V-Male Detroit Vintage gets better with age

V-Male Detroit Vintage

23902 Van Born Rd., Dearborn Heights; 313-846-8243; v-maledetroitvintage.com

Open: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Every year Vic Skelly takes a portion of his vintage lingerie stock to the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. Years ago, this is where he got his nickname, the ever-so-slightly creepy moniker "the Panty Man." Each year he's brought more and more dead stock and new old stock lingerie, garnering him quite the following. Sure, he's well liked out in Nevada, but right here in metro Detroit he's got quite a fan base too. After all, he's the owner of Dearborn Heights' V-Male Detroit Vintage.

As thoughtful as the shop's stock is, so is V-Male's name. It's a play on the term "Victory Mail," which was a method of delivery letters to soldiers during World War II.

Like the origins of its name might suggest, the shop specializes in rockabilly-style clothing and vintage stock from the '50s through the '70s. It's been said that they have the biggest selection of dead stock in the area and they're for that "new old stock," which refers to vintage pieces that have never been worn.

If you love rockabilly, you basically have no businesses shopping anywhere else.

But V-Male carries much more than just ruffled panties and dresses. They're also a certified seller of Rago Shapewear, an undergarment company that's been around since the 1950s. Their shoe collection is extensive, and each pair is in better condition than you could expect to find at other vintage stores. They also carry handbags, vintage suitcases, tiki bar gear, wigs, dress gloves, jewelry, burlesque costumes, and bowties, and we even spotted a shiny green cummerbund in the mix the last time we stopped in.

If rockabilly isn't your style, V-Male is still a worthy stop to pick up cool finds. They have an excellent selection of sunglasses, tie clips, buttons, suit jackets, petticoats, pins, T-shirts, and more.

If Dearborn Heights is too far of a hike for you, V-Male Vintage also sets up shop at the Rust Belt Market every Saturday and Sunday in Ferndale, where you can find a small selection of their stock along with some interesting handmade jewelry from Tricia Jean Designs.

About The Author

Alysa Zavala-Offman

Alysa Zavala-Offman is the managing editor of Detroit Metro Times. She lives in the downriver city of Wyandotte with her husband, toddler, mutt, and two orange cats.
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