I said.

Back to hunting I went. I didn't see any merchandise that might hasten my retirement. Maybe there was something popular I could focus on.

"For Houston, I'll say a lot of Iggy Pop is being sold right now," Cambern advised. "Always Misfits and Black Flag. And, of course, the lovely Joan Jett."

She said Houston is trading a lot of Paul McCartney and, oddly enough, New Kids on the Block gear. Being fashion mavens, she and bandmate Ash Kay, who manages Leopard Lounge, aren't above snagging apparel for themselves when it arrives. Cambern said she had recently grabbed a Monkees shirt and an Ozzy Osbourne "No More Tours" concert tee.

I started noticing that the T-shirts I considered purchasing were by bands I'd never heard. I started thinking about all the good advice I'd gotten from Cambern, and that made me think of her band, too. They don't just look the part, they've got some chops. Meg comes from musical pedigree herself; her dad Dwain was a longtime local musician.

I first saw the Freakouts play at a house show/benefit called Fuzzy Fest a couple of years ago and have been a fan ever since. It dawned on me the gear I wanted to wear wasn't vintage at all. It was for new bands like hers, the ones I wanted to tell other people about just by pulling their T-shirts on before I went to grocery shop or to grab a beer and burger.

By the end of our family excursion, my wife, kids and I had bought $60 worth of someone else's junk. No underwear was purchased, and no music apparel, either. I figured if I was going to spend money on gear, I'd wait until I caught The Freakouts again and just buy some of their merch.

What people buy, Cambern explained, "really depends on the customer. I've come across people that just have so much love for a certain band they're on the hunt for anything that has their name on it.

"Also, I've seen people learn about new music from the band merch we carry," she added. "Everyone loves music... you don't have to be a certain type of person to express that."

The Freakouts' self-titled 7" release/tour kickoff is July 13 at Fitzgerald's. Everyone paying the $7 cover gets a copy of the record, and they will have music apparel for sale as well. The band begins their "Your Mama Won't Like Us" tour of the Southwestern U.S. on July 25.

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Jesse’s been writing for the Houston Press since 2013. His work has appeared elsewhere, notably on the desk of the English teacher of his high school girlfriend, Tish. The teacher recognized Jesse’s writing and gave Tish a failing grade for the essay. Tish and Jesse celebrated their 33rd anniversary as a couple in October.